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in the road. They halted, loaded with the report that the troops had fired the ball-cartridge, and advanced with fixed public buildings and retreated across bayonets until they reached the brow the Potomac bridge, taking the mountof the hill overlooking the town and at ain road toward Carlisle Barracks, in the outskirts of the village of Bolivar. Pennsylvania. Here the advance was again challenged, “On our way down we met a long and the column halted. As these sen- | line of men, women, and boys, carrying tries were known to be employes of the loads of muskets, bayonets, and other armories, and as it was thought prob- military equipments. The streets at the able from the temper manifested during confluence of the two rivers were brillthe day that the whole body of work-iantly illuminated by the flames from men had united with the Government the old arsenal, which burned like a troops, thus giving them four hundred furnace. The inclosure around these effective men, with full preparation and buildings was covered with splintered choice of position, it was thought proper glass, which had been blown out by the to send a flag into the town to ascertain explosion of the powder-train. A few how matters stood. An influential gen- arm-boxes, open and empty, lay near tleman accompanying the troops, of the entrance ; but nearly all the musfered his services to execute this deli- kets in this building, fifteen thousand, as cate duty, and to dissuade the citizens, stated, were destroyed. if possible, from taking part in the con-' “Of the armory buildings on Pototest. From after-knowledge it was as- | mac Street, one large work-shop was in certained that this precaution was un- a light blaze, and two others on fire. necessary, as the mass of the inhabitants Alarmed by the first explosions, the were loyal to the soil where they lived, citizens hesitated to approach the workand such as might have entertained dif shops, and warned the Virginia troops ferent sentiments were silenced by the not to do so, supposing them to be reports of the imposing force which was mined ; but presently becoming reassupposed to be at band.
sured on that subject, they went to " While the Virginia officers were in work with the engines, extinguished consultation, there was seen in the di- | some of the fires, and prevented their rection of the armory a flash, accompa extension to the town and railroad nied by a report like the discharge of a bridges." cannon, followed by a number of other The plans of the secessionists had flashes in quick succession, and then the been anticipated and their designs sky and surrounding mountains were thwarted by the Federal commander lighted with the steady glare of ascend- and his little force at Harper's Ferry. ing flames. Captain Ashby, with his The Federal garrison consisted of a squad, immediately rode down into the detachment of United States Rifles, town, and in a short time returned with amounting to about forty in number,
BURNING OF HARPER'S FERRY ARSENAL.
under the command of Lieutenant Roger men to work in making prepara- April Jones. This officer had been notified tions for the destruction of the 17. some days previously by the Govern- public property, should it prove necesment at Washington of the danger which sary. With swords the soldiers cut up April threatened his post. On the 17th the planks and other timber to supply
17. of April, before the march of the wood for firing the buildings. The Virginians, he learned from various mattresses were ripped up, their consources that the attack was to be made tents emptied out, and then filled with on the succeeding day. The militia of powder. This was all done inside of the town of Harper's Ferry, although the arsenals and armories, to conceal the they professed loyalty, were either purpose from the people of the town, alarmed at the rumors of an approach- whose loyalty was suspected, and who, ing force, or unwilling to oppose it, and if they should discover it, might rise consequently disbanded. The workmen and prevent it. The arms, some fifteen employed at the arsenal and armory thousand stand, were now collected and showed symptoms, if not of disaffection, piled together, and the chipped wood at least of great uneasiness. Every mattresses filled with powder were so hour brought with it fresh rumors, more placed that the guns and the buildings or less exaggerated, of the advancing might all be destroyed together in one secessionists. The railroad was in their common explosion and conflagration. power, and a special train, bearing On the next night, having received April armed men, was known to be hurrying “positive and reliable information 18. forward. Troops, amounting to two that twenty-five hundred or three thouthousand in number, were reported to sand State troops would reach Harper's have gathered from Winchester, Charles Ferry in two hours from Winchester, ton, and other neighboring points, and and that the troops from Halltown, into be marching to Harper's Ferry. creased to three hundred, were advanc
Lieutenant Jones, conscious of the ing, and even at that time-a few minpurpose of this movement, and unable, utes after ten o'clock-within twenty with his meagre garrison of forty men minutes' march of the Ferry,” Lieutenin a country believed to be hostile, to ant Jones gave the order to apply the defend his post, determined to destroy torch. The windows and doors of the the arsenal and armory, lest their im buildings had been opened so that the portant works and valuable supplies of flames could have free sway, and when arms should fall into the possession of all was ready, the fires were started in those who were undoubtedly determined the carpenter's shop, and the trains leadto use them in waging war against the ing to the powder ignited. This done, Federal Government.
