Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 21, 1863

August 21, 1863

---The Lawrence Massacre – William Quantrill and 450 Confederate raiders ride into Lawrence, Kansas, equipped with lists of abolitionists and Unionists who were slated to be executed.  Quantill, an Ohio native and former resident of Lawrence, rides his men into a camp of Union army recruits and tramples 17 of them to death under the hooves of their horses, and injure 5 more.  Indiscriminate killing ensues, and both white and black men are murdered without mercy.  By mid-morning, up to 200 men and boys were murdered, many more wounded, and over 100 buildings burned.  Jim Lane, the notorious abolitionist leader of Kansas, and a killer of Southerners himself, escapes Quantrill’s dragnet.  Federal troops pursue, and burn the homes of any suspected sympathizers with the Rebel guerillas.

Quantrill's men sack Lawrence, Kansas
---Gen. Quincy Gillmore, commander of Union troops besieging Charleston, sends a message to Gen. Beauregard, the Rebel commander, that Morris Island and Fort Sumter must be surrendered, or the Yankees will open fire with guns that can reach the center of the city.  The “Swamp Angel”, an 8-inch Parrott Rifle, could throw an incendiary shell over 4 miles from its battery location into the center of the city, which it began to do this day.  Gen. Beauregard sends a message to Gillmore, condemning the act of the Federal commander for “turning your guns against the old men, the women, and children, and the hospitals of a sleep city, an act of inexcusable barbarity. . . .”  However, the Swamp Angel blew out its own breech with its 36th shot.

---Near Chattanooga, Tennessee, an advance unit of Federal troops under Col. John Wilder opens up with artillery from across the river and begins shelling the city of Chattanooga.  Wilder’s guns destroy two steamers at their moorings at the city wharf.  Gen. Bragg returns late this evening from a trip into Georgia, apparently surprised to find the Yankees on his doorstep.

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