Midwest Living Review
Historians agree that one of the Civil War's greatest atrocities was Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence when proslavery Bushwacker leader William Clarke Quantrill led 400 ruffians into Lawrence on August 21, 1863, ordering them to "burn every house and kill every man." In four hours, about 200 men died (not accounting for Blacks and German immigrants), 185 homes burned and the entire three-block commercial district was destroyed. In Civil War era dollars, damage is estimated at nearly $2.5 million. The raiders escaped. You can follow Quantrill's path of destruction using the Lawrence CVB's raid site route map. Plaques on historic limestone buildings along Massachusetts between 6th and 9th streets mark raid locations. The only surviving original building is the House Building, 729-731 Massachusetts Street. The Eldridge stands on the same site as the original hotel Quantrill destroyed. All raid victims' names are posted by the front door of the Watkins Community Museum, 1047 Massachusetts. Pioneer Cemetery on the University of Kansas' West Campus was established in 1854 by New Englanders. Many of the massacred men and boys who died in Quantrill's Raid were buried here and then were reburied at Oak Hill Cemetery, which was established in 1864 to honor raid victims.