Two Fulkersons Die, One Survives in
Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas

Line of Descent:
Dirck Volckertszen and Christine Vigne
Volkert Dircks and Annetje Philips
Dirck Volkertson and Maria De Witt
Volkert Derrickson and Dinah Van Lieu
Abraham Fulkerson and Sarah Gibson
James Fulkerson and Elizabeth McMillin
Frederick Moore Fulkerson and Sarah Ridgeway
James Ridgeway Fulkerson and Elizabeth Zinn
John Thomas Fulkerson

August 21, 1863: After sacking several towns along the Kansas border, William C. Quantrill's forces invaded Lawrence. Approximately 200 buildings were burned and 150 citizens were killed. - Encyclopedia Brittanica

The following is from two family sources:

Account #1

  My great-grandfather's [James Ridgeway Fulkerson's] sword, portrait and powder horn are at Dad's... My Grandfather, [John Thomas Fulkerson, known as Tom] whom I remember slightly, was born in Missouri and lived in Berryville, Arkansas. The Civil War kept them moving back and forth across the river and on an island...

Several other Fulkerson descendants were also involved in the
Quantrill affair:

Isaac, James and Richard BERRY, sons of Virginia Fulkerson BERRY, rode with Quantrill -- as did Virginia's son-in-law Samuel HAYS

Major Henry NEILL, son of Mary Dalton Fulkerson NEILL, led the Union force that pursued Quantrill after the raid on Lawrence.

  The story goes that the soldiers would come back from the war to harvest. Quantrill and his raiders wanted to capture the captain - apparently there was money in it for them, paid by the
James Ridgeway FULKERSON
James Ridgeway FULKERSON
Elizabeth Zinn FULKERSON
Elizabeth Zinn FULKERSON and
John Thomas FULKERSON, 1863
Southerners. My great-grandmother Elizabeth Zinn FULKERSON had just given birth and she tried to hide from the raiders, but the shock and the ruckus of the raid caused her to die of heart failure.

  My Grandfather was a very young boy when his mother died, and was raised primarily by his grandparents. He became independent very young, going to work as a boy in a cook shack on a wagon train in old Mexico. Dad says he could speak Spanish. My aunt said he chased Pancho Villa. I asked Dad about that. He said that outlaws swept through the country in gangs to rob banks. A lone wagon train had to keep its eyes open. There were a lot of renegade Indians, Mexicans and outlaws.

Account #2

  James Ridgeway Fulkerson, first child of Frederick Moore Fulkerson and Sarah Ridgeway Fulkerson, was born April 7, 1832 in Boone County, Missouri. He moved with his family to Saline County in 1853. During the Civil War he was an officer in the Union Army. He commenced his service as a recruiting officer and then was made Captain of the 45th and 50th Volunteers. He and his wife had two children, John Thomas Fulkerson (who went by Tom) in 1862 and a second child in 1863.

  Rebel Quantrill and his band were said to have frightened the young wife so she would tell the whereabouts of her husband, and she and the newborn baby soon died.

  Tom went back to his grandparents, Frederick and Sarah Fulkerson, to live - or to his Zinn grandparents. James later married Ellen Worthington, a friend of the Fulkersons who possibly lived at their home with a group of families banded together for protection. In the late 1860's or early 1870's, they moved to San Francisco and ran a hotel for several years. Then they moved to Arkansas where he owned 475 acres. He had extensive orchards in what they called "The Barrens" in Canal County, near Berryville, Arkansas.

  Tom went to New Mexico as a young man. He farmed in Arkansas, and traded for a stock ranch in Colorado, 15 miles south of Colorado Springs. In 1917, he moved his family to Davenport, Washington, where he died on January 1, 1950, at the age of 87.

From the contemporary booklet,


AUGUST 21, 1863





The population of Lawrence was about 2,000, and there could not have been more than 400 men, a very large number being in the army. The proportion of killed among these was vastly greater than in the bloodiest battle of the war. There were left about eighty widows and 250 orphans. The whole number killed was about one hundred and fifty. One hundred and forty-three bodies were found and buried. Several were killed and burned in buildings and their bodies never found, twenty five were wounded, two of whom died a few days after.

There were between 300 and 400 in the company. About one-half were rebel cavalry thoroughly drilled; the other half were the ruffians of the border. They were the same clans who had disturbed the country in the early days of Kansas- "the border ruffians." They remembered their former defeat, and for all these years had been nursing their wrath to keep it warm. The former clan were the most effective, the latter, the most brutal.

Quantrill was once a school teacher in Ohio. He came to Kansas before the war.

Partial list of killed and wounded, taken from the Leavenworth Conservative of August 26, 1863: