Quantrill did not go out by the way he came in. He came in from the east passing through Franklin. After four hours of slaughter and burning they seemed to leave the work in all parts at once, and come together as by some common signal. They had become aware that Major Plumb was approaching from the east with a body of troops. They could not return the way they came without meeting him. To avoid this they struck out directly south, crossing the Wakarusa at Blanton’s bridge. They kept up their work of destruction as they went away, burning most of the farm houses which they passed. The farmers themselves had had warning and kept out of their way. The last murder was one of the most shocking of the whole list. About ten miles from Lawrence they came to the house of Mr. Rothrock, a Dunkard preacher. A gang of them turned aside at his house, went in and demanded breakfast. The women folks cooked them a good breakfast which they eat with relish. Mr. Rothrock was an old gentleman, quiet and peaceable, and very highly respected by his neighbors. He was about the house when they came in, and having no suspicion of personal harm, he remained around while they staid. After a while they began to inquire of the women serving them, who that old gentleman was? They told them his name, and said he was a preacher among them. "Oh! we intend to kill all the --------- preachers." With that the fellow shot the old gentleman and left him for dead. They then went out and galloped on to overtake the main body. This was the last of their depredations, for their pursuers soon after overtook them, and they had all they could do to take care of themselves.
As soon as Quantrill began to move off, the men in town began to come in from their hiding places, and country people began to come in from outside. Many of these last were mounted and had guns of one kind or another. As they began to gather on the street corners wondering what to do, Senator Lane, or as the boys called him, "Jim Lane," came dashing down Henry street, shouting, "Let us follow them boys, let us follow them." A small company of these mounted farmers soon gathered about him, and they proceeded by the road Quantrill had taken.
They were enabled to follow the trail of Quantrill’s men by the burning houses along their line of march. From the Wakarusa to where they were overtaken, a line of smoking ruins marked their track. The pursuers followed rapidly and overtook the rear guard of Quantrill's force at Brooklyn on the old Santa Fe road, about twelve miles south of Lawrence. As they came up a gang of the enemy were on the point of burning the house of Thadeus Prentiss. On seeing the pursuers they desisted and hurried on. The main body was in plain sight going along the Ft. Scott road. After this there was no more burning. The raiders were compelled to keep in a compact body, and to hurry on as fast as they could. The pursuing force was not sufficient to attack, but it was sufficient to prevent further mischief.
It is now necessary to go back and trace up another line of events connected with the pursuit. When Quantrill crossed the state line the night before, he was seen by the federal pickets who reported his movements at once to Captain J. A. Pike who was in command of a small force at Aubrey, some eight or ten miles north. Quantrill crossed the state line about five o’clock, and Captain Pike received the word about half past six. As quickly as horses could be saddled, messengers were dispatched to headquarters at Kansas City, about thirty miles distant. The messengers reached Kansas City a little after nine o’clock in the evening. General Thomas E. Ewing, the commander of the post, was at Leavenworth and the command devolved on Major P. B. Plumb. He got together four companies of mounted men and started for Lawrence about midnight. At nine o’clock the next morning they were twelve or fifteen miles from Lawrence. Quantrill seems to have become aware of their approach, and started off in another direction towards the south by a route which would take him some ten miles from Plumb’s line of approach. Major Plumb, however, soon learned of Quantrill’s change of direction probably from the smoke of burning houses which marked his line of departure. Instead of keeping on to Lawrence, therefore, struck across the prairie towards the south to intercept the guerrillas on their way.
