Thrilling Narrative

    Rev. H. D. Fisher, a well-known minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, gives the following thrilling account of his escape from death during the Lawrence massacre:

    "Many miraculous escapes from the assassin's  hand were made : none perhaps more so than in my own case. For the last eighteen months I have been marked by the rebels for death, because I have been ordered by various Generals to provide 'homes for refugees,' and find work for them to do to support themselves and families. Now, three times I have signally escaped their hands. God has saved my life as by fire. When Quantrell and his gang came into our town almost all were yet in their beds. My wife and second boy were up, and I in bed, because I had been sick with the quinsy. The enemy yelled and fired a signal. I sprang out, and my other children and myself clothed ourselves as quick as possible.

    "I took the two oldest boys and started to run for the hill, as we were completely defenceless and unguarded. I ran a short distance, and felt as if I should be killed. I returned to my house, where I had left my wife with Joel, seven years old, and Frank, six months old, and thought to hide in our cellar. I told Willie, twelve years old, and Eddie, ten years old, to run for life, and I would hide. I had scarcely found a spot in which to secrete myself, when four murderers entered my house and demanded of my wife, with horrid oaths, where that husband of hers was, who was hid in the cellar. She replied, 'The cellar is open; you can go and see for yourselves. My husband started over the hill with the children.' They demanded a light to search. My wife gave them a lighted lamp, and they came, light and revolvers in hand, swearing, to kill at first sight. They came within eight feet of where I lay, but my wife's self-possession in giving the light had disconcerted them, and they left without seeing me. They fired our house in four places, but my wife, by almost superhuman efforts, and with baby in arms, extinguished the fire. Soon after three others came, and asked for me. But she said, 'Do you think he is such a fool as to stay here? They have already hunted for him; but, thank God, they did not find him.' They then completed their work of pillage and robbery, and fired the house in five places, threatening to kill her if she attempted to extinguish it again. One stood, revolver, in-hand, to execute the threat if it was attempted. The fire burned furiously. The roof fell in, then the upper story, and then the lower floor ; but a space about six by twelve feet was by a great effort kept perfectly deluged by water by my wife, to save me from burning alive. I remained thus concealed as long as I could live in such peril."

    "At length, and while the murderers were still at my front door and around my lot, watching for their prey, my wife succeeded, thank God, in covering me with an old dress and a piece of carpet, and thus getting me out into the garden, and to the refuge of a little weeping willow covered with ‘morning glory' vines, where I was secured from their fiendish gaze and saved from their hellish thirst for my blood. I still expected to be discovered and shot dead. But a neighbor woman, who had come to our help, aided my wife in throwing a few things saved from the fire around the little tree where I lay, so as to cover me more securely. Our house and all our clothes —except a few old and broken garments (not a full suit of anything for one of us) and some carpet—with beds, books, and everything to eat or read, were consumed over us or before our eyes. But what of that? I live! Through God's mercy I live!"

Moore, Frank; Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents of the War: North and South; 1860 – 1865, collected and abridged by Frank Moore, Publication House, New York, 1867

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