Burning haystack panics Virginians anticipating an attempt to rescue John Brown
A haystack burned on a farm during the night three miles from Charlestown, Virginia causing excitement among the already nervous population preparing for the execution of John Brown and his men. A thousand Virginia militiamen were already estimated to be in or near the town as wild rumors of attempted rescue circulated. This fire brought a panicked call from militia commanders for the dispatch of even more troops. (By John Osborne)
"Unabated Excitement in Virginia," New York Times, November 19, 1859, p.1.