The Labor Fight

This July 27, 1877 article from the Pittsburgh Daily Post notes the easing of tensions regarding the railroad strike and suggests that the end of violence has been achieved. The article also details the military's efforts to control the situation as well as the Pennsylvania Central's efforts to rebuild its tracks.

Movements of the Home
A General Feeling of Safety Now
The State, County and Municipal Meas-
ures for Protection.
Clearing Up the Debris and Relay-
ing Tracks.
Meeting of Mansfield and Monon-

A general feeling of safety gave place yesterday to the grave apprehensions of our citizens. The county and municipal measures for protection are now very complete, and no further demonstration of mob violence is anticipated. No more strikes were reported, and it was believed that the strikers generally are weakening. Work was commenced yesterday at removing the debris on the tracks of the Pennsylvania Central line and to-day passenger trains will run into the city as far as Liberty and Grant streets. Many of the pillagers, frightened at the prompt measures for their arrest and punishment, are returning the freight goods stolen, and the larger portion of the property will doubtless be restored. The local military are still stationed at their headquarters awaiting orders and General Hancock of the United States army is hastening to the city. These are the developments of yesterday in the great labor conflict. A full report is given below:


Association Press dispatches published last evening give the intelligence that Gen. W. S. Hancock has been ordered to this city. The Fourteenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth regiments are still awaiting orders at the Central armory and Court House. They have been called out by the State authorities and will, of course, be paid by the State for each day of service. The Fourteenth regiment now numbers three hundred and thirty-two men, of whom two hundred and sixty are at the Court House. One company is stationed at Verona and another at Elizabeth. The former company was ordered to the city, but the citizens sent a committee to the officers praying that the soldiers be retained there, and the order was countermanded. The soldiers stationed at the Court House and Central Armory march in squads to the hotels for their meals. The State must also bear this expense. General Browne still holds his headquarters at the old Commercial building. He was in consultation with the civil authorities yesterday and recommended the Sheriff and Mayor to enlarge their respective forces so that they, the civil authorities, would be able to suppress any attempted disturbances.


The following orders were received by Gen. Browne yesterday afternoon:

Headquarters National Guard
of Pennsylvania,
Adjutant General's Office.

To Brigadier General Joseph Browne, Pittsburgh,
and Major General H. L. Hindekoper, Meadville:

General Order No. 2,

First—During the existing emergency, in all cases, troops are to be moved in compact bodies, and under no circumstances is firing to be permitted, except by order of the officer in immeidate command.

Second—All other means of quieting riot and restoring order having first been exhausted, the officer commanding the troops shall notify rioters that they will be fired upon unless they promptly disperse. The order to fire will then be deliberately given, and every soldier will be expected to fire with effect. The firing will continue until the mob disappears.

Third—Officers in command of troops will report to their headquarters the names of all citizens who have attempted or may attempt to dissuade members of the National Guard from the discharge of their duties. All such persons should be arrested if possible.

Fourth—Headquarters at two o'clock P. M. to-day will be in special car on Pennsylvania Railroad. All communications will be addressed accordingly.

Fifth—General officers will publish these orders, not only to the troops, but to the public generally. John F. Hartranft
Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the National Guards of Pennsylvania.


The work of clearing away the debris on the tracks of the Pennsylvania Central road, was commenced yesterday and actively pushed forward. A force of men was employed on the tracks from the Outer to the Union Dpot, and still others were engaged at the Pan Handle depot, on Grant street, at the Grant street metal yards, and about the Pan Handle tunnel. Depot Master Butler was directing the force about the Union Depot. The debris was removed with a view to completing a track to the corner of Liberty and Grant street, for the accommodation of through and local passengers. Superintendent Pitcairn, Assistant Watt, Mr. S. F. Smithson, Superintendent of Transportation, and Mr. Brown, Superintendent of the Tracks, were all present at the Outer depot during the day. Under their direction the trackmen were at work in repairing the track. A special guard was present to protect the workmen, but no person offered to molest them. Reports were circulated in the evening to the effect that the strikers had driven them away, but this was false. The passenger trains will be running to this point to-day, and in two or three days at the furthest doubtless the through trains from the western roads will make connections with the main stem at this point.


The safes of the different companies were unearthed from the Union Depot ruins yesterday and opened. Ticket Agent Strong, of the Pennsylvania Central Company was surprised to find that the combination to their safe worked freely. None of the contents were destroyed. About $800 in nickles and paper money as well as important papers and tickets innumerable were taken out. This was a Barnes safe. The Union Depot Hotel safe too was intact and from it Col. A. E. J. Unger, Superintendent of the Keystone Hotel Company, took out $6,000 in money. The Colonel was wonderfully relieved when he found the money unharmed. The safe of the Allegheny Valley Railroad Company was intact.


