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August 21, 1863: The Lawrence Massacre

On August 21, 1863, a Confederate guerilla group led by William Quantrill attacked citizens in the town of Lawrence, Kansas, during the American Civil War. Guerillas killed more than 150 boys and men and burned much of the town. The Lawrence Massacre, also known as Quantrill’s raid, was a culmination of tension between local abolitionists and pro-slavery partisans along the Missouri-Kansas border.

William Quantrill

These border tensions had been brewing for some time. Beginning in 1855, pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers engaged in a series of violent confrontations and political killings over whether Kansas would be a free state or a slave state, leading to a border war known as “Bleeding Kansas.” Lawrence was founded along the Oregon Trail on the homelands of the Kaw, Lakota, Osage, and Kikapoo by New Englanders. Considered the anti-slavery capital, Lawrence was well-known as a stronghold for abolitionists and the Free-State movement. When Kansas was admitted to the Union at the start of the Civil War, the town became a gathering place for pro-Unionists and Jayhawkers, Free-State militiamen known for attacking plantations, freeing enslaved Black people, and confiscating Confederate supplies in nearby Missouri.

In April 1863, Union General Thomas Ewing, Jr. issued General Order No. 10, which called for the arrest of anyone “giving aid or comfort” to Confederate guerillas. A number of women and girls, most of them relatives of the guerillas, were arrested and incarcerated in squalid conditions in a women’s prison in Kansas City. A week before the Lawrence Massacre, the prison collapsed, killing four and leaving others with severe injuries.

The Leavenworth Times – August 15, 1863

In the predawn hours on August 21, Quantrill led a group of about 450 Confederate guerillas, also called “Bushwhackers,” into Lawrence. They surprised the town’s sleeping residents and began to execute civilians and loot valuables. Panicked residents tried to hide in cornfields or along the Kansas and Wakarusa rivers, though some surrendered only to be shot later. For over four hours, Quantrill’s raiders pillaged and burned the town, killing at least 150 men and boys.

The Lawrence Massacre was one of the bloodiest events of the Kansas-Missouri border war. Following the attack, Gen. Ewing issued General Order No. 11, ordering all citizens of four counties on the Missouri side of the border to relocate to Kansas City. Ewing intended to cut off supplies and support to the guerillas, and under his orders, Jayhawkers burned everything remaining to the ground.

Although Quantrill was a field-commissioned officer under the Partisan Ranger Act, Confederate leadership was outraged by his tactics and withdrew official support for his Bushwhackers. Quantrill led his men south towards Texas and continued to wreak havoc. Infamous members of Quantrill’s raiders included Bloody Bill Anderson, outlaw Jesse James, and his older brother Frank James. On May 10, 1865, William Quantrill was shot by Union troops in Kentucky in one of the last engagements of the Civil War. He died of his wounds on June 6, 1865.

Jesse and Frank James

If you would like to learn more about the Lawrence Massacre or William Quantrill, search Fold3® today.


  1. William K Nolan says:

    Another rewrite of Confederate history. Jessie and Frank James became outlaws after the Civil War for their own reasons. The incarceration of women for living in the area under war conditions was a bastardy deed. To place them in buildings that were less than they would place their own families must be considered bad. That the building fell down or burnt as I have read is even worse. To say the least, the raiders were mad. The mission was to capture or kill Union Soldiers. This they did, this story does not mention that. Others were killed by sons and fathers who had lost wives, daughters, and sisters. I would have been angry also. Fold3 has been great at collecting history. But this borders on junk.

    • David Bell says:

      I don’t think calling Frank, or Jesse outlaws is wrong – it may be an addendum that they became true outlaws after the War btw States, but they committed outlaw acts during the war also. John Brown had a fortress down south near the Marais DeCignes River(A notorious man and abolitionist of note to boot. My father’s farm was in order #11 ground. A town not far south was burned to the ground by Quantrill(Dayton, Mo). There were tales of the “Bushwhackers who had the run of the country north and south of the area known as “Amerusia”. Our town historian used to call it Ameroogie. I can tell you that there existed among the elder citizens of the area, an animosity even when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s(It went both ways of course). Supposedly a town in that area became a ghost town because of the bloody border. at least the tale was told that way. My family had ancestors disappear along that border and along Missouri’s southern border with Arkansas. baldknobbers is another group of “raiders.” The second largest cavalry engagement of the war was fought not too far to the south on the Kansas side — the battle of Mine Creek in Linn Co Ks in 1864. Farther south, another Quantrill raid took place at Baxter Springs(Cherokee Co, KS), often called the Baxter Springs Massacre.

      If you were a union sympathizer, Frank and Jesse were outlaws. Bloody Bill was worse. Those who regarded the Civil War as the war of Northern Aggression had that attitude, and they regarded the “Jayhawkers” as vermin. As noted, some of these attitudes carried well into the middle of the 20th century for some people in the order #11 townships that came after the war.

      It was a short article and was not intended as an all-encompassing piece about then conflict is my point. The fact that words were used to describe people on both sides of the conflict along the border refers to how people looked at the various participants. Quantrill was far from an innocent man(Lt Col). That the Southern Command under Lee felt revulsion at Quantrill after Lawrence indicates the truth about the CSA as well.
      Best regards,

    • Steve Withers says:

      The story is about the massacre. You don’t want to talk about that. There was nothing good about it. Stop making excuses.

    • Robert says:

      I agree with your assessment. Union troops committed equal atrocities against southern non combatants. Funny how historians suddenly lose sight of the real truth and facts. Union General Sherman was an unmitigated bastard when conducting war crimes against citizens. Fold 3 should be more accurate in how they report the facts.

    • Steve says:

      This references David Bell’s reply.

      I don’t know much about the western theater of the War, especially what many would reference as fringe actions of the War, but I do know this. While RE Lee and the “Southern Command” may have had an opinion on reports of this action, the entire “Southern Command” command was NOT under Lee at this point in the War and Lee had no direct responsibility or authority in regards to this action. Much to the chagrin of many Southern leaders, most notably Texas Confederate Senator Louis Wigfall, Lee was not appointed to the position of General-in-Chief of the Confederate Army until it was well too late—February 6, 1865.

    • David Bell says:

      Whether Lee was highest commander or not, the Army of Virginia was the primary force of the CSA.

      Not many have paid attention to the war in the west but after the second battle of Newtonia was fought and the South attacked North and east(the amory was the goal), they were turned back with battles fought along what is now the I-70 Corridor(Lexington-the battle of Hemp bales) to Lone Jack, to west port and then skirmishes as the army fought south to get back into Arkansas–at that point, the south could not control the Mississippi R, and that was what cost them the war(my opinion). The battle at Mine Cr in Linn Co Ks was the 2nd largest cavalry engagement of the war btw. 1864 was the pivotal time frame.

      Lee’s command of the army of the Viriginia was the major attacking force and Lee made a critical mistake at Gettysburg. The CSA would win battles but attrition took it’s toll. the loss of Vicsburg(1863) on the MS river was another point where the CSA could not regain the upper hand. After the retreat back into Arkansas, the CSA had no logical way to get back to the MS R.

      Personal history: A Gr Grandfather fought with one of the Arkansas Regiments – there were 48 as did many men from McDonald Co MO. THat was 1861. Many men from the community(Mountain Twp, McDonald Co MO) had enlisted with the infantry, and many were listed as deserters after the 1st yr. what they did was join the Cavalry’–they were western horsemen. Mountain is just north of Elkhorn Tavern(the battle known by the South. To the North, it was Pea Ridge. Wilkerson Lawson lived at Mtn twp just up out of the valley from Elkhorn. He came out of E. TN to Benton Co. AR.

      Now Mom’s Paternal Line out of Western PA and Tyler Co VA(later Wetzel WV), fought for the US. My Paternal and maternal lines were all from the North(Massachusetts and NY(From Ireland). They didn’t arrive in NY until after 1840.

      My younger brother lives in Fairfax, and he could give rational tours of the battlefields around DC and VA, and he gives a history story along with the battle tour(nonprofessional, of course). I have no skin in the game North or South, but as I noted earlier, growing up in Cass Co MO(Just south of Bates), I knew people were 80 years old and sentiment about the North or South ran deep.

    • Ted Reed says:

      Thank you for your boldness in speaking out. Its good to see someone tell the real facts of what was happening.

    • Howard Mann says:

      Murder and mayhem occurred on both sides during and before the Civil War between Missouri and Kansas, including the collapse of the prison in Kansas City. However, one should not discount Quantrill’s beginnings, before the Civil War. He surfaced in Kansas luring free blacks into Missouri and selling them as a slave dealer. Finally he convinced some abolitionist oriented young men in Kansas to be guided by him to Blue Springs (Pink Hill) Missouri to free slaves. They camped near the slave owner’s home and Quantrill snuck over to the home and convinced the owner’s son to set up an ambush. The next day he guided the group to the cabin and suggested they enter the house. As they approached the building, the hidden men opened fire. Quantrill, who was being sought after for slave stealing in Kansas, used his new found friends to seek safety. Bloody Bill Anderson had more reason to be upset by the collapse of the prison, but Quantrill formulated the Lawrence raid.

      And don’t think that families weren’t split in Quantrill’s band. Little Archie Clements, one of the fiercest of Quantrill’s band, had two brothers that served and died for the Union cause in the 10th Kansas Infantry. The Civil War in Missouri and Kansas remains a complex history.

    • STR says:

      Tracing family roots, reading the daily reports and battle reports provides glimpses into our past about the horrors of war and at the same time gives us new insights as to what our ancestors went through. In addition, Fold3 provides great information about our great military. In fact my GGF fought for the confederacy and died during the war in 1864.

      However, related to your reply further down in the comments (8/3 at 12:36 pm), you obviously are not a student of history or dates. You state that “Lincoln initiated the war to preserve the Union and that Slavery came about as an issue in 1863 with the proclamation to try to cripple the south.”

      WOW, that is so scary that is 2022 people are still so ignorant to the facts.
      Specifically where you state that ‘slavery’ didn’t become an issue until 1863.

      Three days before President Lincoln was elected on November 6, 1860, the Charleston Mercury headline (11/3/1860) stated “The issue before the country is the extinction of slavery…The Southern States are now in the crisis of their fate; and, if we read aright the signs of the times, nothing is needed for our deliverance, but that the ball of revolution be set in motion.” – South Carolina goes on to secede on December 20, 1860.

      If that wasn’t enough evidence just look at the 2nd state to secede, Mississippi. In their declaration of Secession (January 9, 1861), they just come out and say it (as quoted from their secession letter) – “Our position is thoroughly identified with the “INSTITUTION of SLAVERY” — the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.”

      Between South Carolina and Mississippi, that sums it up pretty well that in fact it was all about Slavery. Another key fact you omitted – that on March 11, 1861, delegates from the newly formed Confederate States of America agreed on their own constitution. Article IV, Sec. (3) codifies Slavery by stating – In all such territory the institution of Negro Slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States”.

