Open main menu

Lawrence Massacre

raid in the American Civil War

The Lawrence Massacre (also known as Quantrill's Raid) was an attack on the town of Lawrence, Kansas on August 21, 1863. The attack was a battle in the U.S. Civil War. The Confederates won the battle, as group of guerillas led by William Quantrill rode into town and shot every man they saw.[2] About 150 people were killed.

Lawrence massacre
Part of the American Civil War
Battle of Lawrence.png
An artist's depiction of the destruction of the U.S. city of Lawrence, Kansas, and the massacre of its inhabitants by Confederate guerrillas on August 21, 1863
DateAugust 21, 1863

Confederate victory


 United States (Union)

 Confederate States of America

Commanders and leaders
None[1] William C. Quantrill
Units involved
Civilian population of Lawrence
Unmustered recruits
Quantrill's Raiders
0 300–400
Casualties and losses
164 civilians 40


The Lawrence massacre was one of the bloodiest events in the history of Kansas. The Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence wasn't destroyed, but many of its members were killed. Also, many of its records were destroyed.[3]

After the attack, Quantrill brought his men south to Texas for the winter. By the next year, however, the raiders disbanded as a unified force. They were unable to get similar successes. Quantrill himself died of wounds he got in Kentucky in 1865. By that point, he had only a few supporters left. Frank James and his younger brother, Jesse James were some of his supporters.[4]

After Quantrill's attack, the Union built several military posts on Mount Oread. These were built to help guard the rebuilt city. However, no more attacks happened in Lawrence, and these forts were removed.[5][6]


  1. No union commander present
  2. "William Quantrill and the Lawrence Massacre".
  3. Sellen, Al. "A Brief Outline of Plymouth's History". Plymouth Congregational Church. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  4. Wellman, Paul I. (1961). A Dynasty of Western Outlaws. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. p. 61.
  5. Pollard, Jr, William C. (1992). "Kansas Forts During the Civil War". Kansas History. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  6. Bisel, Debra Goodrich; Martin, Michelle M. (2013). "Camp Ewing: 1864–1865". Kansas Forts & Bases: Sentinels on the Prairie. Charleston, SC: The History Press. ISBN 9781614238683.

Other websitesEdit