"All the terror of the raid seems captured in Sarah Fitch's final letter, a fitting, if horrific, ending to the collection." - Harry Smeltzer, Bull Runnings
"The letters provide an authentic look at a number of facets of Lawrence life in the mid-1850s and early 1860s. But ultimately the letters are still important today because of the glimpse they give us of the 'war before the War.' Long before the first shots at Fort Sumter, great fights were brewing here." - Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World
From the Back Cover
Where the seeds of Civil War were planted . ..
There was no place in the country quite like Lawrence, Kan. in the mid-1850s. While other towns were founded on commerce, Lawrence was founded on conviction: The conviction to abolish slavery in America. Edward Fitch and his wife, Sarah, would write more than 150 letters from the turmoil that surrounded Douglas County, Kan. as Jayhawkers and Missouri ruffians battled over whether Kansas would enter the union as a slave or free state. Their letters ranged from the ordinary pioneer struggles to the atrocities of war, culminated by William Quantrill's bloody 1863 raid on Lawrence. Pieced together, Edward and Sarah's letters tell an important story of an ordinary family taking an extraordinary stand for a belief that would change a country.