The employes [sic] of the hotel were paid off yesterday morning by Cashier Murdoch, in the presence of Col. Unger. The payment was made at the St. James Hotel. Among the employes [sic] was a lady known to many of the guests as Alice. During the excitment on Sunday this lady directed different male employes [sic] to pack up the silverware and other valuable poratble articles, and these were saved from the rains. These articles will aggregate perhaps a couple of thousand dollars in value. Col. Unger was very grateful to the employe [sic] for her conduct. Her presence of mind, nerve and pluck were remarkable. The hotel company have not yet decided whether they will rebuild or not.


In this connection we may give the report that the Centennial depot at Philadelphia will be removed to the site of the ruins. The structure was built with a view of possible removal. The railroad company will replace only a few of the old buildings. It is stated that the shops will be located at another point.


The Mayor, under authority of the Committee of Public Safety, still keeps adding to the police force. At present the force numbers two hundred and forty-six men, all of whom are experienced officers. Still others will be received who are not over twenty-eight years of age or under five feet nine inches in height. The officers make their headquarters at City Hall. They are provided with bunks and sleep in the building. Fully one hundred men could be concentrated at any special point on a very short notice. The officers still keep making arrests but there were none of the imporatnce last night other than such as are mentioned below.


Numbering sixty men, under command of Major J. C. Paul, are working in harmony with the Mayor's force. These are also authorized by the Committee on Public Safety and the wisdom of the movement to employ them has been more than once set forth. They are composed, exclusively of men engaged in the cavalry service during the late unpleasantness. At an early hour yesterday morning one of the Mayor's officers was making an arrest at Penn avenue and Eleventh street, when a crowd of roughs was about to interfere. At this juncture, however, a squad of the mounted patrol rode up and the crowd quickly dispersed. The prisoner was followed to the Central Station by the mounted guards.

Deputy Mayor Butler still conducts the hearings, owing to the Mayor's activity in directing the forces. Yesterday morning the Acting Mayor sentenced three parties to the Workhouse. William Lambert, charged with interfering with workmen on the track of the Citizen's Passenger Railway out Penn avenue, by trying to induce them to strike and abusing the contractor, will spend the next ninety days with the Claremont communists. An ex-Councilman was given twenty-five dollars and costs or thirty days to the Workhouse for disorderly conduct. Thomas Creoin, for a similar offence, received a similar sentence. Robert Hughes, who was arrested in the vicinity of Brown's mill on Tuesday night, armed with a musket, was committed to jail on a charge of riot. A number of common cases were also disposed of.


But few witnesses have as yet been secured to testify against the arrested rioters, and the cases of a number of the latter were postponed till a future date. John Harris, charged with riot, was committed for a hearing on Friday. John Johnston, charged with arson, was also committed for a hearing on that day. John McChesney, the ex-lieutenant of the police force, yesterday afternoon waived a hearing and gave bail in the sum of $2,000 for his appearance at court. His father was the bondsman. Rioting is the charge preferred against him. Wm. Phillips, who is charged with firing on the Philadelphia soldiers while on their retreat out the avenue, was jailed for a hearing on Thursday next. There are no new developments in his case.


The law-abiding citizens still keep organizing their forces for the purpose of protecting life and property, and most of the people are now resting safely under the assurance that the citizens and civil forces could easily quell any insurrection without the aid of the military. In addition to the companies whose organization was reported yesterday morning, several more have been organized. Among these is the company of Sportsmen's Guards, organized yesterday afternoon, being the Sportsmen's Association of Western Pennsylvania, at their rooms on Fifth avenue. The Association embraces two hundred members, representing the most wealthy and influentil [sic] families in the community. Over one hundred enrolled their names yesterday, when the following officers were chosen: Captain, Gen. J. B. Sweitzer; First Lieutenant, Major D. C. Phillips; Second Lieutenant, Lieu C. [Uralstetter], U. S. A.; Orderly Sergeant and Drill Officer, Lieut. Osgood, U. S. A. After effecting an organization, a squad proceeded to the Western University, where a drill was had. The company will be armed with breech loading shot guns and Winchester repeating rifles. As every member is accustomed to the use of firearms, and can bring down his bird on the wing, there will be no child's play when they are called into action. To face this company would be about as unpleasant as to march towards the mouth of a battery of Gattling guns. They are, besides, a body of brave men, who will not shirk if occasion for their services should rise. Most of the members are prominent business men, and these will not forsake their business. While they will be in attendance at their usual tasks, however, they will be ready for any emergency. Each member is requested to solicit their friends who are not members, and who are skilled in the use of the gun, to join the guard. The gentlemen are each provided with a red, white and blue badges, on which is printed the words, "Sportsmen's Guard."


