The brutal conflict fought along the Kansas-Missouri border before and during the Civil War was so traumatic that it resonates with us today in the competition between the two states.
Now, 150 years after the sack of Lawrence, Kansas, by Confederate guerrilla William Clarke Quantrill and his band of "bushwackers," the Kansas City Public Library has created an exhibit that sheds light on that bloody era in American history.
Guerrillas in our Midst runs from Sunday, August 18, to Sunday, December 29, 2013, on the fifth floor of the Central Library, 14 W. 10th. It includes vintage photos, illustrations, and text to tell the story of that guerrilla war.
Created by the Library's Missouri Valley Special Collections in conjunction with the Public Affairs Department,the original exhibit explores the causes of the conflict and the personalities made famous by it.
Long before the Civil War broke out, roving guerrilla bands - Missouri "bushwhackers" who backed the Southern cause and Jayhawkers or "redlegs" who supported the North -- made the border a battleground. Homes were burned, citizens killed, property stolen.
This exhibit covers not only the Civil War years but its aftermath, when former bushwhackers like the Frank and Jesse James turned to outlawry. Featured are portraits of these colorful personalities, both as youths and old men; engravings of major events such as the Lawrence raid and the assassination of Jesse James; and historic photographs.
Admission is free. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.