Courtesy of the Kansas City Public Library
William Quantrill was a Confederate guerilla who went on to raid Lawrence, Kansas.
August 13, 1863: A makeshift prison—called the Union Jail—holding women related to Quantrill’s Raiders collapsed killing or injuring all of them. This led to the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas in retribution.
The building being used as a jail was actually a home owned by the famous artist, George Caleb Bingham. It had been his mother’s home and was in good condition. After the tragedy the building was examined and it looked to many as if supporting structures in the basement had been sabotaged by Union soldiers.
This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.