1862: The Battle of Fort Ridgely began on this day. Chief Little Crow of the Dakota attacked the Minnesota fort as part of their series of raids in revenge for food being withheld - in breach of treaty - from their reservation. The Dakota laid siege to it for a week, but were eventually driven off by reinforcements.
1863: The infamous Lawrence Massacre occurred on this day. Confederate guerilla William Quantrill lead a group of 300-400 men into the old west city, slaughtering 164 undefended civilians in retribution for the Kansas city's abolitionist policies. The city seal of Lawrence, featuring the mythological phoenix, commemorates the massacre.
1846: On this day, General Stephen Watts Kearny issued a proclamation officially annexing New Mexico as a territory of the United States. Unusually for a land grab, part of the proclamation guaranteed that all private Mexican land ownership claims would still be respected under US governance.
1869: That old west folk hero Wild Bill Hickok was elected as the City Marshall of Hays, Kansas, on this day. The election was mostly a formality, as Hickok had already been serving in the role unofficially. In only his first month as Marshall, he killed two men.
1874: The Lone Tree Massacre in Meade County, Kansas, occurred on this day. The female Cheyenne war leader Mochi, along with her husband Chief Medicine Water, led a band which killed a family of surveyors en route to Fort Lawrence.
1877: While documentation is sketchy, this is one possible day on which the first known female gun duel occurred, between "Madam" Mattie Silks and a rival madam, Katie Fulton. Neither hit the other, although Fulton did accidentally wound a bystander. (He lived.) Having failed at shooting, the two women then fought the old-fashioned way, with fists flying 'til Fulton fled.
1879: Two members of the old west outlaw gang The Seven River Warriors, known for their involvement in the Lincoln County war, turned on each other. John Beckwith, brother of the Warriors' leader Hugh, was shot by fellow member John Jones. Jones, in turn, was killed three days later by another Warrior named Bob Olinger. What charming fellows these outlaws be.
The Lawrence, Kansas raid was in revenge for the deaths of at least 3 female members of families of men in Quantrill's unit. They were being kept in a rickety building which collapsed on them, killing several & severely injuring others. The Yankee kidnappers had been told by their own surgeon that the building was unsafe & would probably collapse, They kept the women there anyway. In the Lawrence raid, while the town was burned to the ground, on orders of Quantrill not a single woman was harmed in any way. The main target of the raid, Red Leg Jim Lane, escaped being killed by hiding in a cornfield in his nightshirt. He later, as Senator from Kansas, committed suicide to avoid being prosecuted for one of the largest fraud schemes ever aimed at taxpayers at the time.
Even more moderate anti-slave Kansas leaders had little use for Jim Lane. I know nothing of his alleged fraud, but I certainly do not doubt it. From what I have gathered, he was unsavory. Your comment on the Seven River Warriors brings to mind an old adage: there is no honor among thieves! It is interesting to note that Bob Olinger was one of them and that he was killed by you know who about two years later; even Olinger's own mother was reputed to have said that his demise was deserved.
There is some evidence that the collapse of the building - they were being held in what would have been the basement - was probably caused by the women removing portions of the foundation in an attempt to escape. The sister of Bloody Bill Anderson was one of the women killed/injured in this collapse.
Perhaps this was used as an excuse for the Lawrence Raid but let's be realistic. This was a Murder Raid perpetrated by some of the bloodiest guerrilla's ever engaged in Partisan Warfare. I'm not saying that there were any innocent people on either side in the Kansas/Missouri vendetta's, but if there were, there damn few of them.
The women weren't held in the basement, they were held on the 2nd floor. The building was so rickety it was actually propped up with heavy timbers--& on the night of the collapse, several of those timbers were removed, but by whom nobody seemed to know. Or, if someone did, the someone didn't let on about the knowledge. The 'tunneling out' story was contrived by Lane & others, but since everybody knew the women were on the 2nd floor it wasn't believed.
Since the Lawrence raid followed directly on the heels of the collapse & marked the 1st major incursion into Kansas by Quantrill & Anderson--& the guerillas were given specific orders that no women or children were to be harmed--there's little doubt it was in revenge for the deaths of their women. Yes, it was a 'murder raid'--the orders were 'kill every man old enough to use a gun.' Unfortunately, the principal object of the raid--the death of Jim Lane--wasn't accompllished because Lane was hiding in a cornfield in his nightshirt. His home was burned to the ground but his family was unharmed.
Following the raid Lane ordered every home and building in SW Missouri burned. The families were allowed to leave with what they could carry on their backs, nothing more. To this day that area is known as 'The Burnt District.' This was carried out by Doc Jennison's Redleg guerillas from Kansas, not by Regular US Army troops or even the regular Kansas militia.