The Lawrence pursuers meanwhile were at Brooklyn, with the main body of Quantrill’s men in full view on the prairie. Here Lane halted, lined up his men and counted off. He had thirty-five men. He sent a messenger back to Lawrence to say that "they had overtaken them, and for all citizens to come forward as fast as possible." He then placed Lieutenant John K. Rankin who had joined them about a mile south of Lawrence, in command of the company. He said it would be madness for this handful of farmers to attack the main body of Quantrill’s men on the open prairie. He said: "We will march on their left flank towards Prairie City, and try and join the militia there." After proceeding a mile or two, they were met by Mr. George Wood, of Black Jack, who came dashing up on horseback. After saluting, he said to Senator Lane: "Major Plumb is over there with two hundred and fifty men." On looking in the direction Wood pointed Plumb’s men were in plain sight about half a mile to the east. Senator Lane replied: "Tell Major Plumb, Quantrill is just on the other side of this cornfield. We will attack him at once. Tell him to come forward as quickly as possible." As soon as the messenger had wheeled about and was returning to Major Plumb, Senator Lane ordered Lieutenant Rankin to charge upon the enemy who were on the opposite side of the cornfield on the Ft. Scott road, moving at a brisk pace! Lieutenant Rankin ordered a charge and they all dashed forward. Rankin’s company had other weak points besides its small numbers. They were mounted on all sorts of steeds, and armed with all sorts of weapons. There were saddle horses of fair speed, dray horses, mules and colts. Lieutenant Rankin rode a fiery steed who dashed ahead at a breakneck pace. The rest followed each in his own gait. Before he had gone half a mile Lieutenant Rankin looked about and found he was all alone. The rest were straggling along behind him for half the distance he had come. As soon as he could bring his own fierce charger to a halt, he turned about. He concluded that no very effective charge could be made with the force at his disposal. While he was awaiting the coming up of his men, two companies of Major Plumb’s force passed him on the gallop, and disappeared down a lane leading to the road on which Quantrill was marching. He saw it would be impossible to bring his straggling band into the impending fight. He ordered one of those who came up to him to remain, and have the men come forward as fast as their promiscous mounts would permit. He then galloped after the two companies who had just passed him. As he passed out of the lane he came upon side-saddles, bolts of calico and other goods which Quantrill’s men had dropped of their plunder, in their hasty flight. It seems Plumb had divided his force into two parts, one to join Lane and attack the enemy in the rear, while he led the other part to the left by the way of Prairie City to protect that town, and head off Quantrill in that direction. Lieutenant Rankin came up with the first body just as the officer in command of the advance company had ordered a charge. This company was deployed as skirmishers while the other moved in column. They charged rapidly down the road, and were soon on Quantrill’s rear guard, which they pressed closely till they reached the farm of Josiah Fletcher. Here a cornfield stood across the old prairie road, and a new road had been broken around the field to the right. Quantrill’s men went round the field by this new road, followed closely by the skirmishers. Lieutenant Rankin knew that the road bore to the east beyond the field, and he suggested to the officer in command of the company in column, that if they would go up through Fletcher’s cornfield, they would come .upon the enemy’s flank as they were passing along south of the field. The suggestion was adopted, and the company dashed through the corn. When they came to the fence on the other side of the field, they saw Quantrill’s men draw up in line, a little distance in advance, at the mouth of a lane. Senator Lane now came up and he and Lieutenant Rankin shouted to the men: "Throw the fence and charge; throw the fence and charge." They themselves leaped from their horses and began throwing the fence. Just then the officer in command of the company shouted: "Dismount boys, and give them a round or two with your Burnsides at three hundred yards." The order was promptly obeyed. As soon as the men began to dismount and prepare to fire, Quantrill’s men answered with a shout and came swooping down upon them, yelling and shooting as they came. The horses of the union men stampeded, the line gave way, and the company fell back to the other side of the field. Lane and Rankin urged the officer to remount his men, and attack them again. By the time the men were remounted, Major Plumb came up with the other two companies, and the whole body moved forward together. When they again reached the other side of the field, they found that Quantrill had taken advantage of the delay and was rapidly moving on, his heavily laden horses in the advance, while his fighting men were in the rear ready to charge back whenever the pursuit became too close. In this skirmish the troops fired a round or two, and Quantrill’s men fired a large number of shots, but no one seems to have been hurt. The Lawrence part of the pursuit ceased here, and the military took full charge. This was about one o’clock in the afternoon. They followed all the rest of the day, till night overtook them not far from Papla. Both parties halted with the darkness. But Quantrill’s men disappeared in the night and escaped to their hiding places, leaving their pursuers in full possession of the open prairie.