The citizens of McKeesport, where nearly the entire laboring class is on a strike, too, are vigilant. They held a meeting on Wednesday night, at Masonic Hall, to organize a civilians' guard. James F. Ryan, Esq., was called to the chair and made permanent chairman, W. E. Harrison and George Murphy Vice Presidents, and Joseph A. Skelley, Wm. Quinn and the reporters of the press Secretaries. The hall was so crowded that it was very uncomfortable, and never before did so many of the citizens respond with such alacrity. The proclamation of the Burgeas was then read by Secretary Skelley, by order of the Chairman; also a petition signed by about two hundred citizens, asking for a meeting to be called, and signifying their readiness to enroll themselves in a company to protect the property of the borough and citizens if necessary. It should be remarked here that no trouble is anticipated from the home men, but they fear a crowd of roughs and other strikers may assemble from other places, and during the excitement plunder and burn the town. The citizens subsequently elected Major Jas. F. Ryan Colonel of the regiment, and provided a company in each of the different wards with the following officers: Colonel, Maj. James F. Ryan; Major, Captain Wash. Gray; Captain, First war, Jas. F. McMullen; Captain, Second ward, A. B. Campbell; Captain, Third ward, E. C. Gomers. Immediately after adjournment of the citizens' meeting the different ward companies met and opened a roll, and there was no difficulty in obtaining volunteers. A number of special police have been sworn in and patrol the streets day and night. The strikers closed all the saloons on Monday morning and they have remained so, therefore there have been no drunken men to contend with. Many of the strikers are enrolled in the different companies and are law-abiding citizens.


The Sewickley people held a mass meeting on Wednesday night, when a temporary patrol was organized for the night. Eight or ten trains were captured and for the want of a place to confine them they were escorted to the borough lines, and thence sent on their way rejoicing. Yesterday morning a meeting of the borough Council was held, when it was decided to have a regular night patrol of the streets of ten men. Each citizen is expected to do his share of the work. Council appointed Colonel McKelvey commander-in-chief of the patrol, with full power to arrange it according to his judgement. The roll of the citizens of the borough has been placed in his hands and he and his aids will each day select the ten men for that night's duty therefore. Thus each man will have to serve on the patrol, and no one will have to serve two nights in succession. The patrolmen will be sworn in and given power to arrest. An old station house will be prepared for the reception of tramps who may be picked up by the patrolmen. The tramps will be confined here for the night, and in the morning will have a hearing before Squire Rudisill.

The citizens of Leet township met at No. 6 school last night when it was decided to organize a patrol which shall be stationed at the entrances into the township night and day, whose duty it shall be to prevent the entrance of tramps and all persons who cannot show that they are engaged in some honest employment, into the township limits. If any do succeed in getting in, upon their failure to come up to the shown qualifications they will be arrested and sent to the county Workhouse. Judge Fetterman gave his opinion on the subject to the effect that the township had power to carry out the above programme.


A second meeting was held by the people of Hazelwood last night, when it was decided to raise money to employ a special police for the district, in addition to these employed by the city authorities. The residents of the vicinity have subscribed money to defray the expenses. The citizens of the East End have organized an efficient company, which has been put on duty at Brushton station. Mr. M. McClarren has command. At Oakland, too, a company of citizens has been organized and are under the command of Colonel Hatry.

In different other rural wards new organization were effected last night. The measures for protection, as instituted by the citizens, ought certainly be ample for any emergency.


[unclear] reports reached town yesterday morning of grounds for probable trouble at Mansfield yesterday. It was said that four thousand miners would meet in convention last evening; that they were ripe for riot; that three car loads of whisky [sic] stood on the siding at the station, and that after the meeting the probabilities were that these cars would be pillaged and Mansfield filled with a drunken mob. This is a good specimen of the manner in which the truth is simplified and embellished in these exciting times.


The good people of Mansfield evidently anticipated trouble themselves. At least they deemed it politic to be prepared for emergencies. On Wednesday evening they held a meeting jointly, appointed [unclear] and police and established a series of signals by which the minute men could be called together at a moment's notice. Yesterday all business men of the two boroughs who spent the day at Pittsburgh, repaired to their homes at noon for the purpose of taking a hand in defense. Certainly it was not necessary. A score of times within the past few years the Pennsylvania legislation has been infinitely more a mob than were the miners at Mansfield yesterday.


