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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Raid recollections

July 26, 2013

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To the editor:

The 150th remembrance of the Aug. 21, 1863, Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence is coming soon. On Dec. 23, 1913, the Journal-World published a souvenir edition semi-centennial memorial that included eyewitness interviews.

Professor John Hoopes of Kansas University made a recent unsuccessful attempt to locate the mass grave of the Kansas army recruits massacred near Ninth and New Hampshire streets, based on an eyewitness account recorded in a KU thesis. By the New Hampshire parking garage across the street from the Lawrence Arts Center, there is a plaque commemorating the event.

Having grown up near this area during the 1930s, I share my recollections. Perhaps some yet surviving seniors may recall additional details. Until 1945, there stood two limestone obelisk grave markers about 3 feet high with a footstone list of names. It was located on a parkway lawn of a home several doors south of the Arts Center. As this area slopes downward to the north, there may have been a nearby gully. It seems possible the burial ground may be under New Hampshire Street and may have been disturbed by subsequent road, utility or sewer construction work.

Comments

1 year, 4 months ago

Thank you Mr. Taylor for your comments. Yes you are right there are several references to that area being a burial site from Quantrill's Raid. Enough references that the State Archaeologist did indeed visit this past spring and do a preliminary dig of the area you are referring to, and did not uncover any human bones. If any human bones had been found, the excavation would have been stopped immediately for the State Archaeologist to do a proper dig. So I am grateful to the city for staying on top of that issue and making sure this preliminary investigation was done BEFORE construction began, as no one wanted to see a graveyard unearthed during excavation. Leslie Soden

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