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Historic Sites of Quantrill’s Raid

Engraving of Quantrill’s Raid from Harper’s Weekly, September 5, 1863 (Library of Congress)

Engraving of Quantrill’s Raid from Harper’s Weekly, September 5, 1863 (Library of Congress)

Many people would agree that after more than 150 years, William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence—also known as the Lawrence Massacre—remains our city’s defining event. On August 21, 1863, Quantrill’s Confederate guerillas attacked the town, killed about 200 men and boys, and destroyed as much as two million dollars’ worth of property. Following this devastating attack, Lawrence quite literally rose from the ashes as survivors quickly rebuilt their town and made it more prosperous than before. Ever since, the raid and its aftermath have symbolized the resilience of Lawrence and its people.

Despite the raid’s destruction and the citywide development that has marked Lawrence in the years since, evidence of that harrowing day remains to be seen by historically conscious travelers.

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