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Following in Quantrill’s Footsteps
On August 17th, dust kicked up throughout western Missouri into Kansas, only this time it wasn’t from Quantrill’s guerrillas riding into Lawrence. Instead, it was from two tour buses making their way along the route believed to be once taken by William Clarke Quantrill on his way to carry out one of the bloodiest massacres in Civil War history. Just as dawn approached on August 21, 1863, Quantrill and his men charged into Lawrence, Kansas and within only a few short hours they managed to destroy almost the entire town, leaving behind approximately 200 dead men and boys. In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, a two-day bus tour gave the public the opportunity to see the route believed to be taken by Quantrill and to understand the terrain, heat, and obstacles the guerrillas had to overcome to get to Lawrence. Quantrill’s incredibly dangerous trek into Kansas was the result of a two and a half year continuous attack on Missourians by Kansas Jayhawkers and Redlegs. Women and children watched as their men were killed, heirlooms taken, houses burned, and on occasion they even fell victim to physical attacks. The Kansas City women’s prison collapse that occurred on August 13, 1863, killing five female relatives of the guerrillas, only made the attack on Lawrence bloodier. Neutrality wasn’t an option and if you were of Southern blood, you were targeted. The border war between Kansas and Missouri is much more than a rivalry between the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri, it was full of bloodshed.
At 8:00 a.m. on August 17, 2013, the tour began in Harrisonville, Missouri located in Cass County, one of the four counties destroyed by Brigadier General Thomas Ewing’s Order No. 11.
This picture was taken at the Order No. 11 exhibit being displayed at the Kansas City Box Gallery.
This picture was taken at the Order No. 11 exhibit being displayed at the Kansas City Box Gallery.more »