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LAWRENCE, Kansas (KSNT) – A major part of Kansas history is getting a modern twist.
The city of Lawrence marked the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid Wednesday on Twitter.
Using the #QR1863, nearly 50 people took on the identity of key players of the raid and live tweeted what happened across Lawrence from the Carnage Building near downtown.
“You don’t remember just the pleasant parts of history. If you don’t remember the unpleasant parts too, it’s not history, and you’re liable to repeat them,” said Kerry Altenbernd, participant.
Those who gathered assumed the identity of someone who lived or who died during the raid and tweeted that person’s experiences in real time.
“Characters have done research. They’ve gone to letters their characters have written, they’ve looked in diary entries, newspaper accounts. They read and researched their persons roll,” said Christine Metz Howard, Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Altenbernd tells the story of Louis Carpenter, who moved to Lawrence in the late 1850’s.
“Just before the end of the raid, as most of the raiders were leaving town, one came to his house and asked him where he was from. He said New York.”
They chased Carpenter down and killed him.
Back then, diaries and newspapers told of the bloodshed and destruction.
Wednesday those horrors scrolled across a screen.
“Because there have been so many letters and diaries and that kinda thing left behind that we can draw from those resources and tell the stories in many different voices,” said Howard
Voices that tell of the terror of war.
“You should not white wash history. If you white wash history, then what is it?”
Planning for the Twitter event got underway in November.