April 30, 1861
On Friday last, whilst Maj. Gen. Harney, of the United States Army, was on his way, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to Washington City, he was arrested at Harper’s Ferry, by Capt. Fred W.M. Holliday, by the authority of Brigadier Gen. Carson. Maj. Gen. Harney was sent to Richmond via Staunton, escorted by Maj. Wm. N. Nelson, of the 2nd Regiment Va. Volunteers, accompanied by Maj. Tazowell Patton, Col. Thos. Marshall, Capt. Fred. W. M. Holliday and Capt. James Kenney. They arrived in Staunton on Saturday evening, and went in the train to Richmond on Sunday morning. The arrival of this distinguished Officer, who has rendered such gallant service, under the circumstances attending him, created quite an interest in our town as the citizens became convinced that the news was not a hoax. He was considered quite a “lion,” and many went to get a “sight of his mane and the wag of his tail.” It is hoped that, as he is a Southern man by birth, he will give the South the benefit of his high qualifications as a General.
P.S.---Gen Harney was received and treated by Gov. Letcher with the highest consideration, was released from arrest, and set out for Washington City on yesterday morning.
May 7, 1861
In our notice last week of the arrest of General Harney at Harper’s Ferry, we omitted, for want of information, any mention of the part taken by the Augusta soldiery in the affair.---Gen. Harper had been telegraphed from Richmond to look out for troops from Ohio and Indiana on that night’s train, and before night he laid all his plans accordingly, including arrangements for getting information from distant western points on the Baltimore Railroad. He thus ascertained that Gen. Harney was on that train. Under his General orders, Gen. Harman detailed Col. W. S. H. Baylor, with other Augusta officers, to examine the train on its approach; they did so, and reported that Gen. Harney was onboard. The train was then ordered to move slowly to the Ferry, and General Carson, as the senior Brigadier, was instructed by Gen. Harper to have the formal arrest made, which was done by his aids despatched [sic] to the cars for that purpose.
The approach to the Ferry for that train was through the posts of the Augusta companies; and we learn that in the critical hour of doubt as to whether the train did or did not contain hostiles troops, that every officer and man was at his post of duty, which was well known then to be the post of danger, and through all the time displayed most strikingly a coolness and readiness for the battle which showed them to be worthy guardians of the honor of Old Augusta.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: April 1861