Monday 17 October 2022

From Thomas Payton

 Yesterday in History - 

On the 16th of October in 1859, the abolitionist John Brown and 21 other men raided the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry Virginia. President James Buchanan ordered a detachment of U.S. Marines (the only troops in the immediate area) to march on Harpers Ferry under the command of Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry.

On the morning of October 18, Col. Robert E. Lee sent Lt. J.E.B. Stuart, serving as a volunteer aide-de-camp, under a flag of truce to negotiate a surrender of John Brown and his followers. Lee instructed Lt. Israel Greene that if Brown refused, he was to lead the marines in storming the engine house. Stuart told Brown that his men would be spared if they surrendered. Brown refused and Stuart signaled to Lt. Greene and his men. Two marines armed with sledgehammers tried in vain to break through the door. Greene found a wooden ladder, and 10 marines used it as a battering ram to knock the front doors in.

The wounded Brown was captured and moved to Charlestown, Virginia, where he was tried and convicted of treason. He was hanged on December 2, 1859

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