October 16, 1859: John Brown Captures U.S. Armory

Oct 16, 2014

Infuriated—and mostly drunken—Harpers Ferry townspeople grabbed their rifles and trapped Brown’s men in the armory’s fire engine house. On the morning of October 18, U.S. Marines under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee captured Brown and the eight raiders who had survived the ordeal.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Harpers Ferry, John Brown, US Armory, Robert E. Lee, Civil War

John Brown, and a band of anti-slavery men, captured the U.S. armory at Harpers Ferry on the night of October 16, 1859. Earlier in the year, Brown had settled into a western Maryland farmhouse, where he trained his 18-man army in military tactics. His goal was to seize weapons from the national armory at Harpers Ferry and arm slaves, who would then overthrow their masters.