In 1863 Quantrill decided to attack and destroy a Union town as retaliation for Union deprecations on a smaller scale. He picked the town of Lawrence, Kansas, which had been sacked already in the “Bleeding Kansas” fighting before the war. He convinced other Bushwakers to join him, and all told they numbered 300-400 men. Multiple columns converged on the town, striking early on the morning of August 21. There were no soldiers in the town at the time, and the raiders were free to ride through, looting, burning and plundering. The military age men and boys were stopped and killed. Quantrill had prepared lists of men and businesses to be specially targeted. At the top of the list was Senator James Lane, a leader who had led devastating raids into Missouri. He escaped only by running through a cornfield in his nightshirt.
|Ruins of Lawrence|