the Lieutenant marched out his men and Early in the evening of the 17th of began a rapid retreat. In three minApril, accordingly, the Lieutenant set his . utes after, the buildings of the arsenal
and the carpenter's shop were in a “com-ceedings to the United States Governplete blaze."
| ment. The fire alarmed the town, and its ex- His conduct met with the approbation cited populace pursued Lieutenant Jones of the President, who, in consideration and his men, coming upon them just as of “his skilful and gallant conduct at they had reached the bridge, for the Harper's Ferry,” gave him the commispurpose of escaping across. The crowd sion of assistant-quarter-master-general pressed forward, crying vengeance upon with the rank of captain, and sent to him
em for having set fire to the buildings. through the secretary this flattering Jones wheeled his men, and facing the tribute: multitude declared, unless they dis “War DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, ) persed, he would fire upon them. The
April 22d, 1861. intimidated throng shrunk back, and “LIEUTENANT ROGER JONES : Jones took the occasion to continue his | “MY DEAR SIR: I am directed by retreat and take to the woods, followed, the President of the United States to however, by several shots, which fortu- communicate to you, and through you nately were without effect. He now to the officers and men under your comhurried northward, his way being lighted mand at Harper's Ferry armory, the up by the blazing buildings. The ex approbation of the Government of your plosion took place almost as soon as he and their judicious conduct there, and got beyond the town, and he flattered to tender to you and them the thanks' himself that the destruction of the ar- of the Government for the same. senal and armory had been complete. “I am, sir, very respectfully, Hurriedly marching all night across
“Simon CAMERON, streams and bogs, he reached Hagers
“Secretary of War." April town in safety on the next morn This was soon followed by another
19. ing, at seven o'clock, and thence more important, but less justifiable depursued his way to Chambersburg, instruction of public property in Virginia. Pennsylvania, where, confident of being It will be recollected that Governor among a loyal people, he could stop to Letcher had already ordered the main refresh his wayworn men, who had entrance of the harbor of Norfolk to be marched all night and eaten nothing obstructed by the sinking of small boats. since they left Harper's Ferry. Four Seven vessels had been sunk at the of his little garrison, however, were mouth of the Elizabeth River, the only missing, and it was feared that they had channel of communication between the been captured, or perhaps slain.
sea and the Gosport navy-yard. The From Chambersburg Lieutenant Jones obvious object of this was to hem in proceeded with his men to Carlisle Bar- that important naval station, so that by
e he preventing the egress of the United 20. dispatched a report of his pro- States vessels there, or the ingress of
THE NORFOLK NAVY YARD.
any force that might be sent to their / wonder of all sight-seers, until she sailed aid, the navy-yard with its ships and its to Norfolk, many years after, where stores should be at the mercy of the she has remained a useless hulk, too State of Virginia. The dispatch which unwieldy and too expensive for service. announced the execution of the Gover- The Delaware, also a sailing line-ofnor's order exultingly declared : “Thus battle-ship, was of two thousand six hunhave we secured for Virginia three of dred and thirty-three tons, carrying an the best ships of the navy," alluding to armament of eighty-four guns, and a crew the Cumberland, Merrimac, and Penn- of eight hundred men. She, however, sylvania, then among the vessels in the was rotten, and had been long condemned Gosport navy-yard at Norfolk. The as unfit for service. inhabitants had, moreover, shown their The Columbus, a line-of-battle-ship, hostile intentions by seizing the United of two thousand four hundred and eighty April States magazine, situated below the tons burthen, and rated for eighty guns
19. city, and containing four thousand and eight hundred men, was also useless kegs of powder.