      Then on April 12, 1861 in the Charleston Harbor the war officially begins as Fort Sumter is fired upon. There is no confusion other than the fact that The Civil War “was” always about Slavery.

      Unfortunately, during the next several years, the horrors of the Civil War continues with great loses. Tying these atrocities to the men that led them is not in dispute. Additional facts state that in December 1861, William C. Quantrill “DESERTED” from the Confederate Army and began assembling a band of irregulars.

      It is also a fact (not rewritten history) that Quantrill undertook the raids that made his name feared in the Kansas / Missouri region (later in the OK territory and Texas). On August 21, 1863 his band torched Lawrence, Kansas, where they murdered some 150+ citizens (primarily boys and men, many of them unarmed ). Instead of staying and defending what he and his raiders did, they retreat towards Texas and continue their path of destruction and death.

      By October 10, 1863 Quantrill reached Fort Gibson in Indian Territory and his men killed twelve Union soldiers there. His raiders then joined forces with Col. Daniel McIntosh and Gen. Douglas H. Cooper.

      Here Quantrill wrote his ONLY OFFICIAL REPORT of the war (since you like reading the reports). He claimed that he had killed 150 Negroes and Union Indians in the Cherokee Nation, and he signed the report “W. C. Quantrill, Colonel Commanding.”

      Another fact states that from the 1860 Census there were roughly 9,000,000 in the eleven states that seceded. Of the total approximately 3,500,000 were Slaves. Therefore, over “ONE THIRD” of the population in the southern states were enslaved people. Mississippi actually had more enslaved people than whites.

      So there’s no sugar coating it that the facts have NOT been rewritten that Quantrill led a group of raiders that killed and left a path of destruction wherever they went – especially on August 21, 1863. There is no dispute to the fact that SLAVERY was the reason the south seceded from the Union.

    • Paul Nelson says:

      Thank you for this excellent reply.

    • William K Nolan says:

      Slavery would have ended in the south. The cotton gin, etc were killing the value of slave labor. So the north invented slavery in the form of farm rental. Thus between the cost of the farm, equipment etc both white and black in the south were in slaved. They put a general over districks or states to maintain control until everyone was prisoner to the system. Took 80 years till the start of WW2 before it began to end. Now they are trying a new form of slavery, by corporations owning the land, doing away with fertilizer and some planting. Ending cattle for vegetable meats. Musk will have to take farming to space. That brings a lot to mind. See how hard it is to twist info.

    • ALTON THIELE says:

      Sadly, the liberal efforts to rewrite America’s history have become outrageous under the Democrat Party’s pervasive efforts to spread lies instead of upholding the truth, regardless of which partisan group benefits from it. We will eventually follow the inevitable history of the world’s leading nations and fall into chaos and ruins as a result.
      A truly sad result after having achieved more than any nation in history through freedom of personal choice and equality, even though it took decades of work to achieve the reality of the founding fathers’ stated goals.

    • Frank Carroll says:

      we do know that the victors get to write the history books

    • one pfc drill seargent says:

      William Calley prototype…

    • Richard Rotenberry says:

      Be you Yankee sympathizers, Nego Slave sympathizers , OR, Confederate sympathizers. The story of the Lawrence Kansas raid Should Be Told with the Truth. If woman, children, slaves. Or soldiers were killed or abused. The Story needs to be told. (sincerely, Richard Rotenberry, “Confederate” descendant..) Marianna, Florida..

    • Bill Hicks says:


    • Ron Carroll says:

      I am a lifelong Southerner. The history of the Confederacy is disgusting.

      You seem to be the one trying to rewite history be defending Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence KS.

    • Beverly Rawdon says:

      Have to agree. They captured the women hoping the men would try to rescue them. When that didn’t work they had the guards leave the building and removed the timbers in the basement that braced the walls. They lived in the Little Blue Valley and some of the women were buried in Raytown. This was the area where Cole Youngers father had a large property.

  2. Shawn Murphy says:

    Jenny, another excellent story. Over the years I’ve read a number of articles regarding the Lawrence raid and other cross border events. It seems both sides committed atrocities none at this same level but atrocities nonetheless.
    General Ewing’s General Order #10 didn’t help either with many believing the women & girls in question were in no win situations being made scapegoats adding to the anger!

  3. Shawn Murphy says:

    One more comment regarding this story. The very use of the terms Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers has kept alive terms that make one side evil and the other side benevolent. The term Jayhawkers makes them look like good guys who never would do wrong when it’s known they committed atrocities. On the other hand Bushwhackers were made to be dastardly blood thirsty with no sense of decency. We all know Wars can bring out the worst of people and to the victors goes the spoils. In this regard the portrait of Bushwhackers-Jayhawkers proves my point.

    • Richard Rotenberry says:

      Jayhawkers, “Kansas Red Legs, were also killers and mercenaries who were like Quantrell, raided citizens homes and farms. ( so what. War is War). Nothing that we can do about the past. But, let’s tell the whole true story.

  4. Howard Mann says:

    Many stories surrounding the Lawrence Massacre remain untold. For example, Captain George Brooke, 10th Kansas Infantry, requested leave to check on his parents who lived in Lawrence, Kansas at the time, but I haven’t found more about them in my research. There is some material on Lieutenant Cyrus Leland, Jr. had some connection to the event of the collapse of the prison in Kansas City and was also placed in command of the civilians pursuing Quantrill’s men back into Missouri. Fascinating event.

    • Jeffrey Brooke says:

      Hello, Howard. I’ve been trying to reach out to you for some time after reading your paper “Paradox of Capt. George D. Brooke.” He’s my 3rd great grandfather, and I recently collected some Capt. Brooke research by a cousin in the 1980s, along with letters he had written to his wife during the war. I’m collecting what I can so I can truly dig in and expand the research when I retire in a few years. So–thank you for your wonderful paper!

      As for the Lawrence incident, it’s my understanding that he read about the raid in a newspaper and requested emergency leave to check on his family. According to my cousin’s research. “On 22 August 1863, Cap’t Brooke might have been in Kansas City or St. Louis. The distance to Lawrence could have been 30 or 270 miles.” His goal was to check on his wife and children, not his parents, William and Elizabeth, who had died in the 1830’s in Philadelphia. He might have relocated his family to St. Louis during that trip–the first letter in our collection is from Nov 1864, and his wife’s address was then in St. Louis.

      I am incredibly curious to learn more about Capt. Brooke. Family history is that he exploded when the Clay Compromise happened, sold his carpentry business in Phila., and move the family to Lawrence in 1855 to join the movement. He opened a new shop there, making conestoga wagons for westward settlers. While all of that is documented, family lore also says he was a Jayhawker, had a role in the underground railroad, and that Quntrill had a hit list that included the Brooke family (his son was 11). These and many other details I’d love to explore.

      BTW, my cousin who conducted research on him in the 1980’s looked at Capt. Brooke’s records at the National Archives. He found that Capt. Brooke’s court martial for the prison incident you so wonderfully wrote of, was incorrectly recorded as guilty. With much effort, he had it corrected.

      I’m happy to pass along my cousin’s research and Capt. Brooke’s letters, all of which I have digitized, and would love to coordinate and share with you going forward.

      Jeffrey Brooke
      [email protected]


      Wow, how wonderful that you have digitized your ancestor’s letters for future workers!!

    • Howard Mann says:

      Jeffrey…. Did you receive my email. I sent you my contact information. Let me know.

    • Jeff Brooke says:

      I did not receive your message. [email protected]

    • Howard Mann says:

      Jeff… my email is [email protected] and cell is 816 213-8691.

    • Jeff Brooke says:

      Howard–found your note in spam and will reply.

  5. Jann Jeffrey says:

    I appreciate the research and effort to present an event which few of us (no matter our age) know little about. I presume Kansas students study this part of their state history with accurate information but Oklahoma history is full of gaps and glossing-over of facts.
    Back in the ’50’s I recall vaguely a Hollywood version. I don’t recall exactly how they portrayed Quantrill’s “character.” I wasn’t often interested in horses and guns and shouting in movies so this version did not impress me.
    We each bring our own version of history to new information as I notice is true in the above comments.

  6. Gary Kirk says:

    I don’t see this as a rewrite of history. It gave accurate facts without pejorative adjectives or adverbs. It gave background facts though it does not explicitly say that what Ewing ordered was the reason for the anger and excessive violence (though one would have to be pretty numb to miss the inference or reason for the inclusion). Moreover, it did not say why the Jameses turned to crime just that they later became outlaws. I know it is hard to imagine now but Jayhawkers or Redlegs as they were often also called was as great an insult as Bushwhackers.

    • Robert says:

      If you weren’t there then you have no clue to judge the accuracy of this article. I’m fully aware of historical atrocities committed by union generals, especially Sherman. You might be to quick to judge.

    • James H Swor says:

      there are no sports teams named after the “bushwhackers”…


    • William K Nolan says:

      I too did not like history.
      In 2000 all changed. I found kin in the 6th Texas Cavalry Regiment.
      I studied the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 27th which became a Texas Cavalry Brigade. In Fold3 I read the records of over 5000 men. These records were the morning reports of their units. They said they were there. If they were sick, on leave, on detail, deserters, dead or prisoners of war. I was able to look at battles from a new light. When a commander said he lost men or captured men the morning report gave details. For almost a year I battled a battle site director about my brigade and its strength. He was a liberal and said the battle reports said the units were at about 80% strength. The Texas Brigade had been in war for over 2 years before his battle. The war in Texas was being fought on four fronts. In Georgia, in Virginia, in Texas and in New Mexico. There were no replacements. Replacements came from brothers who came to age, and from a few picked up along the way. The North just called up more. I have read books on battles, reports, morning reports and tales from the local community. I see history being modified. In battle fields I see signs changed and woke data placed for the public to learn. Union reports are updated. Famous historians are changing history. The Great Courses is also woke. I would guess that schools are passing this woke version of History on to the students. We will have to get time machines to validate history in the future. PS: My gga was in Missouri which led me to investigate. She and her husband were in Texas when my GGF joined the Confederacy. They then moved to Missouri. I have not been able to find kin who know of their history.

  8. BOBBIE says:


  9. Howard Mann says:

    Yes. Ang Lee produced “Ride with the Devil ” starring Toby McGuire and Jewel. I had friends that were re-enactors in it. Based on a book called “Wildwood Boys” I think.

  10. B.A.Boissonnas says:

    Quantrill’s Raiders is a 1958 American CinemaScope Western film directed by Edward Bernds and starring Steve Cochran, Diane Brewster and Leo Gordon.

