Sunday, August 21, 2011
A Raid In Retaliation
Lawrence, Kansas was at the beginning of the Civil War a target for those who were pro-slavery. It was a strong hold for those known as Jayhawker’s, people who were abolitionist and pro-Union to use as a base for making raids into neighboring Missouri.
Confederate William Clarke Quantrill’s attack on the town was in retaliation for these raids, particularly one made on Osceola, Missouri in September 1861. In this attack on Osceola, led by Senator James H Lane, nine men were executed. Quantrill had planned the attack carefully, and organized many independent Guerrilla groups to converge on Lawrence, Kansas in the pre-dawn hours of August 21st 1863. Somewhere between 300 and 450 men descended on Lawrence. They set fire to the town, burning down all but two businesses and about a quarter of the buildings. They killed 185 to 200 males in town and raided for over four hours. By nine in the morning Quantrill’s Raiders where on there way out of what was left of the town of Lawrence. One of the targets of the raid, Senator James H Lane escaped by running out into a cornfield, hiding in his nightshirt.
Another web site that might be of interest to you is Quantrill's Raid The Lawrence Massacre Battle of Lawrence