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American Battlefields

Other Names: Lawrence Massacre

Location: Douglas County

Campaign: Quantrill’s Raid into Kansas (1863)

Date(s): August 21, 1863

Principal Commanders: No Union commander [US]; Lt. Col. William C. Quantrill [CS]

Forces Engaged: No Union troops [US]; Quantrill’s Raiders and other guerrillas [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 204 total (US 164; CS 40)

Description: In a supposed retaliation for a Union raid on Osceola, Missouri, Lt. Col. William C. Quantrill led a force of about 300 to 400 partisans in an attack on the city of Lawrence, Kansas. His men killed civilians—men and boys—and destroyed many of the buildings. He held the town several hours and then withdrew. The “Lawrence Massacre” was, perhaps, the extreme example of the vicious Kansas-Missouri border warfare.

Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: KS001

Preservation Priority: IV.2 (Class C)

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