    A Civil War guerilla gang plans an attack on a Kansas arsenal:

    Confederate Captain Alan Westcott, posing as a horse supplier for the army, is ordered to infiltrate the Union lines and contact William Quantrill to arrange a raid on the arsenal at Lawrence, Kansas. Westcott meets and falls in love with Sue Walters. Westcott’s activities and associations begin to cause the Union vigilante committee to become suspicious of him, and he moves quickly in utilizing the Quantrill raiders. After laying their plans to attack Lawrence, Westcott learns that the arsenal is being moved out by wagon trail. He calls off the attack on Lawrence in favor of attacking the wagon train, but Quantrill pulls a treacherous double-cross and rides into Lawrence on a personal mission of bloodshed, murder and looting.—Les Adams

  11. Salvatore R DeRosa, USAF, Retired says:

    Those “Rebels” and “Yankees” were NOT friends but deadly enemies of each other. So what happened, happened. Some was recorded, some passed down stories. So just believe what story you want. There is no need to split one another. This is the greatest nation in the world, the United States of America!

  12. John M Davis says:

    One of the reasons for Quantrill’s raid was retaliation for the Jayhawker’s sacking and burning of the Missouri town of Oceola. The Jayhawkers looted and burned all but three of 800 buildings in Oceola in September of 1861 as well as freeing 200 or more slaves and executing a number of residents. Brig General Lane of the Jayhawkers lad the Oceola raid and was present in Lawrence was attacked. He hid in a cornfield on the outskirts of town in his nightshirt during the raid.
    Little is said or the Oceola event when discussing the Lawrence Raid. Writing history goes to the victors. I do not condone either of these events. Attacks against civilians and noncombatants is abhorrent in the moral sense no matter the reason or era.. I only am writing this to give additional facts on the motives of many of the men who rode with Quantrill on the Lawrence Raid in seeking justice for the actions of the Jayhawkers at Oceola.

  13. Loren Meigide says:

    More Americans died in the civil war than the combined total in all the wars since then. This should be a sobering fact no matter which “side” your perspective comes from

  14. A. D. Walker says:

    Paul R. Petersen wrote a series of books with objective research on Quantrill. Quantrill at Lawrence: The Untold Story is a good read nothing is sugar coated. It provides factual information unlike writings by early KS historians whose hatred of Missouri taints most people’s understanding of the era. Many of the men killed that day were hardly noncombatants.

  15. kaythegardener says:

    “Bloody Kansas” guerrilla warfare between Northern & Southern supporters in that region (not just KS) lasted for nearly a decade before the official start of the wider Civil War…
    So it would be more accurate to say that the conflict lasted 15 years instead of only 5!!

  16. sidney orr says:

    JA, your well-written, reliable, and unbiased articles are appreciated by the literati. All of those qualities are apparent. And, its a relief to encounter no politics, nor wokeness!

  17. Cynthia Parker says:

    General Order #11 destroyed most of the support Quantrill and his raiders had in the area, so after Baxter Springs Quantrill and his raiders went south to Sherman, Texas. At first they were welcomed by the residents, but their drunken lawlessness quickly wore out their welcome. An article by Evault Boswell tells about their actions in Sherman, but even more interesting the stories of what happened to the raiders and their leaders.

    “Quantrill’s Raiders in Texas, The outlaws who tormented Sherman” by Evault Boswell. ( )

  18. Pamela Baughman says:

    More than 180 men and boys were murdered in Lawrence on August 21. While Quantrill insisted than no women or girls be harmed, many men were killed in front of their families. We Kansans and Lawrence residents are fully aware of atrocities committed by Jayhawkers over the border, we are also fully aware of the violence perpetrated by Missourians and other pro-slavery men in the years before the raid and the Civil War as they attempted to force slavery on the Free Staters in Kansas — this a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act which allowed residents of those states to choose how their state entered the Union. The stories of that horrible morning in Lawrence can’t be justified by the anger of the Missourians. There is no possible way to paint their actions as excusable. Every year on Memorial Day, our Lawrence newspaper prints an insert that includes the names of those who died in the in the American wars, starting with the Civil War. The Civil War alone is the longest list. Add to that the list of Quantrill’s victims, who included men who happened to be staying at the Free State Hotel, not even Lawrence residents — in some cases their full names are still unknown. Is it any wonder that some antipathy still exists between the two states?

    • Lynne A Larson says:

      Thank you, Pamela Baughman. My great- grandfather and his brother were teenagers, working at a jeweler’s shop in Lawrence, when this happened. They think they only survived as Quantrill knew them – he had been their teacher in Lawrence a few years previously. ( Quantrill had a list of men he was targeting, but it seems that things got completely out of hand.) He and his men crossed crossed the family property on their way to Lawrence and took several horses. I ‘ve heard this story since I was very young, and have letters from the family regarding this.

  19. rogerhanson says:

    Antipathy, hatred, resentment, vindictive, are all learned traits and the division of people is being taught through out our country today, if we all worked out our differences verbally with resolution we would all be better for it unfortunately government management and foreign entities don’t want it that way because of the Old slogan “divide and conquer” with that division we ALL are slaves, they are using everything that you give up to control us all.

  20. Doug Church says:

    Enjoyed the article. Missouri found itself in a unique, and not at all desirable condition before, during and after the Civil War, due to its geographical and political position. The Missouri state government declared itself as ‘Neutral’ causing a great deal of confusion, resentment and rampant lawlessness from both sides. Missouri was nearly a frontier state and had only rudimentary law and order. Missouri had the richest lead deposits in the entire US, making it mandatory for possession. Which U. S. Grant did, ruthlessly.

    Missouri had numerous ‘fighting’ groups actively fighting within its borders:
    1. Union Soldiers
    2. Confederate Soldiers
    3. Union Militia (State soldiers)
    4. Confederate Militia (State soldiers)
    5. Union Guerillas/Raiders/Bushwhackers
    6. Confederate Guerillas/Raiders/Bushwhackers
    7. Bandits and Gangs

    Each of these groups pretty much did what ever they wanted as far as fighting, stealing, molesting and murdering in Missouri. Imagine leaving your home in the morning and being stopped by a relatively un-uniformed mob and asked for identification, knowing full well if you gave them the wrong ID you would most likely be killed. Or, let’s say you wanted your neighbor’s farm or wife and you only had to report them to one of the less ‘regular’ folks mentioned above. Wahlah! Farm and or wife were yours! Each day was lived in abject fear. Never knowing who was who, what was what, friend or foe? Multiply this with all the death and carnage that took place for 5 – 7 years before and during the war. The psychological scars were deep and mind bending.

    Missouri was, and is, indelibly, scarred by the not so Civil War. The pre Civil War politics is still in place, in many ways, although perhaps subconsciously. St. Louis and its surrounds are still inclined, in many ways, toward the sympathies of the South, and Kansas City is more inclined toward the sympathies of the North. This is further identified in how these geographical areas handled the ‘annexation’ movements of the 1940-1960’s. St. Louis was completely constrained to remain within its pre 1900’s borders, primarily due to Jim Crow Law sentiments of its surrounding communities. Many of which were created, specifically, to maintain segregation. Kansas City, on the other hand, annexed and expanded exponentially, especially during the 1950-1970’s in partnership with its neighboring communities. In 1960 St. Louis was still the shining star of Missouri with a population of more than 750,000. Today, the star of Missouri is Kansas City with a population of about 510,000 with St. Louis at around 303,000.

    The effects of the Civil War are still very much with, and within, us.

  21. Doug Church says:

    Sacking of Osceola
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sacking of Osceola
    Part of the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War
    Date September 23, 1861
    Osceola, Missouri
    Union victory

    Plundering and burning of Osceola
    200 slaves freed
    Outrage and hatred among Missourians lead them to sacking of Lawrence

    United States Kansas Irregular Jayhawkers
    Confederate States of America Citizens of Osceola
    Commanders and leaders
    James H. Lane
    Kansas Brigade
    Casualties and losses
    17 killed
    8 wounded 9 executed

    Operations to Control Missouri
    The sacking of Osceola was a Kansas Jayhawker initiative on September 23, 1861, to push out pro-slavery Southerners at Osceola, Missouri. It was not authorized by Union military authorities but was the work of an informal group of anti-slavery Kansas “Jayhawkers”. The town of 2,077 people was plundered and burned to the ground, 200 slaves were freed and nine local citizens were court-martialed and executed.

    Following Sterling Price’s secessionist Missouri State Guard victory over General Nathaniel Lyon’s Union army at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Price continued his goal of keeping control of Missouri from the Unionists.

    Guerilla leader James H. Lane—often called the leader of the Jayhawkers—organized 1,200 troops to resist Price’s invasion into Kansas. Price defeated Lane at the Battle of Dry Wood Creek near Fort Scott, Kansas. Lane retreated and Price continued his offensive further into Missouri to the Siege of Lexington.

    While Price moved North, Lane launched an attack behind him. After crossing the Missouri border at Trading Post, Kansas on September 10, Lane began an offensive moving East on Butler, Harrisonville, Osceola and Clinton, Missouri.

    The climax of the campaign was on September 23, 1861, at Osceola, where Lane’s forces drove off a small Southern force and then looted and burned the town. An artillery battery under Capt. Thomas Moonlight shelled the St. Clair County courthouse. According to reports, many of the Kansans got so drunk that when it came time to leave they were unable to march and had to ride in wagons and carriages. They carried off with them a tremendous load of plunder, including as Lane’s personal share a piano and a quantity of silk dresses. Lane led hundreds of slaves to Kansas and freedom. The troops moved northwest and arrived at Kansas City, Missouri, on September 29, to pursue Price as he retreated south through the state.

    Osceola was captured and then plundered, with Lane’s men freeing 200 slaves and taking 350 horses, 400 cattle, 3,000 bags of flour, and quantities of supplies from all the town shops and stores as well as carriages and wagons. Nine local men were rounded up, given a quick drumhead court-martial trial, and executed. All but three of the town’s 800 buildings burned; the town never fully recovered.

    Lane’s raid stirred hatred that led to William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, leading in turn to the depopulation of four counties of western Missouri under General Order No. 11.

  22. Jim Keller says:

    History is to be remembered good and bad,
    If we don’t learn from it then we’re no higher a life form than any other animal on the earth.
    Our ancestor’s feelings were no different than what is going around in our present day.
    I am glad fold3 gives us these tidbits of our past.

    • Tom M. says:

      Agreed. And in response to someone who wrote that “history is being re-written!” Well, that happens once a generation throughout the world in all facets of history. Every generation brings its own culture and experience to bear upon the facts of the past. The Union “fought the war to eliminate slavery.” Then the “Lost Cause” story took over for a while. Then slavery’s legacy was talked about and it’s pernicious effects on civil rights. Then the seesaw back to “State’s Rights”. It’s interesting. I started reading a bit of Mexico’s history, and that country’s view of the Texas War of Independence. And then you read some journals from that time about how the Mexican government had no right to infringe upon the right of Louisiana’s plantation owners to bring their slaves into Mexican territory. Was it the cause of the war, or just one of several factors? Depends on who you ask, and what filter you view it through.

    • William K Nolan says:

      Lincoln initiated the war to preserve the Union. Slavery came about as an issue in 1863 with the proclamation to try to cripple the south. You are rewriting history as you write. A correct writing states what happened each day. The causes are fiction developed by both sides to justify their actions. That is not history.

