During the War Between the States, Harpers Ferry was located in Virginia, situated at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. It was at that point that the Baltimore and Ohio and the Winchester and Potomac Railroads met. Later on, those counties which favored the Union, seceded from the Confederacy and were accepted into the Union in 1863 as an independent statee, then called Kaanawha, later renamed West Virginia. In October of 1859 a radical abolitionist, John Brown, captured the Federal arsenal in the town. His purpose was to arm slaves and incite a revolt. Colonel Robert E. Lee, commandant of the U. S. Marines, was sent to recapture the arsenal. Brown was tried and hanged for treason. The town served as a base for the Confederates during July of 1861, under Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. When the Confederates moved soth, the Union troops occupied the town.
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