This sponsored post comes to The Lawrence Times from the Watkins Museum of History.
Lawrence has never experienced another day quite like August 21, 1863. At dawn that day, Captain William Clarke Quantrill and 400 Confederate guerillas attacked, killed some 200 residents, and burned down much of the town. Quantrill’s Raid became one of the most notorious atrocities of the Civil War.
Yet in the months and years that followed, survivors in Lawrence made a remarkable recovery, rebuilding their town and prospering as never before. And now in 2021, Quantrill’s Raid, its legacy of tragedy and recovery, and the larger history of early Lawrence will be commemorated in a three-day festival called Civil War on the Border.
In 1995, local historian Katie Armitage spearheaded a new event series called Civil War on the Western Frontier. Ten years later, the Watkins Museum of History assumed responsibility for planning and managing the annual festival. Now in its 26th year and renamed Civil War on the Border, the series provides participants with unique and meaningful explorations of local history.
This year’s programming, which takes place Aug. 20-22, offers a wide range of activities, including bus and walking tours, a live online interview with leading historian Dr. Manisha Sinha, and a moving memorial service for the victims of Quantrill’s Raid.
Tour tickets are selling fast; Watkins Museum staff encourage the public to secure tickets and get the full series schedule at watkinsmuseum.org/cwb.
To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, participants in in-person events for Civil War on the Border will be required to wear face masks.
Participants in in-person events will be added to the list for discount tickets to Encountering John Brown, a major traveling exhibit that will debut at the Watkins Museum from Sept. 4-Nov. 6. Together, the Civil War on the Border series and Encountering John Brown will demonstrate the museum’s commitment to telling powerful stories from Lawrence history.
— Will Haynes is Director of Engagement and Learning at the Watkins Museum of History. He is helping to plan and host Civil War on the Border, a long-running program series that returns Aug. 20-22 this year.