If it seem incredible that three-hundred armed desperadoes should be able to pass over forty miles of Kansas territory by night, and pounce upon a town like Lawrence without warning at day-break, it seems even more incredible that the same men, having accomplished their purpose, destroyed the town and murdered its people, should be able to march leisurely back over fifty miles of the same territory, with two hundred and fifty mounted troops following closely on their heels. Nothing seemed lacking to make the calamity as great and the humiliation as complete as it could be. Lawrence was struck down without being able to strike a blow, and her destroyers escaped almost without the loss of a man.
The scene the raiders left behind them was sad and sickening. The buildings on Massachusetts street were all burned except one, and that had been ransacked and robbed, and two boys lay dead upon the floor. The fires were still glowing in the cellars. The brick and stone walls were still standing bare and blackened. The cellars between looked like great caverns with furnaces glowing in the depths. The dead lay all along the street, some of them so charred that they could not be recognized, and could scarcely be taken up. Here and there among the embers could be seen the bones of those who had perished in the buildings and been consumed where they fell. About the ruins of the Republican printing office might be seen the editor, John Speer, raking among the embers in the cellar searching for the bones of his boy. One of his boys was dead, another could not be found. He had slept, as his father supposed, in the printing office up-stairs in the northeast corner. The father thought he must have perished where he lay, and searched for him under where he knew his bed had been. But he could find no signs of the body, and no signs of the boy were ever found. As one passed along the street, the sickening odor of burning flesh was oppressive. Sights of horror met him at every turn. Around one corner lay seventeen bodies. Back of a livery stable on Henry street lay five bodies piled in a heap. Going over the town one saw the dead everywhere, on the sidewalks, in the streets, among the weeds in the gardens, and in the few remaining homes. The women were going about carrying water to the wounded, and covering the dead with sheets. To protect the wounded from the burning sun, they sometimes spread an umbrella over them, and sometimes made a canopy with a sheet or a shawl. The men were hurrying about gathering up the dead, and bearing them to the old Methodist church on Vermont street, which was taken as a sort of morgue. Now and then one came across a group, a mother and her children watching their dead beside the ashes of their home. A little later there could be seen a woman sitting among the ashes of a building, holding in her hands a blackened skull, fondling it and kissing it, and crying piteously over it. It was the skull of her husband, who was burned with the building. But there was not much weeping and not much wailing. It was beyond all that. It was too deep and serious for tears or lamentations. All addressed themselves to the sad work that had to be done.
No one realized the extent of the disaster until it was over. Every man was so isolated by the presence of the raiders in every part of the town, that each knew only what he saw. The magnitude of the disaster was beyond the wildest thought of even those who were in the midst of it. Almost everyone was startled when the extent of the affair began to reveal itself. Besides the buildings on the business street, about one hundred houses had been burned, and probably as many more had been set on fire and saved by the heroic exertions of the women. Most of the houses not burned were robbed. Every house had its tale of horror or of a marvelous escape. So many were dead that the first salutation on meeting an old friend was, "Why, are you alive?" Every living man seemed to have come up from the dead.
R. C. DIX,
First Blacksmith and
E. A. SMITH,
Cashier First Bank of
Issue in State.
REV. JOHN S. BROWN,
Early Paster Unitarian Church.
