April 30, 1861
A correspondent of the Baltimore Sun, writing from Harper’s Ferry on the 23rd inst., says: “The machinery and tools of the armory, as well as the unfinished arms that escaped destruction by fire, are being rapidly boxed up and sent into the interior of the state. This is done for prudential reasons, and also as a punishment to the hands employed in the armory, most of whom took sides against the secession of the State, and even threatened to join Lieut. Foster’s command, which was stationed at the armory for its protection, for the purpose of beating back the Jefferson county forces under the command of Cols. Allen and Gibson, who were ordered to take possession of the armory for the use of the State.
I notice several false statements in regard to the burning of the armory buildings. Nothing was burned but the two brick buildings comprising the arsenal and the roof of one of the shops in the armory yard. Large quantities of powder which had been removed clandestinely from the magazine, were placed in the shops, undoubtedly for the purpose of blowing them up, as were also eight or ten kegs under the railroad platform in front of the “Wasser House.” This, however, was fortunately discovered and removed before the fire had made much headway. The wanton burning of the arms by the federal forces has created a feeling of universal antipathy against those who now control the federal government, the chief of whom no longer than ten days ago assured the Virginia commissioners that there should be no unnecessary destruction of either public or private property. The Virginia forces here are under the command of General Kenton Harper, of Staunton, and Brigadier Gen. Carson, of Winchester. Gen. Harper saw a good deal of service in the Mexican war.”
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: April 1861