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[67] placed barrels of it so as to not only destroy the buildings but any persons who might approach them. They then sent out mounted sentinels for two or three miles on different roads to watch the approach of the Virginia troops. One of these, about 9 p. m., hailed Colonel Allen and his command on the road to Charlestown; when the colonel ordered a charge to capture him, he rode off rapidly and reported to Jones, who at about 10 p. m. fired the buildings and crossed with his command into Maryland and retreated. By great exertions, notwithstanding the danger from explosions, the citizens (who had gathered in large numbers) and soldiers promptly proceeded to put out the fires and prevent them from spreading, thus saving many thousand stand of arms from the arsenal and preventing any damage to the armory, the removal of the machinery from which, to Richmond, was immediately begun.

On the 22d, news reached Harper's Ferry that Virginia had passed the ordinance of secession, relieving the fears of many of the officers and troops that had been assembled there, that they had been acting unlawfully.

Within a week after the capture of, Harper's Ferry some 1,300 Virginia troops, the armed and equipped volunteer companies of the militia, were there assembled under the commands of Brigadier-Generals Carson, Meem and Harman, from whose jurisdictions they had been summoned, and all under Major-General Harper, as division commander of the militia. These officers, in the full and brilliant uniforms of their rank, and each with a large staff, made an imposing display as they rode through the camps and around the vicinity of Harper's Ferry. The reign of the militia lasted about ten days, during which the only marked event was an ordering of the command under arms, on the night of the 25th, to capture a train of Federal troops reported as coming from the West, but which was found to have on it only General Harney of the United States army, who was taken prisoner. Letcher, on the 20th, had prohibited the Baltimore & Ohio from passing troops across Virginia over that road.

Imboden relates that he improvised caissons for his artillery from horse carts found in the armory; procured harness from Baltimore with his own means, and ordered red flannel shirts and other service clothing for his men

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