Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, was the site of John Brown’s 1859 raid. Then part of Virginia, Harpers Ferry was home to a federal armory. Brown and his followers aimed to seize munitions at the armory and incite slaves to escape, but they were soon overwhelmed by local and federal forces. Many of Brown’s men were killed in the ensuing conflict, and Brown and six others were later tried for treason and executed.

During the Civil War, Harpers Ferry was a strategic position desired by both Union and Confederate forces. In 1862, it became the site of the largest Union surrender of the Civil War when it was captured by Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.

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