« PreviousContinue »
woods, hills, ravines and trenches with the noble, loved and patriotic sons of American mothers!
If the heart sickening sight of the Lawrence massacre, together with the cells in Libby, Castle Thunder, Salisbury and other pens could be hung up in one bold panorama, so the young men of to-day could gaze upon it, they would cry out in horror, “is it possible that American sons endured such imprisonment, such vile torture, such detestable hardships?"
When the arch-angel shall sound his trumpet, legions will be the number that will come forth, that were made way with in the dark days of rebellion, that are to history, and our country at large, as though they had never been. For instance: while traveling through this state, several years ago I was pointed out a place in Lima county (by an ex-union soldier), where nine men were shot in cold blood; their only crime being they chose to have the free soil of Kansas untrampled by oppressors. Scores of such black deeds are not recorded which ought to be, so the young men could read and take warning of the past, and choose that which will attain to true greatness, having respect for their fellow mortals, whether of high or low degree; and by knowing the worst prevent, if possible, future rebellions.
The history they read is considered the depository of events, the faithful evidence of truth, the source of prudence and good counsel. As it is history that sets all the actions, achievements, virtues and faults of men in high standing before their eyes, and sets a mark of infamy on vices which no after age can obliterate, it tends to strengthen our abhorence of vice, and creates an honorable ambition for the attainments of true greatness, and solid glory; therefore, it ought to throw off the mask altogether, and bring to light the unjust, unlawful, abuse of those in the past holding or usurping power over their fellow mortals.
There had been repeated alarms that the rebels were coming, which proved false, consequently they were thrown off their guard and entirely unprepared to defend themselves against a body of savage guerrillas, consequently the citizens of the doomed city were surprised at dawn of day on the 21st of August, 1863, the enemy, rushing into the city, instantly setting fire to the buildings, shooting those they met first and leaving them weltering in their blood, while they rushed savagely on to their work of destruction and death. Women and children were terrified; men were helpless because they were surprised and overpowered by a band whose only terms was cold lead and the glittering knife. The roar of the flames, as they leaped from the once peaceful dwellings, the crashing of falling timber; the yelling and unceasing oaths of the raiders; the crack of revolvers, as they laid loved ones low in death; the clatter of hoofs, as the raiders rode hither and thither on their fiendish work of death and despoilation; the awful appearance of destruction and woe, mingled with the dreadful shrieks of women and children; the groans of the dying and wounded; exhibited a most horrid and affecting scene, a scene too great for men to behold who were bred in the quiet retirements of domestic life. The scene presented after the raiders left was enough to appal the stoutest heart. Buildings burned to the ground, the street strewn with wounded and dead, scores of children who had been made orphans, crying for those whose spirits had flown to that undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns, those that had escaped, left destitute of food and clothing, all combined presented a spectcle which no tongue can describe, nor pen portray.
Burning and Sacking of Lawrence.
ALM and peaceful was the morning,
When that rebel chieftain wild,
Murder man, woman and child!
'Tis the twenty-first of August;
History soon will note the day, When the rebels, under Quantrell,
Captured Lawrence for their prey.
“My men are thirsting for the blood
Of loyal sons on Kansas soil!
They make the devil shrink and coil.