  23. George Hunter says:

    Years ago, I wrote a screenplay regarding the Centralia MO massacre on September 27, 1864, that was participated in by the same group of bushwackers, including “Bloody Bill Anderson” and the James brothers. At the time, Lawrence Kansas and Centralia Missouri were publicized as two examples of the interstate animus between the Kansas Jayhawkers and the Missouri Bushwackers over the issue of slavery that preceded the Civil War. The screenplay was based on a diary written by a Union sergeant (Goodman) that had the unfortunate luck to be on a train that pulled into the Centralia station after the 9:00 am attack on the town. As many of the Confederate guerillas had worn various articles of Union uniforms, the train engineer stopped for them. Out of about 125 passengers, 25 Union solders were separated out (who were headed home on leave and were thus unarmed). With the exception of Sgt. Goodman, who was to be exchanged for members of Anderson’s party, the remaining soldiers were stripped of their uniforms, lined up on the platform and murdered in cold blood by Anderson and his men. Around 3:00 pm, a unit of rather green Missouri Union mounted troopers (about 140) sought to engage the 80 or so guerillas, but were soundly defeated with 120 killed and only one wounded when the two units charged each other outside the town. Anderson’s men suffered less than 10 casualties in the one-sided engagement. If my memory serves, the sole Union prisoner from the train, Sgt. Goodman was held for a period of time in the company of Anderson’s guerillas, before escaping and making his way back to Union lines.

    • STR says:

      George, thanks so much for sharing the details about Sgt. Goodman and the Centralia MO massacre on September 27, 1864. I had heard about it but not the details you shared.

      Another anniversary is coming up and took place earlier in the war (in southwest Missouri near Springfield, Missouri). The Battle of Wilson’s Creek (August 10th. 1861) was the largest battle west of the Mississippi River also played an important part in the Civil War. The combined number of forces engaged was over 16,000 soldiers. Fought just twenty days after the Union defeat at Manassas in Virginia, Wilson’s Creek was the second major Confederate victory of the war. It doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it was a major battle.

      Hopefully, your story may prompt some folks to explore more of our history about the Centralia, MO Massacre, MO and the Battle of Wilson’s Creek near Springfield, MO.

    • SKV says:

      George, I would be so interested in reading your account of the Centralia event. I had a great-great uncle who was one of the 25 soldiers singled out on that train. Him and a childhood buddy being within miles of home. I’ve heard his story my entire life and always wanted to visit the area but still haven’t!
      So many, many stories such as these being lost in history because of people not wanting our bloody and ugly history to be true – therefore re-writing to suit their agenda! History is not for us to rewrite, but rather for us to learn from and become a better nation and humans in general! Learn from the past or we are bound to repeat it!

  24. Paul Nelson says:

    One way history is kept alive is by being re-interpreted and re-written. It MUST be re-written as new sources appear and new questions arise. The basic facts don’t change. In this case, Quantrill committed an atrocity on behalf of the slave power.

    • Domaku says:

      Agreed. Atrocities happened on both sides, yes, and Quantrill was a terrorist and mass murderer. We need to keep revealing what we know about history, and updating as we learn new information. Someone commented that we are “rewriting” history. No, not at all. We must encourage more and more clarity as more information is discovered.

  25. Samuel Chapin Post Jr. says:

    David McCullough in his biography on Harry Truman, relates the story of Truman’s mother being a 12-year-old prisoner in the house that collapsed in Kansas before the Lawrance raid. Apparently, she had a life-long dislike for Abraham Lincoln and refused to stay in the Lincoln bedroom when her son was in the White House.

    • Frank Bruno says:

      This is a really cool point. As many of us have said, history is so much more than the grinding we got in primary or secondary school.

  26. Frank Bruno says:

    I found this collection of pieces very worthwhile. Of course our perspective is heavily influenced by both relatives and the ground itself that we grow up in. Neither of my parents was born in this country, which gives me a pass (mostly) on much of our national sadness. Thank you all for your contributions.

  27. Terance Huffman says:

    I remember when I was a kid growing up in Wichita, that the annual football game between Kansas and Missouri still had a little extra significance going on that I couldn’t fully understand at the time. That KU were the “Jayhawks “ probably added to it. I also remember my Aunt Mildred who was probably born around 1918 claimed that Jesse and Frank James were close relatives in her family tree. I can still remember when she would talk about Jesse her eyes would light up . She was so proud of him, and said he was still loved by everyone in the area that her family was from.

  28. Mark Soderlind says:

    Did he kill 150 or not? Is that a fact?
    I think that was the point? Has nothing to do with wokeness?
    It sure seems complex when you consider the records from the frontier would be very highly biased depending on who you ask. To assume precise authority and absolute validity on either “side” 150 years later seems like a stretch.

  29. Roger Thornhill says:

    “Lincoln initiated the war to preserve the Union. Slavery came about as an issue in 1863 with the proclamation to try to cripple the south. You are rewriting history as you write.” ??
    I seem to remember from reading them, that each state’s article of succession included slavery as an issue. Lincoln did not initiate it as an issue, nor did he initiate the war.

    • Paul Nelson says:

      You are so right. Slavery was THE issue throughout the 1850s and the 1856 presidential election. Why did secession occur upon Lincoln’s taking office. He had made clear that the nation could not survive half-slave and half-free. That was what the Republican Party was all about. The Confederate Constitution enshrined slavery. It’s amazing how many deniers there are out there.

  30. Ken Hale says:

    I have been searching through the box of Hale family stuff which has been handed down since late 1600’s. When I passed from 1797 Alexander Hamilton’s writings defending himself from a witch hunt. And warning about factions that repeat lies until they are thought to be truths, without any authentication, just that they are known true, so as to discredit the only people that are telling the truth. I thought of resent activities.
    Then getting to this article and everyone bringing up the date the slavery issue became relevant. I came across a printed record of “minutes of the proceedings of the 9th American convention for promoting the abolition of slavery and improving the condition of the African race: assembled at Philadelphia in January 9th, 1804 lasting till January 13 1804.”
    Delegates from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware.
    This was an organized group of politicians to get the word out 60 years before civil war that this practice of racial exploitation would have irreversible damages on mankind.
    I dont have any record that this publication was ever was read into the congressional record but I find it extremely interesting. Somewhere around one thousand printed.

    Also in this box are 22 letters,first hand accounts by my ggf to my ggm during the entire trip up the Mississippi with the iron clad’s taking out fort hudson. Col Oliver Hale jr Connecticut 25th company h
    Sorry for distracting from original article. I just find info especially important today!

  31. Truth for all says:

    The article does not mention that the slavers/confederatess were all part of the peace and fun loving DEMOCRAT Party, and the abolitionists were part of the evil hate filled REPUBLICAN Party. Conveinent for a liberal blog.

    • STR says:

      Pretty scary that you think the Official Fold3 blog is a liberal blog when they provide all kinds of data and FACTS about our shared history and our wonderful military thru the years.

      The article in this blog and the facts were about William Quantrill a “Deserter” who led a Confederate guerrilla group who massacred over 150+ folks.

      The names “Bushwhackers / Jayhawkers” were what both groups were called (just a fact).

      The facts about Slavery are not in dispute and trying to turn a factual article into something political is pretty petty and beneath the purpose of the mission of Fold3 .

  32. TM says:

    Interesting read. I loved learning History in school and still do, thanks for sharing this. If it wasn’t for history, I believe we wouldn’t be here today. We need to know about it & it still needs to be taught in schools, without judgements. I know when I was in school, students thought I owed them something, my family came over on boats from Italy, in 1907 & 1910, none of my family was here during these times. So, it’s unbeknownst to me why some people assume, some families have been here for hundreds of years.

  33. Will Bonner says:

    Southern heritage is being destroyed by the woke leftist liberals. We could use a Lee , Jackson , Stuart , & yes a Quantrill today. Some excellent comments posted. Deo Vindice.

    • Domaku says:

      Southern White heritage?
      My grandson is a descendent of slave holders. I hope he grows to learn more about the people his family enslaved. I would never want to put blinders on him, and nor should he feel ashamed of his past, but I sure hope he is outraged by what was done, and that things some of his ancestors did were pretty awful.
      On the other hand, America is a melting pot, and this same kid will learn about his immigrant ancestors (Irish, English, Italian, Hungarian etc) and their hardships, as well.

    • William K Nolan says:

      Some immigrants were sold into slavery and some even had iron collars and were side by side with the other slaves. I am Irish and do not think about the way that the people in the 1800s acted. I read and understand. I have no shame about those actions, because I would not do what was normal in those days. But I see people doing some of these bad issues today and I wish them some understanding, and know it will never happen. My grandfather did not know that his father fought in the Civil War or War of Northern Aggression. My father who fought in the First World War would have loved to have known that his grandfather fought in the war for Texas. My parents were raised in the deep south. Florida and Georgia. It was their nature to have racial feelings. I spent 31 years in the Army. I have studied the Civil War for 22 years. Do I still have racial feelings. Yes when I see the destruction of Southern Statues. No race has a right to judge another. But (hate that word) when I see some one doing something I know is wrong, no matter their reason, I become angry and want to stop them. It is not racial. As I watched the Capitol on 1/6/21 I was angry at those that damaged windows and doors, those that acted as ushers and directed traffic. I was not angry at those walking around. I was angry at those that pushed through the police and fought to enter. There was an evil element there, but not the Mega crowd. The hate I see at the Mega people punished without justification. I hate this same type of feeling in these discussions.

  34. Michael says:

    I agree with author Charles Dickens that the cause of the WBTS was “wholly fiscal” and that slavery was just an excuse for the North to invade the South. Slavery, as noted by Dickens, was just incidental to it all. Three-fourth of slave produced cotton in 1860 was processed in New England cotton mills. New York bankers lent money to Southern plantation owners to buy slaves. The South produced two thirds of the world’s cotton, and Lincoln started the war to protect his cotton revenues. “How about my revenues” he complained to a peace committee that met with him just before the firing on Fort Sumter, stating “I might as well as close up shop now.” Lincoln deliberately broke an armistice between South Carolina and the U.S. Government by reinforcing Fort Sumter. To break an armistice is an act of war. I write as one who had two a great-grandfathers who fought on opposite sides in that war, and the South was right.

  35. Charley Hart says:

    “History” is rarely wholly accurate, yet difficult to change when new evidence comes to light. Look at how long it took the Marine Corps to officially change the names of the men who raised the flag on Iwo
    Jima. Perhaps a better example is Columbus, who we know did not discover America (as he arrived years after the Norse and the Spanish). Further, today, academia believes that Columbus was not even Italian but Catalan. But what is being taught in schools? What were you taught? I suggest one find a very specific niche that interests you and learn everything you can about it. Only then will you be able to speak with expertise, and possibly advance our knowledge of history.

