One of the many sesquicentennial events I’ve missed during this year of working too much was the Lawrence raid by Quantrill’s bushwhackers. The infamous guerrilla chief and his band slaughtered hundreds of men and boys in the border town. This summer, a group of “reenactors” recreated the raid in real time on Twitter. I wish I’d found out about it at the time, but then reliving massacres would hardly have lessened my stress.
Call it a “tweet-enactment” — to recreate an historical event minute by minute as if it were happening now — and it may be a first for social media.
William Quantrill’s 1863 raid on Lawrence, Kan., was an act of terrorism, 1800s style. It’s being brought to life on Twitter Wednesday to mark the 150th anniversary of the Aug. 21 attack that left nearly 200 men and boys dead and much of the town burned.
More than 30 people are “live-tweeting” with the hashtag QR1863 in a sort of “virtual theatre” reenactment of the events from the perspectives of the famous — such as Quantrill himself — and ordinary citizens like Elizabeth Fisher.