William Clarke Quantrill was a Confederate captain during the American Civil War. He was the Confederate version of General William Tecumseh Sherman who is renowned for his burning and pillaging non-military supporters. It is hard to say which man invented the scorched earth policy, but historians seems to favour Quantrill over Sherman because of the Lawrence KS raid.

lithograph from a Federal newspaper depicting the Raid

On August 21st 1863, a full year before Sherman’s bloody march to the sea, Quantrill and his men struck Lawrence Kansas because of its well known support of the Union and abolition. Quantrill was familiar with the area because he had been a schoolteacher there before the War but lost the job when the school closed. It is possible that resentment over that event was a large reason for his choosing Lawrence over another town.

Whatever the reason, shortly after sunrise, four hundred and fifty Quantrill Raiders attacked Lawrence and killed two hundred men, burned many homes along with the business district but not until they had looted the banks 1. By 9 a.m. the mayhem was over and the Raiders safely across the Missouri.

The Chart for the raid on lawrence

August 21 1863 Quantrill Raid

The raid itself is a Wheelbarrow temperament type, with Neptune and Uranus (Pluto was yet to be discovered, it we include it we get a lipped southern bowl that scoops up everything through its Moon at 20 Scorpio — “someone drawing two dark curtains aside for a better view”) to use for future exploits. Neptune had just been discovered in 1846 when it was at 26 Aquarius. Now at 06 Aries — “a square brightly lit on just one side” — in the seventh house of others and opportunities, it was highlighting the fears, high emotion and horror of the event.

Uranus, the other handle at the time, is in the ninth house at 25 Gemini — “a person manicuring their hands” — showing how this was an unique and bold display of ferocity. That it was capitalized upon later is depicted by Uranus’s proximity to the midheaven at 30 Gemini “bathing beauties” full of natural talent that struck the popular imagination on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

A documentary on the event.

The ascendant is 30 Virgo — a false call for attention to service, unheard — heralds the way to a preponderance of planets in Libra reminding us of the endless balancing act of karmic equivalence. The Part of Fortune at 22 Sagittarius in the third house — “blue skies open above (HS)” — seems to have gone unheeded as well & only after the fact the victors could argue, “War is Hell.” Mercury at 15 Virgo reminds via an “occult figure gazing thoughtfully” that “the difference between good and evil is good knows when to stop.” 3


  1. Castel, Alfred, William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times, University of Oklahoma Press, c. 1999, pg 70.
  2. McCorkle, John, Barton O.S., Castel, Albert, Three Years with Quantrill: A True story told by his Scout, John McCorkle, University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.
  3. Mattel & Filmation Studies, Prince Adam of He-Man and Masters of the Universe, He-Man to Orko.