C. S. DUNCAN,
The burial of the dead began at once and continued till all were laid away. There were no coffins to be had. There was lumber in some of the yards, and among the ruins of the hardware stores was found an abundance of burnt nails which were made to serve. Many carpenters had been killed, and most of those who remained had lost their tools. But they managed to get tools enough to cut up the boards that remained in the lumber yards, and they fastened the boards together into boxes with the burnt nails they gathered out of the fires in the cellars. Many had to be buried without the formality of even a box. Fifty-three were laid side by side in one long trench. A record was kept and the bodies could be identified by their numbers, whenever the name was known. Most of the dead were buried in the cemetery on the hill west of town. But many were buried in private yards with the thought of removing them later on. The work of burying occupied several days, and it was at least a week before it was all done. Not much else was done or thought of until this first work was over. It was at least a week before all the dead were found. The remains of Mr. E. P. Fitch, for example, who was consumed with his home, were not found for several days, though diligent search was made. At last a young lady. who was living with the family discovered them. She had been going to the ruins every day to search for them. The family did not know what she went for. They only noticed that she came in weeping every time she returned. One day she found the charred bones among the hot ashes. She got down into the cellar and took them out with her hands one by one, and tenderly laid them together. They were so hot that her hands were all burned and blistered when her sad work was done. Thus they kept finding the dead for several days. Some that were missing were never found, and possibly some were killed of whom no one knew.
Religious services were held for the dead whenever this was possible. Sometimes it was in the homes, sometimes on the street corner, and sometimes beside the grave in the cemetery. When the fifty-three were laid in one long trench, the minister stood at the head of the trench and offered a prayer. It was a week of almost uninterrupted funeral services. The whole population were engaged in burying the dead. Little else could be done and little else could be thought of.
The Sabbath after the raid a service was held in the old stone Congregational church. There was a large congregation, mostly women and children. They were most of them dressed in the clothes they hastily put on the morning of the raid. Not many saved anything else. The men were in their working clothes. Some of them were in their shirt sleeves, not having saved even a coat. The women came, some in sunbonnets, some in hoods, some with handkerchiefs or shawls over their heads. It deepened the impressiveness of the scene to remember that a large portion of the women and children, were newly made widows and orphans. Rev. G. C. Morse, of Emporia, brother-in-law of Judge Carpenter, who was killed, assisted the pastor in the service. There were no remarks made, for no one felt like talking. There was simply a Psalm read and a prayer offered, and the congregation dismissed. The Psalm read was the seventy-ninth, which seemed to have been written for the occasion: "0 God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance. They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have shed they like water round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them."
No complete list of the dead has ever been made out. Many bodies had to be buried among the "unknown dead." Some who were known were not reported. In the shock and confusion of the hour, no systematic record was kept even of names that could then have been obtained. A little later when an attempt was made to do this, there had been so many changes and so many of the broken families had moved away, that it was only possible to make out a partial list of names.
The first list below contains the names of the seventeen recruits for the Kansas Fourteenth who were shot at the first charge. They were under the command of Second Lieutenant L. J. Beam, who had gone to Leavenworth on business the day before. They had been recruited but a short.time. They had drawn clothing, camp equipage and tents, but had not been mustered in nor armed. They were dressed in United States clothing the morning of the raid. But for this distinctive mark they probably would have fared better. They were just rising as the charge was made, and only five of the twenty-two made their escape. Lieutenant Beam always regretted that he was not with them, as he thought he might have done something towards organizing them for defense. After the raid Lieutenant Beam rapidly recruited another lot of men, and went into the Kansas Fifteenth with the same rank, second lieutenant, but was promoted until he became major of the regiment.
The second list contains the names of citizens killed, as far as now known.