as a sailing vessel, but was thought The navy-yard was in command of capable of being converted into a Commodore Charles S. Macaulay, a vet- steamer. The Raritan, a frigate of one eran naval officer. The establishment, thousand seven hundred and twenty-six one of the largest in the United States, I tons, and fifty guns, was another vessel contained not only stores of naval and which had been condemned as unfit for military munitions of war and ships, but service. arsenals, foundries, workshops, and The Plymouth, a first-class sloop-ofdocks—a mass of public property which war, of nine hundred and eighty-nine had cost the United States over fifty tons, and twenty-two guns, was undermillions of dollars.
going repairs, and was a vessel of little There were twelve vessels of war value. stationed at the yard, with an aggregate There was the New York, the keel of tonnage of about thirty-five thousand which was laid forty-five years ago, tons, and an armament of six hundred still on the stocks, and was hardly and fifty guns. These were the Penn- thought to be available. To these sylvania, a sailing vessel, the largest line- vessels of little value, may be added the of-battle-ship ever built in the United old United States, built in 1797. States. Her tonnage was three thou- There were, however, the four sailing sand three hundred and forty-one tons, ships, the fine frigate Cumberland, the and she was built to carry a hundred Germantown, the Columbia, and the and twenty guns, to work which and the brig Dolphin, which were for the most ship would have required a crew of a part in good condition and capable of thousand men. Built in 1837, at Phil- the best service. In addition was the adelphia, she remained there as the first-class steam frigate the Merrimac,
of three thousand two hundred tons, and peak the commodore's pennant, moved forty guns. Built at the Charlestown from the dock of Fort Monroe cheered navy-yard, near Boston, in 1855, she had by the shouts of the garrison gathered proved herself ever since to be one of on the parapet of the fortress, and the most powerful and valuable steamers steamed off for Norfolk. Notwithstandin the United States navy.
ing the sunken vessels in the channel, modore Macaulay, supposed to be the steamer passed without difficulty up acting with the concurrence of the Hampton Roads, past Norfolk, to Gosauthorities at Washington, now deter- port navy-yard, where she arrived at mined to save what little he could of half-past eight o'clock. The people of this valuable Government property, and Norfolk and Portsmouth were greatly destroy the remainder in order to pre- disturbed by her approach, as they bevent its falling into the possession of the lieved she had come to aid in bomApril Virginians. The commander of barding their towns. Overcome with
20. the insurgents at Norfolk, General fright, and unprepared for resistance, Taliafero, had already demanded the they made no show of opposition, but surrender of the navy-yard, and after a every inhabitant took care to keep at a conference with the Commodore, at noon, | discreet distance. declared that he had his assurance that Our people at the navy-yard, expect“none of the vessels should be removed, ing the coming of the Pawnee, were on nor a shot fired, except in self-defence.” | the alert, and as she came alongside the However this may be, the Commodore dock, the sailors on board the Cumberdoubtless was so persuaded of the hos- land and Pennsylvania, crowding into tile intent of the threatening force in the shrouds and manning the yards, Norfolk, as to believe that the most de- heartily cheered her. Cut off as they cided measures had become necessary to had been for so long a time from all thwart it.
communication with the town, insulted In the evening the United States and threatened daily with attack by the April steamer the Pawnee arrived from infuriated insurgents of Virginia, they
20. Washington with two hundred saw, in the arrival of the Pawnee, a volunteers and a hundred marines, in means of relief, if not an opportunity addition to her own crew, and after of vindicating the national dignity, and stopping at Fortress Monroe and taking exulted greatly. on board a reinforcement of men, pro- As soon as the steamer had made fast ceeded at once to co-operate with Com- to the dock, Colonel Wardrop, the milmodore Macaulay, and aid him in what | itary commander, marched out his men ever action he had determined upon. and stationed them at the gates of the
It was about seven o'clock, on a clear navy-yard, to prevent the entrance of April moonlight night, that the Pawnee, the insurgents, should they make the 20. Captain Paulding, flying at her attempt. The marines of the different