  36. Vince Timko says:

    My 4x great grandfather and Quantrill’s grandmother were brother and sister, making him my 2nd cousin 4 times removed. Interestingly, we share a common ancestor in William Heyser, a Revolutionary War hero. And my 2x great grandfather, Elias Heyser, was a Civil War hero in Ohio.

  37. Mary says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m glad to hear a researched version of the 19th century “Border War”. (I can see from the other comments, however, that the War is not over.)
    I grew up in Missouri in the 1940-1960s and knew little of the role of confederates within the state. My family had been on both sides a hundred years earlier. (Folks of German, French and Scottish ancestry.) My history-teacher father was clearly not a fan of the CSA.
    But when I got to Mizzou in 1961 I experienced the “Border War” in every aspect of college life. Students from all over the state brought their heritage with them and expressed it freely – on the football field, in class discussions, in fraternity choices, and more. At Mizzou – “Jayhawk” and KU were dirty words.
    For the last 50 years I’ve lived in Virginia – where the War is not history, but present day. Every county in VA has a preserved battle field – protected by the US government regardless of which side won. My children and grandchildren have ancestors that fought on both sides – in the same battles.
    But I’m always glad to learn about of historical events in the Mid-west. I guess because I am inundated with the role of Virginians in American History.

  38. Truth for all says:

    STR you are naive if you think that mentrioing the political affiliation of abolitionists and slaver/confederatess is “petty”. If your organization is truly committed to education, it WOULD NOT have left out FACTS about political party affiliation. After all, if you want to educate people, teach them that those who ignore history or try to LEAVE OUT particular facts, are doomed to repeat it. There is a lesson for your organization to teach!

    • Robert Steen says:

      Again, you miss the point (Truth for all). Fold3 provides access to a plethora of military records, including photos, stories, and personal documents of the men and women who served throughout our proud history.

      It helps us connect with our past and assists with obtaining information about our heroes and family members that may not be readily available (to ensure we do not ignore history).

      It has helped me connect with and confirm my southern roots all the way back to the Revolutionary War and the discovery that I am a direct descendent of a Patriot who gave his life during the war for independence (of which this information is invaluable to me). In addition, I was also able to discover which South Carolina Infantry Regiment my GGF was assigned to and discovered a picture of his headstone. This information and the facts they provide are invaluable to the millions that research their families history using sites as Fold3.

      The ability to access all of this vital information hopefully helps us avoid the mistakes of the past in order not to repeat it. The article specifically was about the horrific Lawrence Massacre being one of the bloodiest events of the Kansas-Missouri border war (of which, the 159th anniversary is soon approaching). This just may be too much for you to understand or comprehend.

  39. Gary Justus says:

    Now I’m beginning to understand why my grandparents had negative things to say about Quantrill’s Raiders. They stole my great-grandfather James Allen Justus’s horses in northern Arkansas! He was a Confederate soldier in Col. Shaver’s Arkansas Regiment.

  40. V. Kinzey says:

    Go to Lawrence KS, and read in the archives, the actual newspaper accounts. Interesting!

    • Robert Steen says:

      You are spot-on with your response and suggestion to go to Lawrence, KS and dive into the archives which includes 1st had accounts as documented and the actual newspaper accounts.

  41. Theresa Marie Sparkman says:

    It has been more than 150 years since the Civil War and the wounds have not healed on either side. T was brutal on both sides. Families were split. Innocent civilians were killed on both sides. I am praying that we can heal.

    • Lawrence M Smith says:

      Very interesting history of Lawrence and Kansas. My great grandfather, Ludwig Schmitt, an immigrant from Germany, joined the Union army at Ohio City, Ks.. In 1863, near Lawrence. He served in Co.D, 12th Inf. Regiment, Kansas Volunteers. He was stationed at Fort Riley. He served three years and was discharged in 1865. He likely lived through the Lawrence massacre. Ludwig was granted homestead property after discharge.

  42. John Sweeney says:

    Well, you committed the part where John Brown’s Kansas raiders stuck it to Missouri formers and slave owners with raids and killings. It was Brown’s “taking the war to the slavers” that started Bleeding Kansas. Today’s he’s an honored terrorist in the Kansas State Capitol building.

  43. Gary Howell says:

    The Civil War was everything but civil. Make no mistake, the Quantrill Raid was a lawless act but there were a lot of atrocities from both sides. My great grandfather was, like his 3 brothers, a yeoman farmer in Mississippi. Once Vicksburg fell, the Union Army burned and looted a path from Vicksburg through Jackson. The small village they lived in had anything valuable—horses, cows, hogs, grist mills, wagons, houses—either looted or burned. Civil War history ought to be a required course in school. It left so many scars, both North and South, that have never been completely healed. Today, we have at least 2 generations who have no idea what the Civil War and its aftermath mean.

    • Doug Church says:

      It’s not just the younger folks. I live in a retirement community in Florida and when I shared with the folks from the North about the Civil War’s effects on Missouri, my home state, they were flabbergasted. They had no idea of what happened outside the North. No idea about the horrors, psychological (PTSD) inflicted on the South, that are still having affects today. These are VERY well educated folks here. The Civil War simply was a war to them. Their family’s history’s simply had no idea what happened outside of their sphere during and after the Civil War. They understood abstractly, but not personally like EVERYBODY did in the South.

      Here’s a thought, How about a documentary series on “The Civil War, Our First National PTSD, and Its Ongoing Affects Today”.

    • KDLP says:

      I agree that there are generations of Americans who do not have an accurate picture of the Antebellum Period. Slavery was an international institution that was built to provide labor
      to the colonies of America (later United States) and the Sugar Plantations of Caribbean Region. It was built upon greed (ever increasing demand for North American goods (sugar, cotton, rice, etc.) and racism. It , slavery, was a very expensive institution. Cost of slaves increased when Importation of Slaves to North America was “outlawed” and “Slave breeding” in the Upper South became a reality. This, breaking up of slave families in the Upper South mimicked what African Villagers had experienced for many centuries. The lives of slaves was hard and most of the time short due to poor living conditions, climate, breaking up of families, disease, and cruel masters. We must not forget so we will allow this to happen again.

  44. Chris McClain says:

    My elementary school class rooms had a picture of the Order #11, showing the burning and looting of eastern Jackson County Missouri. We were encouraged to think of Lincoln as the one who ordered this. I have managed to get over this broad stroke of propaganda.

    • Go back to the post by KDLP.
      I have a mistype and please correct this. I left out the word NOT in the last sentence. I have unable to make the correction. Slavery was and is WRONG. Several of my ancestors here in the mountains of Virginia owned slaves and were slave breeders. They knew it was wrong but they
      were financially greedy. Slavery is wrong and labor issues it was initially suppose to solve did nothing but spread misery, cruelty, and racism across the south. I am so glad it is no more.

  45. V. Kinzey says:

    My maternal great grandfather was taken prisoner at the Battle of Shilo and held in Federal Prison in ST. Louis, MO. He was there for 3 months when over-crowding in the prison caused the transfer of some prisoners and some were allowed to sigh an Oath of Amnesty and permitted to go home, which he did. While there he made friends with the man in charge of the “jail”. Later on after he had moved from TN to AR with his family, he had a tree nursery on Short Mountain, Logan Co. AR and one day was visited by two young women who were the daughters of his jailer. His son fell in love with one of the young women and as they say, the rest is history.

    • STR says:

      V. Kinzey, that is a GREAT story and one that was passed down to you and now others know that friendships thru unspeakable hardships were formed. Thanks for sharing.

    • V. Kinzey says:

      My pleasure! I love history. My husband and I were working on his family history and it took us to Lawrence KS. I loved reading the old newspapers there. His great grandfather was scalped in the Last Indian raid in Rawlings, KS. The old gentleman who spoke no English, was just trying to be friendly by offering the Indians food. We visited the home site and saw his likely burial spot.

  46. drum61 says:

    Why are there so many right-wing nut jobs on this site? I enjoy reading the blog posts, then either laugh at the absurdity or feel sorry for the stupidity in the comments.

  47. Angela says:

    I have heard the name Quantrill in old western movies as a child. Didn’t know why he was a baddie. This has given some explanation. Thank you.
    I’m Australia.

  48. Richard Black says:

    The Corwin Amendment would have allowed the South to keep their slaves. With proposed legislation such as this by the North, it certainly destroys the narrative that the North fought the Civil War to free the slaves. They were just as content to allow the south to keep slavery if it meant no war. At the same time, many State secession instruments do indicate slavery as a institution that they wished to save through their secessionist activities. Lincoln even spoke how, if he could prevent war by preserving slavery, that he would do that! In 1861 the war for the North is documented in a bonified manner to not be about slavery, but, preserving the Union. Tennessee’s secession documents stated nothing about slavery. The war was about a many number of things to many people. It’s a very complex under taking to accurately explain the cause of the war. But, there is no doubt about Kansas and Missouri. They had been fighting the war prior to Lincoln. Some point to the failure of the Missouri Compromise as the cause. All sides had their role to play. Because of that, we are who we are today. My near relatives never would have met and I would not have been born had it not been for the Civil War. It threw my family into an western exodus, that would not have occurred if there were no war. For me (and I imagine most of you too) to exist, the war had to happen just like it did. Most of my kin were Confederate, but had US Grant not paroled the captured in Vicksburg…I would not be here today. I don’t typically take sides on the Civil War. It’s mostly misunderstood and it’s impact to todays United States cannot and should not be underestimated. There was no “one” cause. If there was never slavery, would you recognize America today? It was a travesty of human behavior, but was an integral part of our American Tapestry. Can you imagine the world without “The Blues”, without “Rock and Roll” and “Jazz”. Part of me wishes slavery never happened in America. But there wouldn’t be a me if that were the case…and most likely not a you either.

  49. Lin Bress says:

    So many good points. When in school we only were taught dates and generals. Who cares? I wanted to know about the people. Hated history, until years later when I was doing genealogy. In regard to civil war my grandparents immigrated to this country in late 1800’s so no direct affect on them. As for who “discovered” this country, has everyone forgotten who was already here? What was done to them? Anyone remember hearing “the only good indian is a dead indian”? For that I recommend “An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortez. I found it fascinating reading.
    And by the way, please be civil, no excuse for name calling and abusive language. And what is this politicizing the entire discussion?

    • “War is the continuation of politics by other means” Carl Von Clausewitz
      The only way to win is through “Total War”.
      Funny thing, Quantrill was berated for engaging in total war. Then the North defeated the South by using it (Total War)

    • Bob Cagle says:

      Thank you Lin, your input is spot on!!

    • Brian Reynolds says:

      Well said, Lin. Unfortunately, we live in a time that there is an effort to erase history as if it didn’t happen. History is history and should be learned without bias.

    • Katherine Rubie says:

      Excellent comment.
      I’m very disappointed in the name-calling too. Resorting to schoolyard name-calling is much more common these days and is just fruitless, while just having an adult conversation seems to be a disappearing skill and this is why we can’t come to any understanding between us anymore. Can we start by ensuring we are offering constructive, valid, and truthful comments, rather than opinions? Then start listening to each other – REALLY listening – instead of picking up on one thing and reacting to it??? These skills are where good communication begins.