Names of seventeen recruits killed from a total of twenty-two:
|Allen, Charles R.|
|Cooper, James F.|
|Green, John R.|
|Griswold, Walter B. S.|
|Riggs, Charles F.|
|Waugh, William A.|
|Allison, D. C.|
|Allen, Clay (col.)|
|Bell, Capt. Geo. W.|
|Carpenter, Judge Louis|
|Collamore, Gen. George W.|
|Crane, John L.|
|Coleman, L. D.|
|Dix, Ralph C.|
|Dix, Stephen H.|
|Dyre, Uncle Frank|
|Ellis, --- (col.)|
|Fitch, Edward P.|
|Fillmore, . Lemuel|
|Fritch. S. H.|
|Griswold, Dr. J. F.|
|Kleffer, W. M. R.|
|Oldham, Anthony (col.)|
|Palmer, Daniel W.|
|Purington, David H.|
|Speer, John M.|
|Snyder, Rev. S. S.|
|Sanger, George H.|
|Sargeant, G. H.|
|Swan, L. L.|
|Thorpe, S. M.|
|Trask, Josiah C.|
|Williamson, W. T.|
The number of men with Quantrill has been variously estimated. Some have placed it as high as six hundred, and some as low as one hundred and seventy-five. The first number is altogether too high, and the second is altogether too low. There is no reason to question the substantial accuracy of the statement at the beginning of this account, that two hundred and ninety-four answered to the roll call at Lone Jack before starting. While in Lawrence some of the raiders were free to talk of themselves. These said they had something over three hundred men. When they charged into town they passed within three hundred yards of the writer of this sketch, and he saw the whole body pass from his window. They seemed a long time passing, and there could not have been less than three hundred. They were counted two or three times on the way by persons who saw them pass along the road. All these testimonies concur in making the number of the raiders about three hundred.
As may well be supposed, the raiders differed very much in their spirit. Some were like fiends incarnate. No tales of savage warfare could surpass their barbarity. Others again were as humane as men well could be who came on such an errand. They would allow the women to get out the furniture before they burned the houses, in some cases even helping them to lift heavy articles. They sometimes expressed regret at the necessity of burning the houses; they were under orders. Some even advised men to keep out of the way. A young man who talked with Mrs. Gurdon Grovenor said he had never intended to take part in such a scene as this had proved to be. "They told me they were only coming up to recover some stolen horses. I have not killed a man nor burnt a house yet, and I do not mean to." But the more humane sentiment of the few did not change the general result very much. In all mobs the worst men give tone to the whole affair. If a more moderate set spared a house, a more violent set would come next and burn it. But in judging of the raiders we must not assume that they were all fiends alike, or that they all assented to what the worst men did.
The number killed can never be exactly known. As nearly as could be ascertained there were one hundred and forty-two. This included the missing who never returned, two or three. A few of the wounded died later, and possibly some were killed who were never heard of. One hundred and fifty would not be far out of the way for the whole number. Then there were about thirty wounded. It was estimated that the raid made eighty widows and two hundred and fifty orphans.
The amount of property destroyed is still more difficult to estimate. There were about seventy-five buildings burned on the business street, and all their contents destroyed or stolen. There were about one hundred dwelling houses burned, and most of those not burned were ransacked and robbed, and many of them partially burned. Then most of the women had their money, jewelry, watches, etc., taken from them. Mrs. F. W. Read who so heroically saved her house had to give them the bracelets of her little girl who was dead. She begged to be allowed to keep them, but they said "her dead baby would not need them anymore." There was not much left in Lawrence when their work was done.. There was one double store standing, but the goods were gone, and two clerks lay dead on the floor; a few houses remained unburned, but bare; the women and children were alive, but robbed of all their money and valuables; possibly half the men were still living, but in hiding, and glad to escape with their lives. This was about the condition of things. As careful an estimate as could be made placed the loss at about one million and a half of dollars. Two-thirds of the people had no homes, not many of the men had a complete suit of clothes, few had any money. There were no clothes in town to be bought and there were only four sacks of flour for sale.
But what did the people do? The spirit of humanity which always asserts itself at such a time, had full play. Those who had houses shared them with those who were homeless, and those who had bread shared it with those who had none. But this would not have sufficed. There were probably not provisions enough in the whole town to supply the people forty-eight hours. But before the first day was over, the kindhearted farmers from all around drove in with wagon loads of vegetables, and such things as they had, and dealt them out freely to all who needed. The neighboring towns, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Topeka and other places, hurried off wagon loads of provisions and clothing and all things needed by their stricken neighbors. As the news spread the circle of sympathy extended, and help poured in from distant parts, and all who needed were supplied. In the more distant places, this sympathy expressed itself in more substantial help, giving assistance in re-building. The friends in St. Louis, for, example, raised a fund of some ten thousand dollars, and put into the hands of the city to be loaned without interest to parties desiring to build. When the money was repaid the city was to hold it for an educational fund, and it was afterwards turned over to the State University.
