Quantrill rides again to Lawrence: This time on Twitter

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.

via Quantrill rides again to Lawrence: This time on Twitter #QR1863.

An Irregular Childhood

Missouri is famous for its teenaged bushwhackers, but this article reminds us that it didn’t hold a monopoly.  Virginia’s John McCue joined Mosby’s Irregulars, and had quite an eventful year of service, by the sounds of it.

His father, Judge John H. McCue, compromised with the boy and allowed him to “learn soldiering” at Virginia Military Institute. And so, young McCue went to VMI where he watched one class after another leave to join the Confederate army. In May 1864, all but 11 cadets marched off to New Market to fight an invading Union force.

Fifteen-year-old John W. McCue was one of the 11, left behind because of his small size.

He couldn’t stand it any more. McCue ran away from VMI and, a few weeks later, turned up in the camp of another man who was of small stature but enormous reputation — John S. Mosby. “The Gray Ghost” and his men were impressed with McCue’s fighting spirit and readily accepted him into their ranks.

via Youthful Staunton Civil War firebrand wrote of capture | The News Leader | newsleader.com.

Canada – Rogue State

Well, while we could never really be considered any cog in an Axis of Evil, Canada did offer harbour (complete with extraneous “u”) to Confederate agents during the war years. http://www.cfhi.net/WilmingtonsWartimeCanadianConnection.phpthe site I mentioned yesterday details some of the efforts of the Confederate Secret Service, who coordinated cross-border activities during the conflict, including the St. Albans’ Raid and the attempt to burn down New York City.

I’ve added yet another e-book to the Library, this one written by one of the New York conspirators, and goes into great detail on the planning and (failed) execution of this and other raids.

Confederate Operations in Canada and New York