agreed, contingent upon that event, that he would next day order the movement by telegraph.1
He was then informed what companies would be under arms and ready to move at a moment's notice.
This self-constituted committee then wired the captains of the companies along the above-named railways to be ready to move the next day, by orders from the governor, which, it was stated, would be to aid in capturing the Gosport navy yard, as a precaution lest information of the movement should reach Washington
It was well known that the guard at Harper's Ferry
was only 45 men and could easily be captured if surprised; but Wise
had information from Washington
that a Massachusetts regiment, 1,000 strong, had been ordered to Harper's Ferry
After the close of the conference the Ashbys, Funsten
secured ammunition and 100 stand of arms for the Martinsburg light infantry from the Virginia armory
, and had these moved to the railway station and loaded on a train before sunrise of the 17th.
, by telegraph, ordered all volunteer companies in the county of Augusta
to assemble at Staunton
at 4 p. m. of the 17th for marching orders.
This produced great excitement, as that was a strong Union county
, and the people assembled in Staunton
in great numbers.
reached that place, in the afternoon of the 17th, he found his own company, the Staunton artillery, and Capt. William S. H. Baylor
's West Augusta guards, an infantry company, drawn up to receive him. There were also present Maj.-Gen. Kenton Harper
, commanding the Fifth division of the Virginia
militia, and Brig.-Gen. William H. Harman
, commanding the Thirteenth brigade of the Virginia
militia, who had a telegram from Letcher
ordering them into service and referring them to Imboden
He informed them, confidentially, of what had been done.
had wired Harper
to take chief command of the movement and Harman
to call out the armed companies of his brigade.
At 5 p. m. Harper
left for Winchester
by rapid conveyance, after ordering Harman
to take command of the trains and troops that might report