For some days after the raid not much thought was given to the future. The terrible present occupied all hearts and hands. The dead must be buried, the wounded cared for, and the immediate necessities of life secured. Fully half the remaining population were homeless, and many who saved their homes lost everything else. There was a general spirit of accommodation, and it came very near to the condition of "having all thing common." Those who had shared with those who had not. Every house that remained did its utmost to meet the pressing need for shelter. Many families were reduced to narrow quarters and short rations, but none suffered from want. Many who had lived in comfortable homes were glad to secure one or two small rooms in which to begin again their home life. Small rooms, however, were usually ample for all the household effects, and small as they were they often seemed bare with their very scanty furniture. If people had to move, as was often the case, it was a small matter. A man .with a wheelbarrow could transfer them from one house to another in an hour or so. The houses were sometimes very full, and the supplies sometimes rather scant, but no one was left unsheltered, and no one was allowed to go hungry. Many had lost most of their clothing, and those who had two coats divided with those who had none, and all were comfortably, if not fashionably clad.
CITIZENS' MEMORIAL MONUMENT.
The monument measures 8 feet by 4 feet at the base, and stands 8 feet and 7 inches high; weight, 45,000 lbs.; cost, $1500. It is carved from Barre, Vt., granite. The front bears the inscription: "Dedicated to the memory of the one hundred and fifty citzens who, defenceless, fell victims to the inhuman ferocity of border guerrillas, led by the infamous Quantrill, in his raid upon Lawrence, August 21st, 1868. Erected May 30th, 1895." On the reverse side is this notice: "The roll of their names can be found in the City Clerk's office, Lawrence, and in the State Historical Society, Topeka."
But the future was coming right along, and must be faced. "What shall we do," was a question that must be met. "The birds of ill omen" were in "high feather," and their croaking filled the air. "Lawrence had received its death blow," "the rebels had burned it once and they would do it again." "It was folly to attempt to rebuild the town." In addition to this there was a constant sense of exposure and peril. That three hundred men could come fifty miles in the night, and pounce upon them without a whisper of warning, was a revelation to the people. They had assured themselves so many times that such a thing could not be done. There was no guessing what might come next. Frequent alarm kept them in a quiver. They had had alarms before and had treated them as idle tales. They could not do so any more. The wildest alarm occurred on Sunday evening the second day after the raid. A farmer two or three miles below the town had been burning some straw. Some one on the hills some distance away seeing the flame, mounted his horse and galloped into town, screaming at the top of his voice: "They are coming again, they are coming again; run for your lives, run for your lives." He that heard ran and hollowed. The report spread like wild-fire, and in a few minutes men, women and children were wildly running down the different streets towards the river, uttering the most percing screams as they ran. The impression was that the enemy was right upon them. Some recovered themselves from the panic in a few minutes, and a hundred or more men were soon assembled in the center of the town, and the guns from the armory were given out to them. They sent out scouts to learn the origin of the alarm, and they very soon ascertained the state of affairs. But most of those who ran did not turn back to learn the contradiction of the report. They kept on till they found a hiding place. Some crossed the river, and some hid themselves in the cornfields outside the town. A cold drizzly rain set in during the night, and many of the fugitives remained out till midnight. Some few women as well as men remained out all night in the cold rain, fancying the town was being sacked again. The horror of that Sunday night was in some respects worse than the raid itself. At the raid there was no panic and no outcry. Everybody was calm and quiet. There had been no warning and there was no escape. But this night alarm gave room for the wildest imaginations and the most exaggerated fears. It unnerved the bravest with its undefined dread. In some respects; panic is worse than peril. People who passed through the raid without flinching, were utterly unstrung and demoralized by this Sunday night panic.