  50. Carl King says:

    Quantrill’s men also carried union uniforms and would switch as needed to hide or surprise union locations. Google Quantrill and Baxter Springs Kansas for a story.

  51. Cindy Hart says:

    Horrific event. Wondered why no mention of Osceloa, Missouri? “Remember Osceola” was said to be what the men yelled in Lawrence.

  52. William K Nolan says:

    I keep seeing the term boys and men killed. This is an incorrect statement. Boys are 12 and under. Teenagers or young men describes those killed at Lawrence. Most of these were above the age of 15 and already fighting in both armies. The youngest killed that day was 13-14. Only 106 men and teenagers died that day. Thirty four soldiers were killed. This gets us to 140. From 141 to 190 seems to be stretch. The youngest Quantrill Raider was a 13 year old whose father had been killed in a Union raid. An abolitionist raided Lawrence a few days before the raid and took most of the weapons. After the raid the the depopulation of 4 counties along the Missouri border. At each farm or small village all structures were burnt to the ground. All men killed. Women and children were forced into poverty and at the beginning of winter. Is this not a terrible event. All this was done in the name of war.

    • Correct, Mr. Nolan. Please read “Black Flag” by Thomas Goodrich. After reading the Prologue, you will not be able to put it down..

    • Jeff Wade says:

      I may be related to the thirteen year old. What is his name, if you know?

    • Cynthia L Wallace says:

      I have read many historical articles regarding this atrocity upon the town of Lawrence, Kansas, and never have I seen your version of this historical event. Could it be that your chronology is off?
      I have read local history and it is said the number of men and young men killed on this fateful morning was that of approximately 300…nearly all men of the town.
      It was after this ransacking and pilliaging that General Order #11 was enacted that 4 Missouri border counties were ordered evacuated.

    • Raymond J Nellis says:

      How do you know the ages of the younger men who were killed in this event? You haven’t cited any source.

    • William K Nolan says:

      Google it. There are many sources. Some by name and some with just numbers.I was tired of the boys and men. In the many sources I found I saw no children mentioned. Young men were killed. There are many instances how women saved their man. Instances how families survived in the corn fields. This was a massacre without question. I think with a few years of detail research we could find where families were lost, but I found none in a one day review. I did find that my family did not move to north east Missouri until 1870. Finding online detailed studies is fairly easy and some of the sources like the National Park Service are fairly good, though I often disagree with there battle comments. Also Wikipedia has good data, it is a document filled with comments like we are seeing in the Fold3.

    • Katherine Rubie says:

      I appreciate you pointing out a more detailed description of what is meant by “boys” and the apparent error in its use. But, I’m wondering if the term “boys” in this historical account comes from that time period, rather than a chosen word from this time period. I ask this, because it might be relevant to that time period to use “boys” rather than “teens” because of a different understanding of these terms. Did they use the word “teen” or “teenager” back then? If not, did they use “boys” to define what we would consider teens now? And would they have used “children” if kids younger than this affected age group had been killed? I don’t actually know the answers to these questions, but I think it might be worth looking into because we often impose terminology and interpretations of events on the past through the lens of current time periods. I think we all need to be mindful of this, because many errors have occurred in translating ancient texts, or interpreting historical accounts, by filtering it through modern words and ideas. I do know that at some point in human history we saw children as miniature adults, and it was also common for youth to work in many areas (clergy, farmers, smithing, mining, etc) right alongside adults. So, there may be a need for all of us to research when children were first seen as children, when teens were designated as “teens” rather than adults (or even children), and going further still when we decided teens were still kids rather than adults and when we assigned the age of 18 as the distinguishing point as which children become adults. This is important to our history too, so if you should discover the answers to these questions, I would be very interested in hearing what you find out.

      Also, I was wondering what happened to the women and children while reading this article, so I really appreciate you filling in that answer for me. All too often history is written about men, while women, and especially children, are often overlooked simply because they were seen as little more than property, or simply citizens without rights, and therefore lacking the qualifications needed to make contributions to history. One person here mentioned in their comments that in the US we are taught history by memorizing the names of important men in our history, the accomplishments they made, and the dates on which these events happened. This makes for some pretty boring history classes to be sure, but worse yet, we don’t make it relevant to half our population when we rarely discuss women. In this case, the women may not have had an accomplishment to focus on, but it certainly is important to know they were left homeless and defenseless – during a time of year when traveling, finding food, and clothing would have had severe limitations which would have been important to survival. I find your insight and comment very important to know and this speaks further to the brutality and harsh conditions of that event and time period.

    • Terry Weppler says:

      You state you are basing some of your comments on Wikipedia. That is a terribly unreliable source since anyone can add content and the content is often incorrect.

    • Rhonda Radford says:

      While reading you entry Katherine Rubie I was thinking that at that time wasn’t African Americans call boy? Could that be a plausible meaning?

    • Rhonda, I think that the definition of ‘boy’ is according to who wrote the history book. They use the word just like the media does today. If an MS-13 member rapes, robs and kills, and he’s 18 in two days, then the press will call him a child.
      Here in the old South, ‘boy’ was sometimes used as a term of endearment (Hey, boy) AND it can be a control method of someone working under you or (you think) lesser than you. A white Deputy can call out to an older white suspect, “come ‘ere boy”. Of course, sadly, it was used against Blacks.

  53. Gloria ODonnell says:

    I am like you with no love of history until I left school, although my father read history books since his first days in his one room school on the Canadian Prairies in 1921.
    My mother was Norwegian and born in 1916 from Ancestors first arriving in Minnesota. Her two grandmothers the only two of all the ancestors in Minnesota that ended up in Alberta. The story of my Great grandmother Lee and her neighbour Peggy Whitford a Cree First Nation woman married to a Scotsman and Peggys daughter Flora’s is their very own not a perspective of the memories of someone else. You can read the Whitford diaries and the testimony of Flora Chalmers in the Donalda Museum Archives. It is there I Found my Great Grandmother date of death on January 25-1907. Where she is buried is unmarked somewhere on the prarie. Half my ancestors in unmarked graves on those early homesteads. Deaths in 1903, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1927 all unmarked graves. Devastated by disease and dying before their children even started school. Thanks to these diaries I have found out what happened to my Great Grandmother Lee and the Cree woman who nursed her final night on earth.

    • Dawn (Tomoson) Whitaker says:

      What an incredible find those diaries are for you! I also have Norwegian ancestors from those time periods who settled in Minnesota, as I’m finding out many did. I would love it if I could find diaries or correspondence written by some of my family who lived during that time. It adds so much to the understanding of what they experienced.

    • A true, pure American family, Gloria. Genealogy and is a wonderful thing; to learn why we are who we are.

  54. Sue Young says:

    My mother in law’s great grandparents Christian and Sophia Metz survived the massacre through Sophia’s quick thinking. She rolled her husband up in a carpet and threw him out the window. Lucky none of the terrorists wanted a carpet

  55. Michael says:

    Todd, I can always tell when someone has lost an argument, when he himself knows that he has no case. That is when he, like you, resorts to name calling and sarcasm. My great-grandfather fought in a volunteer Pennsylvania Regiment in every major battle in the East from July 1861 to July 1864. His name is on a ten foot monument to his regiment on the Gettysburg Battlefield. And I still say the South was right.

  56. Marilyn Hassig Obee says:

    I am proud to be born and raised in the Free State of Kansas, in Kansas City, KS. Went to college at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. As with most of you, I had limited information of details (because I was not completely interested as a kid) but as an adult I’m soaking in as much history as possible. My interest grew with doing genealogy on both sides of my family.
    Thank you all for posting more history of your families. Thank you Fold3 for posting this. The comments have been fascinating!

  57. Shelley Hallman says:

    My Grandnother, Nora Casey, was born and raised in Southern Missouri in 1879. As a child in the early 1960s , along with other 4 th graders was given a very basic overview of the Civil war. Though all of her children had been born in Southern Missouri, by 1922 she, and their children, had moved to California so I was not “southern born -southern bred “ and knew little of American History other than the primarily fictional accounts presented in the television westerns. I went home from school and excitedly asked Grandma. who by then was over 80 years old, “Grandma, are we Union or Rebels side?” To my extreme shock she became very upset and angry and answered with tears in her eyes”. Don’t you ever ever talk like that again! What is done is done and can not be changed so leave the past alone! “ So even though the had been born 15 years after the Civil War the devasting effects on the area was still severely impacting the area . Her parents both had siblings who had served with the armies and died as a result of their wounds or crippled for life. Many of the girls were married between the ages of 13-15 , ( Nora and 2 of her sisters at age 13) because the families were property stricken and getting married eased the burden on their families. They were struggling to rebuild what had once been thriving farms to a level that could sustain the families . Both Nora’s Grandfather’s were dead by 1870 from war related issues . I was shocked when, as an adult and doing family research for genealogy. to discover that many of the women known to be related to her family were listed as widowed housekeepers or boarders in households in the same areas where the family had previously had their own households. The censuses from 1870 on ward shows that many of the widows were in their early to mid 30s to early 40s and the ages of the children indicated that they had been born in late 1850s to 1867 so more than a few were widowed due to the war and its aftermath.
    The context of a letter Luvica Casey, my Great Grandmother , mentions that their farm had a railway running through the fields and that they had been “ visited” by the Armies of both sides. There also is a proven story of a man associated with her family. I think her father’s cousin who managed to sneak back home to check on his wife and children. A soldier who was in the opposing Army happened to be in the Area and stopped by to check on his cousin , found that her husband , the earlier mentioned soldier, was there and shot him dead in front of his family .
    I had not recognized or even thought about the “ actual length” of wars. That realistically they continue way beyond the start and end dates given in history books. They begin was before and the collateral damage does not conclude for decades or often generations.

    • Katherine Rubie says:

      Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your family’s stories and your recollections of how the effects of war can continue to painfully live on for a person’s lifetime. You made a great point in saying that the start and end dates of wars go well beyond any official record of those start and end dates. This is so important to keep in mind, because it helps us the understand the context of why the war happened in the first place (didn’t just spring up out of nowhere for no apparent reason) and why people like your grandmother can feel so sensitive over an innocent question such as yours.

      Ignoring history does nothing for us, while knowing, acknowledging, and owning our history can help us to better avoid making the same mistakes and even to heal from those events. I feel badly for your grandmother because it is clear she carried a great deal of shame with her for all those years. I wish things could have been different for her. Imagine how much more happy she might have been, and what you could have learned about your own family history, had she been able to come to terms with her own experiences and been able to talk about it.

      It’s really unfortunate that so many people take on the attitude of “the past is the past,” because we really miss out on knowing more about their personal history and even the entire history of a town, a state, or a nation when we only hear one side of it. I know Southerners often get prickly when trying to talk to them about slavery, the Civil War, and other things about their past they don’t want to talk about. I’ve even witnessed a good many younger persons who don’t even fully understand their own history. That’s really very sad IMO.

