Raid on Lawrence

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Quantrill and Cole Younger discuss the reasons for their raid on Lawrence, Kansas on Aug. 21, 1863. Full – size historically accurate standups of the two were produced by Civil War historian and artist Dan Hadley.

Katie Armitage, author of Lawrence: Survivors of Quantrill’s Raid, discusses William Quantrill as part of the Johnson County Library’s Legacies of the Civil War historian interviews series.

Art by Brian Hawkins

Preceding the raid, Gen. Thomas Ewing, head of the District of the Border, issued two general orders which attempted to take control of the countryside of western Missouri out of the hands of the southern guerrillas. Both enraged the guerrillas and made retaliation more imminent.

General Order No. 9 addressed the problem of slaves who had gathered at the military stations within the district. General Ewing ordered Lt. Col. Walter King to visit all of the stations in the District of the Border. At each station King would make a list of negroes who had been the slaves of southern sympathizers who had given aid and comfort to the enemy as of July 17, 1862. The station commanders were asked to provide escort to Independence, Westport, Kansas City, or the State of Kansas for any negroes wanting to travel. Additionally, negroes willing to enlist in the military should be sent to Kansas City.

General Order No. 10 provided specific directions for dealing with Unionist and southern sympathizers in the District of the Border. Unionists who desired to leave the district should be provided escort and safety to their destinations in Kansas or Missouri. If wagons and teams were needed for the travel, use those of known southern sympathizers. Former Confederate soldiers who give themselves up, will be banished from the state. Wives and children of known guerrillas will also be removed from the district and the state. Sympathizers who willfully aid and encourage guerrillas will be arrested and removed from the state.”

The arrest and imprisonment of southern women especially attacked the manhood of their husbands, brothers and relatives, as the protection of women was seen as fundamental to a man’s role and honor. When several women died while in prison on Aug. 14, deep resentment flared.

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