But in spite of fears and perils and pains, the courageous spirit continually gained ground. The better sentiment of the people never settled upon but one conclusion. Lawrence must be rebuilt at all hazzards, and rebuilt at once. More and more the people began to insist that every house must be replaced, and every business block renewed. This became the dominant thought, and in an incredibly short time it began to take form. They had not been able to save Lawrence from destruction, but they must put her back as she was. Before the fires were out they began to lay plans for rebuilding One of the first to begin to build was the grocery firm of Ridenour & Baker. They had lost their building and a heavy stock of goods. Mr. Ridenour’s home was burned and all in it. Mr. Baker was so severely wounded that he lay lingering between life and death. In spite of all this, work was commenced on a new building, and business resumed in a small way, before a week had passed. In clearing away the ruins, the barrows blazed with the live embers as the work men wheeled them out from the old cellar. In the line of unconquerable pluck the equal of this would be hard to find. Simpson brothers, bankers, lost everything except their safe. This the raiders were not able to open or demolish, and it stood the fire without damage. With what remained in the safe the firm resumed business at once, and began rebuilding. Inside the old walls they built a cheap structure of wood, which could be thrown together in a couple of days. Then they put in the foundation and reared the building of brick around and over their temporary shelter. W E. Sutliff had built up a very extensive clothing business. He had a large stock of goods, he lost everything but his home, and had to begin again as he began six years before. But he at once erected a better building, filled it with a better stock of goods, and prepared to do a larger business. B. W. Woodward lost building and goods. But he at once selected a better site, erected a handsomer building, and put in a larger stock of drugs. J. G. Sands had a large harness establishment. It was all consumed. He at once replaced his wooden store with one of brick and stone, and filled it better than before. For years his advertisement told his history in a sentence: "Established in 1855; stood the drought in 1860; totally destroyed in 1863; defies all competition in 1864." This surely was making one’s misfortunes serve as aid to success. Loring Guild & Son lost store and home. The father was away. When the raiders entered the son, E. B. Guild, who was a member of the guard, seized his musket and started out, but saw the town was in their hands,and he could do no more than save himself. Mrs. Guild remained at home and saw the house burned, but saved most of the furniture. They rebuilt and restocked their store and resumed business at once.
These are but samples of the whole community. The sentiment for rebuilding was universal. Everybody said: "We must put Lawrence right back better than she was." The restoring of Lawrence became a sort of religious obligation. It was a matter of conscience with them that they should all stand by the town. There were business reasons, too, for immediate restoration. They who rebuilt and resumed at once would retain their trade, and in many cases that was a fortune, and in all cases a promise. In a few week the work of rebuilding was going on all along the business street, and all over town. Before winter came Lawrence began to look like a town again. A number of buildings were completed that autumn, and a still larger number were well under way. In almost every instance the new buildings were better than the old, and the stocks of goods larger than before.
But all the while they were rebuilding the town they were compelled to defend it. Every man took his turn on guard, and stood ready at a moment’s notice to rally to the defense of the place. Rumors of danger were constantly coming, and no rumor was so idle that the people could afford to ignore it. Thus like the Jews of old did these men work, "every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other he held a weapon." In a few weeks however, they were partially relieved. The military authorities sent two companies of United States troops to protect the town, and they remained until the close of the war. They threw up earthworks and built a stockade on the point of the hill southeast of the university, and planted two or three cannon there. This overlooked the whole Wakarusa valley, and would be an effective defense against any force coming in that direction. These troops were under the command of Major E. G. Ross, afterwards United States senator, and still later governor of New Mexico. The soldiers were received with great delight, and nothing was too good for them. Major Ross, who was a very genial gentleman, soon became the most popular man in town. The people now felt comfortably secure. They knew there would always be a reliable picket guard out every night, and that it would be impossible to surprise them again. As winter came on the sense of security became still stronger, as guerrilla operations had to be suspended as soon as the leaves fell from the trees and exposed the hiding places. By spring the usual tone had been restored, and affairs went on as before. Building continued, new men and new capital came in, and Lawrence bid fair to out-do her former self.