150 years ago tonight events took place that would lead up to one of the most famous battles of the Civil War, Quantrill’s Raid, also known as the Lawrence Massacre. Perpetrated by a group of men known as Quantrill’s Raiders, a pro-Confederate group of Partisan rangers who specialized in guerrilla warfare.

The Lawrence Massacre, also known as Quantrill’s Raid, was a rebel guerrilla attack during the American Civil War by Quantrill’s Raiders, led by William Quantrill, on the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas.

The attack on August 21, 1863, targeted Lawrence due to the town’s long support of abolition and its reputation as a center for Jayhawkers and Redlegs, which were free-state militia and vigilante groups known for attacking and destroying farms and plantations in Missouri’s pro-slavery western counties.

In total there are 53 separate Twitter accounts taking part in the reenactment under the hashtag #qr1863. The tweets will be coming in real time as they would have happened back then. They are on a trail now, in the dark. Here is the last tweet that went out.

This is for Tuesday night into Wednesday when the battle will begin.

People have also put together lists if you’d rather follow a list of the players rather than the hashtag. Believe it or not, as unique as that hashtag looks, there are some miscellaneous tweets floating around there using the same hashtag.

The reenactment has already started but the real action won’t begin until tomorrow when the actual battle takes place. This is a fascinating use of Twitter and should be interesting to follow.

On a related note I recently began following @realtimewwii, an account that is livetweeting World War II in real time, as it happened, on the date and time it happened, for the next five years. It’s pretty fascinating. All you history buffs out there should check it out.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. That’s cool. I’ll have to follow.



    1. It’s getting good right now, the tweets are going crazy.



  2. Aw, hell, my Great-Great-Grandpa was live tweeting back in the day AS IT HAPPENED.



    1. I wonder what the how they’re phonetically going to do the rebel yell on Twitter? I don’t know why I assumed your great-great-grandpa was a confederate soldier. Maybe it was the “aw, hell” part.



  3. […] Tonight and tomorrow Twitter will reenact Quantrill’s Raid, an early Civil War battle […]



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