Harpers Ferry Raid (Tindall, 1999)

George Brown Tindall and David E. Shi, eds., America: A Narrative History, 5th ed. (2 vols., New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1999), 1: 711-12.
Self-righteous and demanding, [John Brown] was driven by a sense of crusading zeal. His penetrating gray eyes, flowing beard, and religious certainty evoked images of a vengeful Abraham and struck fear into supporters and opponents alike. On October 16, 1859, Brown made his supreme gesture. From a Maryland farm he crossed the Potomac with about twenty men, including five blacks, and under cover of darkness occupied the federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). He planned to arm the many slaves who would flock to his cause, set up a black stronghold in the mountains of western Virginia, and provide a nucleus of support for slave insurrections across the South. What he actually did was to take the arsenal by surprise, seize a few hostages, and hole up in the engine house until he was surrounded by militiamen and townspeople. The next morning Brown sent his son Watson and another supporter out under a white flag, but the enraged crowd shot them both.... That night Lieutenant-Colonel Robert E. Lee, U.S. Cavalry, arrived with his aide, Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, and a force of marines. The following morning, on October 18, Stuart and his troops broke down the barricaded doors and rushed into the engine house…. The siege was over. Altogether Brown's men killed four people (including one marine) and wounded nine. Of their own force, ten died (including two of Brown's sons), seven were captured, and five escaped.
    How to Cite This Page: "Harpers Ferry Raid (Tindall, 1999)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/29918.