The Storming Of The Engine-House By The United States Marines
Harper's Weekly, 5 November 1859
(Virginia Historical Society, Accession no. 2003.31.21)
President James Buchanan sent to the scene a contingent of U. S. Marines under the command of Robert E.
Lee. The men arrived Monday evening. At dawn on Tuesday—before Lee ordered a group to storm the engine house—he sent
Lieutenant Jeb Stuart forward under a flag of truce in an attempt to negotiate surrender. Having served in Kansas, Stuart
recognized John Brown, whose identity to that point had been unknown. On the failure of Stuart's effort, Lee ordered the
marines forward. One of them was killed, as were two insurgents. The episode lasted only a few minutes. In the end, four
citizens had been shot and killed, along with the one marine. Several other citizens were severely wounded. Ten of
Brown's twenty-one men were dead; six more, plus Brown himself, would be hanged.