  58. Cynthia L Wallace says:

    I have read many historical articles regarding this atrocity upon the town of Lawrence, Kansas, and never have I seen your version of this historical event. Could it be that your chronology is off?
    I have read local history and it is said the number of men and young men killed on this fateful morning was that of approximately 300…nearly all men of the town.
    It was after this ransacking and pilliaging that General Order #11 was enacted that 4 Missouri border counties were ordered evacuated.

  59. Gloria says:

    I wish educators would discuss:
    Could slavery have ended without a war? If yes is the answer how? If not why?
    We need that answer now as clearly heading towards WW3. North America is a mess.
    Covid has shown how easy power was taken away from the people. In my province a healthy young man out skating one evening wrestled to the ground by police and arrested. I can not wrap my head around that one and it has terrified me of the future of my grandchildren. Lockdown laws why, by who, how and for what?
    Is This story of what happened then happening right now in Ukraine? How can humans end evil?

    • By voting for constitutional republicans. (Please note the small letters)

    • Also, Gloria. the wokeism in academia today prevents us from learning the truth. That secession was constitutionally legal in 1860. Lincoln called up troops to put down the ‘rebellion’ of firing on Fort Sumter, a federal installation in the Charleston harbor, when the war was going badly for the North, they sought the higher moral ground and freed the slaves thus making it completely about slavery.
      The Southern states began their own undoing in 1861, thus ending slavery with the war (a good thing). IF the states didn’t secede, slavery would have ended, state by state; probably ending in the late 1880’s compliments of the Industrial Revolution.

    • Katherine Rubie says:

      Awesome questions Gloria. I know some of those answers, but honestly, it all comes down to power. Whomever is holding the reins gets to decide what part of history is told and the whys will be in that side of the story.

    • Zoey Brown says:

      Gloria, do you think it is reasonable for a government to institute mandates to prevent the transmission of contagious and life altering / deadly diseases? Do you think government has a role in public health?

    • Ray says:

      The US is the only country I know of that settled the issue of slavery by civil/sectarian war. Of course our situation was very different than any other country.
      Absent the Civil War the South would have freed the slaves by the late 1800s. This implies to me that (1) millions of White men lost their lives for almost nothing and (2) the almost nothing was really something – the preservation of the Union. Was it worth it?

    • Dr. P.G. Lovett says:

      Of course, slavery could and would have ended without a war that killed perhaps three quarters of a million Americans, destroyed property, and produced enormous bitterness that lives on today. Guessing at history is hazardous and mainly unproductive, but think for a minute about only one factor: relations between the freed and the rest of society in the South.
      Wars are mistakes.

  60. Connie Reineccius says:

    I was born in Lawrence, KS, and raised in the farmlands of Lawrence and Baldwin City and I didn’t know all of this information. It is truly amazing to find out some of these facts now. Especially since Lawrence was founded along the Oregon Trail (how did I miss that in history class?) because now I live in Oregon. It’s amazing how the two states are similar in so many ways. I love this article. Thanks for the eduction!

  61. J Horan says:

    To briefly answer the question of when are you a man or a boy. Research the Orphan Train history from Civil War to 1929ish. This is when our “ideas” of childhood were developed.

    • Judith Cohen says:

      I never knew about the Orphan trains until I was an adult. Not much teaching in Texas but about the Alamo and other Texas history. They were a different countries. Talking about the 50’s.

  62. Raymond Johns says:

    Just a personal observation if I may. It is my humble opinion that whether the person is a boy , a teenager or a young man is in the eye of the reader. It changes when it hits closer to home. Nations throughout history have sent their young men to fight their wars. To the nation 18 is a young man ready to fight for his country. To the general population 18 could be a boy. To his parents 18 is a child.
    I wish for the day when a nation’s leaders are forced to fight alongside the young men they send into the fray.
    On a side note , life expectancy in 1860 was about 40 years of age. So should we refer to someone that has reached the halfway point in his life , a boy?

    • William K Nolan says:

      In 1860 a 13 year old young men was doing hard work on farms and ranches. Only the rich were able to continue school. There were few laws in the south and west requiring schooling. Moms resisted 13-15 year old young men going to war, but recruiters sought 16-18 year olds who had size and strength. Even tough smaller young men were recruited. It was a tough time in the south and west. The north was beginning to civilize. But the time was 1860 not now. Eighteen year olds were graduating from college. Today it is twenty two or more. The college graduates were the ones who lived over 40. The ones who did not survive 40 started to work at 13 and it was not an easy life on a farm or ranch. It was a little better in towns and better in cities. In 1862 the Confederacy tried to get rid of those under 18 and over 45. Two years later, they accepted anyone who could fight or help. We see in Lawrence that Quantrills, youngest was 13. One of the young men killed in Lawrence was 14-15 and wearing a Union uniform. War blurs the edges of age. In WW2, Korea and Vietnam we had 13 year olds sneak in. Since then we have better screening, but you can bet men under 18 are still getting in to the services.

    • Jeff Wade says:

      Hello, I left a request before regarding the 13 year old “border ruffian”. My great grandfather was 14 when the war belle out, living in Jackson county, son of a “border ruffian” leader, who apparently was killed by “bushwackers” from Kansas. My great grandfather went to Texas and rode the trails a while. Any source you have about the 13 year old in Lawrence with Quantrill would be appreciated.

    • William K Nolan says:

      The 13 year old with the Quantrill Raid was Riley Crawford. This reference was found in a blog written by Michael Ruark.

  63. Ray Vick says:

    Family tradition is Guerrilla Tom Henry of Union County, Kentucky was part of the raiders. He was my 2g granduncle. He was shot in the mouth by Federals toward the end of the war, survived but was sent to prison for his guerrilla activities. Pardoned by Lincoln he married and had kids. Later in life he was a starter at the horse races in Paducah, KY along side his old friend Frank James. Descendants of relatives recalled them saying they sat on his lap at the races where he could not spit because of his war wound.
    His brother George was killed in Morganfield, Union, KY in 1863 in a skirmish with Union troops.
    I have collected stories about Guerrilla Tom in his Gallery in my Lrayvick1 tree in Ancestry.

    • Ray Vick says:

      I forgot to mention the ironies. My 2g grandparents were reportedly killed by Indians in 1863 in or near Kansas while exploring the idea of moving to Kansas from Indiana (after the war kin moved to Marshall County, KS on the Nebraska state line). I have always suspected they were Jayhawkers who were killed by Rebels.
      One of their granddaughters, my gm, married the grandnephew of Guerrilla Tom.
      My family has always been ambivalent regarding the Civil War in part because there were both Union and Confederates in the family and because our ancestor Piety Reese nee Vick was one of those murdered by Nat Turner’s mob in 1831.

  64. Ricky Turner says:

    James E. Walters Jr., you’re absolutely correct. Many slave owners in the South were also abolitionists. Consider that many “owners” reviled slavery, therefore they would commit to indenturement.. Refusing to “own” another human. Also forgotten were the white slaves who sold the selves for passage to the “Americas”. Another forgotten fact: the largest Plantations, (those with the highest number of black slaves), were owned by freed men. Ex-slaves who thru indenturement earned their freedom and bought slaves. They also denied the possibility of freedom to their own slaves.

    • Will says:

      Ricky Turner what is your source for the statement:
      … ” the largest Plantations, (those with the highest number of black slaves), were owned by freed men. Ex-slaves who thru indenturement earned their freedom and bought slaves. They also denied the possibility of freedom to their own slaves.”…
      Please share that info and enlighten us.

    • Ingrid Witherell says:

      Sources needed.

    • Ray says:

      I guess this should not become a discussion about slavery. Oh well.
      Most people have no understanding about the economics of slavery. A farmer’s slave would often be made part of a group of slaves which would be rented out to harvest a crop or perform other farm projects. This was using a slave like any investment. For the same reason I believe many slaves were reasonably well treated like any valuable asset.
      Another area of misunderstanding is why many Whites opposed slavery. Many people think it was moral opposition when in reality it was their wish not to compete with slave labor in the emerging states which in tune was a desire to be part of a society with fewer Blacks.
      These comments are not a moral judgment on slavery. We have tons of that already.


      Good treatment of the slaves??
      1) the average term of slaves in the sugar cane fields of the lower South & the Carribbean was about 18-24 months. Then the dead or sick or maimed ones had to be replaced with fresh slaves.
      2) why did so many slaves flee, redeem themselves, their relatives & their friends from slavery if it was so great??

  65. Michelle Conner says:

    Knowledge of history is a good thing, whether its good or bad. Most of my life I was ignorant of my family history. Born in East L.A. 1956 I grew up all around Southern California. My mother was Mexican American from Texas, my father was “white” and other than his mother which was from Utah ( pioneers of the Mormon Church) I thought was completely Californian. My parents split when I was young and I was raised in 2 households. It was a racially mixed upbringing. My father had remremarried and my step mother was black. We were raised to embrace all differences and I personally didn’t really notice the racial differences until my teenage years when I saw how different people were treated. All my parents encouraged me to speak up, to stand up against unjust treatment. In the 60’s I was involved in sit-ins for the support of strikes for rights of migrant farm workers with Caesar Chavez, partipated marches for the rights of Black men and women I even was at a demonstration in support for Angela Davis.
    It wasn’t until in my mid 40’s after I moved to Tennessee that my eyes were opened about my heritage. My father wrote me a letter stating his father was from Louisiana and he inherited some land and wanted me to find out about it. I was fascinated that our California roots only started with him (my sisters and I were the first Califorian’s on my mother’s side). I started my Ancestry search.. I discovered I am descendants of the Acadians, early settlements of Louisiana. Primarily Lafayette, Abbeville, St Martin’s Parish. Broussard, Guidry, Nunez to name a few. I was proud to discover my ancestors opposed English oppression in Canada which brought them to Louisiana and that my ancestor Joseph did Beausoliel was considered a Hero of the Acadian Resistance. But later being appalled in learning later generations being slave owners and my 3xgf was a Senator for Louisiana and voted for the secession. There were more proud and sad moments found in my WHOLE family history. But it is my history, good & bad. And it is encouraging to think how much has changed. I am a humanitarian, I’d like to think following in the footsteps of Joseph. But I will not hide from the truth. I will not desire a re-write nor hide of a truth. I enjoyed reading Jenny’s article and the comments. Learning more about the Lawrence Massacre, Quantrell’s raids, tensions between Missouri-Kansas border, Osceola etc. We can’t change the past but by learning, listening and discussing we can change the direction of our future

  66. I would like for everyone to see the 1999 movie by Ang Lee, “Ride with the Devil”. Tobey McGuire is the lead actor with Skeet Ulrich and Jewel. This movie is highly accurate, even the free Black Bushwhacker Daniel Holt. It chronicles the early years of the Kansas-Missouri border wars. I think I’m going to watch it again tonight.

