Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Harper's Ferry

One of the most interesting Civil War related stories I remember from my childhood is John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry which took place from October 16-18, 1859. John Brown had spent four months living on the farm simply trying to fit in. The hike to Harpers Ferry had become routine. A new beard and a shock of wild hair kept the locals from recognizing him as the same man who had massacred slave owners in Kansas three years before. Soon the disguise would be irrelevant. “Men, get on your arms,” he famously declared late in the night of October 16, “we will proceed to the Ferry.”  Descending upon the town in the early hours of October 17th, Brown and his men captured prominent citizens and seized the federal armory and arsenal. Brown had hopes that the local slave population would join the raid and through the raid’s success weapons would be supplied to slaves and freedom fighters throughout the country; this was not to be. First held down by the local militia in the late morning of the 17th, Brown took refuge in the arsenal’s engine house. However, this sanctuary from the fire storm did not last long, when in the late afternoon US Marines under Colonel Robert E. Lee arrived and stormed the engine house, killing many of of the raiders and capturing Brown. Brown was quickly placed on trial and charged with treason against the state of Virginia, murder, and slave insurrection. Brown was sentenced to death for his crimes and hanged on December 2, 1859. 

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