Civil War Sites Advisory Commission

Battle Summaries

National Park Service


CWSAC Reference #: KS001

Other Names: Lawrence Massacre

Preservation Priority: IV.2 (Class C)

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


Original Source:

Last Updated: 2/26/1996

(Source: Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report: Battle Summaries, published by the National Park Service.)
revised: January 2, 2002
created: January 2, 2002
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