Turning a Quantrill's raider into a Western Robin Hood is a political statement in itself. The insistence that the South was all about small government or such drivel is the same kind of thing. Demanding that people have to forthrightly state they are racist seems so excessive as to border on the disingenuous. The subtext of Jesse James is there. Nobody from New York or Massachusetts or even Ohio gets to be the Western Robin Hood and that's no accident.
One of the things McPherson praises Stiles for is going into detail about the politics of the editor primarily responsible for the Jesse James myth. Confederate racist of course.