Events to Commemorate Civil War on the Western Frontier

Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence

A number of activities are scheduled this year, August 11–22, to commemorate the 151st anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence.

Schedule of Community Events

Ongoing Film: Lawrence: Free State Fortress

Mon–Fri, 8:30 am–5:30 p.m. and Sun, 1–5 p.m. Free.
For questions, call 785-856-3040

View a 27-minute docudrama that chronicles the first 10 years of Lawrence’s history and culminates with Quantrill’s Raid on the city on August 21, 1863. Film available on request.
Location: Lawrence Visitor Center in the Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. 2nd Street, Lawrence, KS

Ongoing Exhibit

Eudora and the Civil War
Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. or call to schedule a tour
Call 785-690-7900 for more information
Eudora Community Museum exhibit explores Eudora and the Civil War. Other themes include: Shawnee Indians, Westward Expansion, Oregon Trail, and Eudora’s African-American community.
Location: Eudora Community Museum, 1450 Church St., Eudora, Kan.

Monday & Tuesday,
August 11 & 12

Kids, Let’s Build A Mud Fort
9–11:00 a.m. (2 day program)
$25 per child/adult pair
Register online with Lawrence Parks & Recreation or call (785) 832-3450
In the years before the Civil War, when Kansas was still a western territory, the residents of Lawrence built forts made of mud to use in case of raids by pro-slavery guerrillas. Kids ages 8–12 can learn about this exciting time in Lawrence’s history and build a real mud fort on the banks of the Kansas River.
Location: Lawrence Visitors Center in the Union Pacific Depot, 402 N. 2nd Street, Lawrence, KS.

Friday, August 15

Screening of Battle of Island Mound

7:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area
Documentary produced by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Bill Fischer will speak on the history of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry.
Location: Carnegie Building, 201 W 9th Street, Lawrence, KS, 785-856-3040

Saturday, August 16

Watkins Museum Day of Programs

Quantrill’s Raid Bus Tour
8:00 a.m.
Quantrill’s Raid Walking Tour
8:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 5:30 p.m.
Presentation by Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz 10:15 a.m.
Presentation by Chris Sutton 11:30 a.m.
Presentation on the
1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Mural Project
2:00 p.m.
Kaw Valley Cornet Band Concert 4:00 p.m.
Reading of Raid Victims’ Names 5:00 p.m.

Location: Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS, 785-841-4109

Underground Railroad Quilts for Children
2 p.m.
RSVP to Martha Parker, 785-783-4420
Learn about regional Underground Railroad connections and how quilts were important to African-American stories.
Location: Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum, Bloomington Park East, Clinton Lake

Sunday, August 17

Historic Lecompton Tour
1:00 p.m.
Call 785-783-4420 for more information.
Tour of Historic Lecompton includes Constitution Hall, Territorial Capital Museum, National Landmark and Territorial Democratic Headquarters.
Location: Territorial Capital Museum, 640 E. Woodson, Lecompton, KS.

Untold Stories of Quantrill’s Raid
2 p.m.
Call 785-783-4420 for more information
Hear stories about the raid on Lawrence in August 1863 that left the town in flames and more than 100 dead. Location: Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum, Bloomington Park East, Clinton Lake

Brockett & Brown: A Black Jack Battlefield Interactive Tour
4:00 p.m.
Donations appreciated.
Call 785-883-2106 for more information.
The Battle of Black Jack is considered the first battle between opposing forces over the issue of slavery which led to the coming Civil War. Learn about this exciting and important time in history as you are entertained by both John Brown and W.B. Brockett (one of Pate’s men), who represent both sides in the heated battle.
Location: Black Jack Battlefield, 163 E. 2000 Road, Wellsville, KS.

Thursday, August 21

Presentation: Old Sacramento: Who Were Those Guys in the Photo?
7:00 p.m.
Local historian and re-enactor Herschel Stroud will discuss the men who formed the Free State Battery and their role in the struggle against slavery.
Business meeting at 6:30, program begins at 7:00.
Location: Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS, 785-841-4109

Friday, August 22

Flashlight Cemetery Tour
8:00–9:30 p.m.
Ages 14 and up.
$18, pre-registration is required, contact Lawrence Parks and Recreation at 785-832-7920 to register.
Visit the graves of Quantrill’s raid victims and meet the people who rest there as they come alive to tell their stories.


Civil War on the Western Frontier
at the Watkins Museum

Saturday, August 16

To register for the bus and walking tours call 785-841-4109.
Programs at the Watkins Museum are sponsored in part by Weaver’s, Inc. and The Eldridge.

Quantrill’s Raid Bus Tour

8:00 a.m. · $20. Advance registration is required.

Location: meet at Watkins Museum
Katie Armitage and John Jewell lead a tour of the areas of Lawrence affected by Quantrill’s raid, including the Miller, Riggs, and Hoyt home sites and the downtown business and residential districts.

Quantrill’s Raid Walking Tours

8:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (new evening tour)
$5 for DCHS members; $10 for non-members in advance; $15 day of the event.
Advance registration is recommended.

Location: meet at Watkins Museum
Walking tours of the downtown business district most directly affected by Quantrill’s raid. Routes may vary by tour guide. Wear sun protection, comfortable shoes, and be prepared to stand and walk for up to an hour and 30 minutes.

Author Talk, Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz

Author of The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown’s Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism.
10:15 a.m. · Free.
Location: Watkins Museum of History Community Room

John Brown’s wife and daughters were just as committed to the abolitionist movement as his sons, yet their actions often go unacknowledged. In her book, Laughlin-Schultz reveals for the first time the depth of the Brown women’s involvement in his cause and their crucial roles in preserving and transforming his legacy after his death. The story of the Brown women illuminates the changing nature of how Americans remembered the raid at Harpers Ferry, radical antislavery, and the causes and consequences of the Civil War.

Chris Sutton, Tales with a Twist Living History

11:30 a.m. · Free.
Location: Watkins Museum of History Community Room
On the brink of civil war, Missouri is torn between Northern & Southern alliances. Both sides know the key to winning the war is securing all of the arsenals. Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis put their faith in two different men to accomplish this in Missouri, but only one will prevail and make his mark in Civil War history. Discover what happens as you relive the events that changed our nation forever through a firsthand account of a Union Civil War officer!

First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Mural Project Presentation

First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Mural

2:00 p.m. · Free.
Location: Watkins Museum of History 3rd Floor, Watkins Gallery
Students from Royal Valley schools in Hoyt, Kansas present their mural depicting soldiers from the First Kansas Colored Infantry.

Music of the Civil War Era by the Kaw Valley Concert Band

Kaw Valley Concert Band

4:00 p.m. · Free.
Location: Watkins Museum of History Community Room
The Kaw Valley Cornet Band presents a program of music popular during the Civil War.

Solemn Reading of the Names of
Quantrill’s Raid Victims

Herschel and Jacqueline Stroud as Mr. and Mrs. John Speer

5:00 p.m. · Free.
Location: Japanese Friendship Garden, next to the museum
Local historian and re-enactor Herschel Stroud reads the names of the victims of Quantrill’s raid.