In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.
READER 5: My father was too old for service, but he aided the South in every way he could . . . A southern soldier always got something to eat at our house, and if practical, a place to sleep, and for this he was imprisoned during most of the war, and finally sentenced to be shot.
Finally Order No. 11 was enforced, depopulating and devastating all the border counties south of the Missouri River, the refugees wending their way east and north (they were not permitted to go south) aimlessly, stopping wherever they could get assistance. O, the misery! Old men, women and children plodding the dusty roads barefooted, with nothing to eat save what was furnished by friendly citizens.
READER 3: The home of my mother, 70 years old, was burned. She had neither husband or son; she was an invalid, confined to her bed. She was accused of sending a ham of mean to Quantrill’s camp. It was a false accusation, but she owned slaves and had to suffer for it although innocence of the charge against her.
READER 4: After General Ewing of the Union army issued his famous Order No. 11, many citizens left their homes and fled for their lives beyond the boundary lines of Jackson County. In many instances their homes, with the accumulated earnings of a lifetime, were burned before their eyes, their stock appropriated or driven to camp, “confiscated,” as it was called. The home thus rudely broken up, the inmates were forced to seek shelter wherever they could find it. I was in Jackson County on a mission of love and mercy for our sick and wounded soldiers, and I remember having counted twenty-nine blackened chimneys which marked the spot where once stood that number of country homes.
READER 3: The road from Independence to Lexington was crowded with women and children, women walking with their babies in their arms, packs on their backs, and four or five children following after them — some crying for bread, some crying to be taken back to their homes.
What do you think were the political and personal consequences of Order No. 11? Tune in tomorrow to learn more.