Archive for Sunday, August 21, 2011

100 years ago: City marks somber 48th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid

August 21, 2011


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 21, 1911:

“Forty-eight years ago Lawrence experienced the most trying day in the history of this city when William Clark Quantrill with his band of blood-thirsty guerillas rode into the town at sunrise and left it a few hours later a mass of smoking embers and with a large number of her citizens murdered and the bodies lying about the streets. Only the day before Lawrence was a thriving little frontier town, 9 years old, and the most important of the free or anti-slavery towns in the west, but it took this band of murderers and robbers but a couple of short hours to destroy all of this that had taken so long to build up. Lawrence had long been active in the anti-slavery cause and had been the refuge of a band of free-booters who, sheltered by the Union cause, had made repeated raids into the Missouri towns, pillaging them and bringing back horses and cattle to Lawrence, where they were often sold at auction. This band was known as the ‘Red Legs,’ and it is probably due to their work that Lawrence was destroyed.... It will perhaps never be known just how many of the citizens lost their lives on that day, but it is generally conceded that the number is about 180. Quantrill lost but one man, who was apprehended by a small band of farmers, brought into the city and shot; later he was tied to a horse and the body dragged about the streets of the town. The rest escaped back into Missouri and it is said that about 80 of them are still living. Their leader, himself, has been lost track of. There are wild rumors that he is still alive, but this is not generally believed.... What Quantrill did was so brutal that he has stood forth in history as the arch fiend. No poetry has been written about him, no effort made to give him any heroic qualities. He is simply a devil.... It is a day to mourn for the dead. It is a sorrowful anniversary day, one that brings no pleasant thoughts even after the lapse of nearly half a century.”


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

This was published on Aug. 21, 1911, and it refers to William Clarke Quantrill: "Their leader, himself, has been lost track of. "

It's not surprising that he had been lost track of, because he had been dead for many years in 1911. He died on June 6, 1865 at the age of 27.

a clip from:

"With a group of thirty-three men, he entered Kentucky early in 1865. In May a Unionist irregular force surprised his group near Taylorsville, Kentucky, and in the ensuing battle Quantrill was shot through the spine. He died at the military prison at Louisville, Kentucky, on June 6, 1865. He is buried at the Missouri Confederate Soldier’s Memorial in Higginsville, Missouri."

Janis Pool 6 years, 9 months ago

There is some sense of drama in keeping a notorious legend alive. While we know the history, it is understandable why less than fifty years later some woud not believe it.

Quantrill was the Bin Laden of the Civil War no doubt. However, my family hated Charles Jennison far far more.

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