About Cinders and Silence

Cinders and Silence Cinders and Silence provides the first chronicle of Missouri’s “Burnt District.”  Between 1854 and 1870, three western Missouri border counties plunged from prosperity to devastation, and finally, to oblivion. The border conflict between Missouri and the Kansas Territory intensified during the Civil War. Revenge driven, Kansans leveled western Missouri between 1861 and 1863. 

In August 1863, William Quantrill’s retaliatory raid on Lawrence, Kansas triggered General Orders No. 11. Within six weeks the district suffered depopulation and total destruction. A majority of the refugees never returned to western Missouri.

Between 1865 and 1870 northern immigrants by the tens of thousands flooded into the “Burnt District.” Historical silence shrouded the tragedy for decades. Cinders and Silence recovers the history and breaks the silence.

Cinders and Silence contains 330 pages. Fifty photographs bring the period’s leaders and locations to life. Over 30 maps, clearly illustrate Western Missouri’s 16 year turbulent history from 1854 to 1870.

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