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Colonel Robert E. Lee leads federal troops back to Harpers Ferry to support Virginia's execution of John Brown

Robert Edward Lee, detail
In accordance with President Buchanan's assurances of federal help in preventing the rescue of John Brown, Colonel Robert E. Lee led a force from Washington to Harpers Ferry, revisiting the scene of his capture of the condemned man.  His troops were not needed and remained at the Arsenal while Brown was hanged in nearby Charlestown, Virginia.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Emory M. Thomas, Robert E. Lee: A Biography (New York: Norton, 1997), 183.