"John Brown's Raid is not the only thing that ever" Harpers Ferry by etfromnc

Harpers Ferry Travel Guide: 91 reviews and 237 photos

...happened here.

Harper's Ferry is a small town on the Potomac River at the border between West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. It has the unfortunate distinction of being the site of one of the most infamous skirmishes on the road to freedom from slavery for all Americans, especially those now referred to as African-Americans.

On 16 October 1859, abolitionist John Brown and about two dozen other anti-slavery protesters attacked the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry hoping to obtain weapons and somehow end slavery. Nine of the raiders were killed during the raid, seven got away, and seven more were captured and held for trial.

Less than three weeks later, on 2 November, and after less than an hour of deliberation, a jury found John Brown guilty of treason for leading a failed raid on Harpers Ferry that left eleven men dead. Brown's raid, trial, and hanging one month later further inflamed sectional tensions, and were a crucial factor in fulfilling Brown's final prediction "that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood."

Four years and tens of thousands of lives later, Brown was proven right.

The Battle of Harper's Ferry

Learning that the Union garrison at Harper's Ferry had not retreated after his incursion into Maryland, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee decided to surround the force and capture it. He divided his army into four columns, three of which converged upon Harper's Ferry, under the overall command of Gen. Stonewall Jackson. On September 15, after Confederate artillery was placed on the heights overlooking the town, Union commander Col. Dixon S. Miles surrendered the garrison of more than 12,000. Miles was mortally wounded by a last salvo fired from a battery on Loudoun Heights. Jackson took possession of Harper's Ferry, then led most of his soldiers to join with Lee at Sharpsburg.

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