    • Dale Boatright says:

      James, I bought the book the movie is based on at the state historical museum in Topeka. The book is titled “Woe to Live On.” It knocked me out! The cast of the movie was given a historical background briefing by Donald L. Gilmore who worked at the US Army’s Combat Studies Institute. Mr. Gilmore is descended from New England abolitionist forbears and four of his ancestors served in the Union army. Nonetheless, his years of study reflected in his “Civil War on the Missouri-Kansas Border” give the lie to most of the dogma propagated since the 1850’s. It was the people of Western Missouri who were under siege. Towns, farms, homes were burned and everything the Jayhawkers could steal found its way back to Kansas towns such as Lawrence. Even in the late 1850’s Kansas leaders feared that sooner or later Missourians would rise up and deliver retribution to some Kansas town over the murders and thievery of the Kansans. This included US Army cavalry units, Kansas militia units as well as Missouri unionist groups. Buffalo Bill Cody as a young man was a Red Leg (think Bill McKinney in “The Outlaw Josey Wales). He said later “We were the biggest gang of thieves on record.” Gilmore’s book makes plain what a savage place the Border country was and that Quantrill and his kind were doing what came natural to people to whom no quarter was given. I highly recommend Gilmore’s book.

    • Great info Dale, I still recommend “Black Flag” by Thomas Goodrich. Like I said in an earlier post, once you read the prologue, you won’t put it down..

  67. JT Steele says:

    Although I refuse to deny that the horrible raid on Lawrence was right in anyway, it’s doom was created by those who lived amongst themselves. Jim Lane and others had headquartered Lawrence as they felt out of reach to those that they raided in Missouri prior. If Lane would have located elsewhere then elsewhere would have received the attack. They had turned their home into a portion of this war amongst our ancestors. The massacre needs to be written and told about to hopefully prevent such again. I only hope that the story included the innocent Missourians that had been marauded by the Jayhawkers equally as loud.

    • J.T. and Dale, you’re very knowledgeable and tks for mentioning Senator James “Bloody Jim” Lane. Jim Lane organized the Kansas reg’ts that attacked the western Mo. counties and burned Osceola. Why, because he ‘heard’ that the Confederates had ‘stores’ there. They didn’t. But he robbed, stole, executed some citizens and then burned the town anyway. This was the first total warfare against citizens since our independence from England. THAT is why the raid on Lawrence occurred. BTW, after the war, he shot himself in the head at Leavenworth as he got out of a carriage; buried in Lawrence. Deo Vindice

  68. Phoebe Hemenway Armstrong says:

    Amos A. Lawrence was my great-great grandfather, for whom the town of Lawrence, Kansas was named. He was an abolitionist. His daughter, my great grandmother, Harriet Lawrence Hemenway, founded the Audubon Society and invited Booker T. Washington to her home in Boston because hotels would not take him.

  69. Howard Mann says:

    William K. Nolan…. Thank you for the link on Riley Crawford. However, the link comes up on Ruark’s page as “Page not Found”. Can you transcribe it or copy an paste what you have to this discussion?


  70. Howard Mann says:

    To Everyone……. I appreciate all of the comments but the ones related directly to ancestors intrigue me the most. I am interested in helping anyone track their family down, especially if it relates to either side of the Lawrence Massacre including the events leading up to it or following it. I have done a lot of research on Kansas and Missouri/Arkansas in the Civil War.

    I don’t charge for my work as I am semi-retired and find human stories to be interesting.

    I did post some stories a number of years ago on the St. Louis in the Civil War website and in the Blue and Gray Chronicles (Caroline Bartels).

  71. Rhonda Radford says:

    While reading you entry Katherine Rubie I was thinking that at that time wasn’t African Americans call boy? Could that be a plausible meaning?

  72. Geri Cooney says:

    I am disappointed this description seems to glorify Quantrill and the 450 Confederate Guerillas – highlighting their atrocities against humanity – including photos formal photos of the evil doers. I think it is important that we have knowledge of this horrible event – but I also think it should include more information about the victims that perished – photos and accomplishments – they are the martyrs and heroes of righteousness.

    • Atrocities against humanity? You mean like the robbing, shooting of civilians and burning of Osceola, a civilian town in Missouri, orchestrated by soon to be Sen Jim Lane in 1861 ?

    • William K Nolan says:

      Please do not let your morals judge history. Just read and understand what happened. Let your morals judge what you do now based on what you have read. Humans have messed up since they came out into the world. Some say Gods have come to guide man. Other say there is no God. Who is right. Your personal morals make that judgement. Not something you read about 1860. Nuff Said!

  73. Ermyle. Cornett says:

    My gt. Uncle. Geo Bedwell 1857-1934 married Carrie Belle Quantrelle 1864 Indiana 1958 Ca;
    Her mother’s name Bailey. I believe Charles Quantrelle was her uncle.

  74. Sue Olmsted says:

    I wonder if anyone has done a study of the 1865 Kansas STATE census for the counties where the survivors were moved. Did these devastated displaced family members move back with relatives elsewhere or did they start over in another community in Kansas. Perhaps remarry?
    Like other groups who lose a large portion of their male members, there is an alteration in population with fewer births, until the women remarry and have more children. That would be an interesting demographic study.
    This is an event in history that was glossed over when I was studying American history in high school. It might be that our teachers spent so much time on colonial American history and then just sped through the 100 years –post Civil War period through the 1960s — crammed in the last few months of the school year. And probably some topics were too controversial and there was too much bias where I grew up, that teachers stuck to names, dates and places. Come to think of it, has high school teaching changed since the 1970’s?

    • Doug Church says:

      My gr. gr. grandparents, Joseph and Adaline Barton, lived in Lawrence, KS during Quantrill’s raid. Their daughter was born there about three weeks after the raid, Sept. 10, 1863. By the 13th of Sept. they moved to southern Montgomery County, Missouri and purchased 260 acres north of Dry Fork Mills, that was renamed to Americus around 1865. They moved there because they had family in the area. My 3rd great uncle, Capt. George Washington Umberger, was stationed in Lawrence, KS at this time and throughout most of the war.

  75. Shawn L Cantrell says:

    I attended Kansas University graduating many years ago. While I was there we often took picnics upon a hill across the road to the West of the University Dorms. Upon this hill there were many graves stating that each person was killed on this day by Quantrill’s raiders. I can tell you that there is never a cut and dry history of events in times of bloodshed like these. Jayhawkers were also accused of not just raiding and killing Missouri farmers but also taking their wives against their will. Lawrence was used as a place to auction away their pillaged merchandise. These are stories I was told growing up.

  76. Tim says:

    Good lord, what an absolutely bananas comment section for a story on a genealogy website. Nolan and Walters in particular sound like they haven’t gotten over the fact the Confederacy lost

    • Howard Mann says:

      And yet, within the mass of responses, look at the ones mentioning family links (both Southern and Northern) to this event or thoughts on it. People still want to remember their family roots and ancestry. While we can decry the political diatribe, us versus them comments,etc….. let us celebrate the desire to study the past to avoid repeating the mistakes we made, and take the lessons learned to appreciate the freedoms we have.

    • Correct Howard. A few days ago, I once more toured the ‘sunken road’ and the ‘stonewall’ at the Fredericksburg Battlefield of December 13th, 1862. I stood behind the stonewall and gazed outward at the killing fields in front of Marye’s Heights where Union General Burnside sent wave after wave of German and Irish immigrants, and others, to their deaths in front of a deeply entrenched and fortified hillside that a boyscout of today wouldn’t have ordered. Oh, yes. I do love history but am saddened by the politicians of today that are making the same mistakes and am so concerned that we are going to have to repeat the events of 1861-65.

    • Howard Mann says:

      James… Thank you. As we love our ancestors and try to understand what they went through, the internal conflict of the Civil War impacted everyone (slave, free, white, latino, black, native American, Christian, Jewish, etc. The national and state parks, statues, memorials should be preserved to help us reflect on how we can avoid such an event again. All that said, we also need to reflect on the heroism, the tragedy, the stories, and yes, the secrets, that helps us understand where we came from.

    • Tim, you just refuse to look at history by any other standard other than the one you were indoctrinated with in your liberal institutions. Slavery prospered under the flag of the United States for 87 years, the colonies of England before that. The South for just 4 years. Lincoln called up 50,000 troops in 1861 to put down the rebellion. Since secession was legal in 1860, Lincoln’s intent was not to force the states back into the Union, it was because South Carolina fired on Ft. Sumter, a federal institution in the independent state of South Carolina. Each newly independent State after the Revolution was it’s own independent country. They then banded together, with much consternation and strife, to form a group to promote the common defense of the country and to support their God given inalienable rights. (Given by creator). Most of the states of these new United States put into their own constitutions that if the government of this union no longer supported these rights, then it was the right of the state to leave the union of states. Like Mr Nolan was attempting to say to you, is that you are trying to use your recent experience and recently taught knowledge to ‘think’ of how you would act in those times 6 generations ago. To those that think it was over secession; can you imagine joining a Fraternity and then if you left it, they killed you ? All we ask is that you read all sides, read professional studies, watch Ken Burns “CIVIL WAR’ and try to place yourself in another time, long ago.
      Also of note. The descendants of the German people of the 1930’s till the end of the war say about their older relatives, “What were they thinking?”. To me, that’s rhetorical; they should know the world events that led up to the maniacal Hitler and how he rose to power. They need to place themselves IN THAT TIME, knowing what they only knew then. Oh, yea Tim, what Nolan and I are discussing IS genealogy. Also read, Civil War and Reconstruction, it was one of my college courses in History. Enjoy, I trust you have a thirst for knowledge.

    • kaythegardener says:

      My American history was learned nearly 60 years ago, before all this revisionist pro-Confederacy leaning interpretations were even thought of!!
      It seems that your version of history is the unsupported one…

    • I’m born and raised Virginian. 70 yrs old. Pro Confederacy leanings…now? Really? From where? I trust you have a tv and read/see the news ?…My 4th grade Virginia History book had one page on Robert E. Lee and the facing page of Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. The fanatic Democratic politicians of both North and South that wanted to ensure the continuation of slavery for financial gratification caused 620,000 AMERICANS to needlessly lose their lives. I love debating academically the causes and effects of the War Between the States but only with intellectually inclined persons that wish to broaden their horizons. I’m off this thread

  77. William Kenneth Nolan says:

    Tim did you love your father. I loved and respected mine. My family, father, mother and brothers are gone. Grandparents long gone. But I love and respect them all. That gets me to my great grandparents. Many fought for the South in the war, a few for the North. Side does not matter. My great Grandfather was in a Cavalry Brigade that fought long and hard and had a good record. Do I care what your think about the South. I go to Sons of Confederate Veteran meetings to tell the stories of our kin. We do not glorify the war. We toast those that fought and died. They were our kin and their brothers in battle. We love them. We do not see that they were wrong. They fought for their States, not for the reasons applied today. If this bothers you, too bad.