The Lawrence Raid Page1

2002 Photos/Narratives courtesy of Rick Jordahl, KC, MO
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1. Bleeding Kansas - Wikipedia
2. Bleeding Kansas
3. Lawrence Massacre - Wikipedia
4. Quantrill's Raid the Lawrence Massacre self guided tour
5. Kansas Historical Quarterly - Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence
6. Battle of Mine Creek - Wikipedia
7. Mine Creek Battlefield history - Kansapedia

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Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, KS
August 21, 1863

In September of 1861, William Clarke Quantrill became impatient. The 24-year-old Ohio native had recently joined the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard forces under General Sterling Price. But now, Quantrill was unhappy with Price’s reluctance in aggressively prosecuting Union troops after the State Guard victory over the Federal encampment at the Battle of Lexington in September, 1861. He decided upon a more aggressive course of his own-guerilla warfare.

In 1862, the young Quantrill began his infamous raiding career in western Missouri and then across the border into Kansas by plundering the towns of Olathe, Spring Hill and Shawnee. His raids gained the attention of other desperados. By 1863, Quantrill recruited others who joined his company including “Bloody” Bill Anderson and the James’ brothers. In the summer of 1863 they set their sites on Lawrence, KS- the site of their most infamous destruction.

Early on the morning of August 21, 1863, Quantrill along with his murderous force of about 300, descended on the still sleeping town of Lawrence. Incensed by the free-state headquarters town, Quantrill set out on his revenge against the Jayhawker community. In this carefully orchestrated early morning raid he and his band, in four terrible hours, turned the town into a bloody and blazing inferno unparalled in it’s brutality.

Quantrill, a former resident of Lawrence, and his Bushwhacker mob of raiders began their reign of terror at 5 AM. Killing, looting and burning as they went the band was bent on total destruction of the town, then less than 3,000 residents. By the time it was over, the raiding force had killed approximately 180 men and boys and devastated families, homes and businesses alike. The fires and looting consumed the town and left Lawrence a smoldering ruins.

These photographs of present-day Lawrence show some of the places along the path of Quantrill’s destruction.


Hotel Eldridge One of the main objectives of the raid was the Eldridge Hotel (known as the Eldridge House at the time of the raid). Most of the raiders proceeded directly to the building in order to secure the fortress that could potentially harbor defenders. The Hotel was surrendered early in the raid. After evacuating the Eldridge House it was set afire and the raiding party spread throughout the community. In the years following the raid the hotel pictured here, while on the same spot, has been rebuilt more that once


Hotel Eldridge (Model of wartime structure)


Hotel Eldridge (Lobby) Today’s luxurious Eldridge Hotel of Lawrence, KS welcomes visitors to a gracious setting of history and hospitality. This “newest Eldridge” offers it’s guests luxury suites, banquet and business services as well as an insightful glimpse of Civil War history


House Building After the raid, only a few commercial buildings remained standing. The current-day House Building, shown here, (known as the Miller building at the time of the raid) survived. Many of Quantrill’s victims, among them members of two camps of Army recruits, were killed near the business district. “The dead lay all along the street” according to one witness

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