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Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas, on August 21, 1863

At dawn on August 21, 1863, William Quantrill led a guerilla band with more than 300 men in a raid against the city of Lawrence. When it was over, 150 men and boys were dead and more than 200 homes and businesses had been destroyed. This massacre has the distinction of being the worst perpetrated during the Civil War. This was in the midst of the American Civil War and Quantrill and his band of guerillas were loosely connected to the Confederacy. Some Union forces attacked Missouri towns but not with the same level of destruction. However, Quantrill and his men generally, acted on their own and for their own profit.

This online exhibit highlights some primary sources related to this event available on Kansas Memory. Highlighting these resources is timely as the 150th anniversary of the attack has just passed. However, not all of the Quantrill sources on Kansas Memory are featured in this exhibit and they are only a fraction of the almost 500 documents, photographs and other materials related to the Civil War available on Kansas Memory.

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