With support from American Public University System (apus.edu). The sentiments expressed do not in any way reflect modern-day policies of APUS, and are intended to encourage fact-based exchange for a better understanding of our nation’s foundational values.
As they moved in the direction of Harper’s Ferry to capture the United States arsenal there with its muskets and equipment, they heard a roar and saw a huge glow from the little town in the ravine. The arsenal was preemptively blown up.
“The great experiment which the pure and wise of all nations are watching with trembling solicitude and imperishable hope. It was something to belong to such a nationality. This was yesterday.
“To-day, what am I? A citizen of Virginia. Virginia, a petty commonwealth with scarcely a million of white inhabitants. What could she ever hope to be but a worthless fragment of the broken vase? A fallen and splintered column of the once glorious temple. But I will not dwell longer on the humiliating contrast.
“Come harness up the buggy and let us get out of this or I shall suffocate. On our way to Charles Town we met great numbers of persons afoot, on horseback, and on wheels, hurrying to the scene of excitement.
“Some attracted simply by curiosity, others armed and demonstrative, eager to claim a share of the glory after the danger was over.”