Shortly after noon the miners came marching into Mansfield, led by Joseph Asten, and numbering between four and five hundred. They repaired immediately to Fritz' Grove, about a quarter of a mile to the south from the bridge that connects the twin boroughs. After a sort of basket picnic, they organized by appointing George Miller President. Mr. Miller addressed the meeting briefly, counselling moderation in all things, yet urging miners to stand firm for their rights. He was followed by a German miner, aged, white-haired, but intelligent and practical, named Henry Hummell. This gentleman addressed the miners at some length, holding them half entranced with his rough eloquence, while he dilated on the wrongs of the laboring man and the ills that had been brought upon the country by the grabbing capitalist and the mismanagement of the general government. Following Mr. Hummell the meeting was addressed by Rev. Dr. McLane, of the Presbyterian Church of Mansfield, who made a speech that struck the assembly with peculiar force. He counselled them to be slow to proceed to any violent act, to allow reason, judgement and justice to rule every action, and, above all, adjured them to maintain strict sobriety during the crisis which seemed to have arrived in the vexed question of social economy which was at this time shaking the republic to its foundation stones. His speech was listened to with great respect and loudly applauded. Then the


reported, and their decision was unanimously indorsed. This, in effect, was that the miners should demand from the operators four cents per bushel instead of two and a half cents as heretofore, and seventy-six pounds to the bushel instead of eighty, the usual number of pounds; that no free turns, by which favoritism to certain men was shown, should be permitted in the future, and that a check weighmaster should be appointed to each tipple. The resolutions were adopted with cheers, after which the miners formed in line and started on their homeward march. Through the town they marched in good order to the music of the band. Hardly a man straggled from the ranks, the citizens looked on anxiously. But the ranks were never broken till the limits of the boroughs had been passed and the good citizens breathed freely once more. The men comprised nearly all of the miners in pits between this city and Mansfield. They felt aggrieved that any one should have thought that they were disposed to be riotous or destructive, and therefore exerted themselves to leave a good impression. Never was a large meeting conducted in a more orderly manner, and the people of Mansfield are loud in their praise.


About three hundred of the striking miners from the vicinity of Elizabeth, Dravosburg and surrounding towns marched in a body to McKeesport yesterday. They had been informed by two men from the latter place that a general convention of all strikers from the vicinity would be held at McKeesport, and came to join their voices with others in the protests against employers. They marched to fife and drum. Upon arriving at McKeesport the delegation was astonished, and chagrined too, to learn that the convention will be held to-day. They organized a meeting, however, and speeches were made by different ones of their own number, setting forth their grievances. The demonstration was very orderly and quiet. In order to prevent violence the leaders of the delegation appointed an overseer for every ten men. The precautions, however, were unnecessary as the strikers were all very orderly. After the meeting they marched back to their homes. They will join the convention to be held here to-day.

The laborers who have been employed at the National Tube works at this point appointed a committee from their number the other day to confer with the Superintendent of the works. It is understood the result of the conference will be made known to-day. Only the laborers and not the skilled workmen of this establishment have joined in the strike.

On Tuesday the squad of miners who marched about this vicinity sent a committee to the sawmills of Joseph Walton & Co. and J. N. Laige, and requested the men to stop work. At the latter place the men refused, and are still at work, but at the former place they were reequested to comply with the request of the Committee by Walton & Co. The saw mill laborers asked the miners if they would compel them to stop work and the latter made the singular reply, "No, we will use no violence, but it would be much better for you to stop work."


Express and way passenger trains are running as usual on the Pennsylvania road. The former leaves the West Penn depot on Federal street, Allegheny, as near on schedule time as the limited accommodation of the road, which has only one track, will permit. The fast line from Philadelphia arrived early yesterday morning without any interception, though a few hours behind. Passengers who passed through on this train state that there was evidence of excitement at many points on the road, but no boisterous demonstrations were observed anywhere. Several through trains left the West Penn depot last evening and at last accounts were speeding on their way unmolested. At Philadelphia, the eastern terminus of the P. R. R., the authorities have started freight trains running much to the dissatisfaction of a howling mob who are, however, powerless since the road is well guarded by armed forces. Way passenger trains are arriving and departing at the Thirty-third street station, this city, on the schedule time at which they formerly ran to and from the Union depot. Until a temporary track is constructed over the ruins to the Union depot, which, as noted elsewhere, will be the course of the company, Thirty-third street will be made the western terminus of the road.


The officials of the Alegheny Valley road gave orders yesterday that for the present but two trains would be run on the road—the Buffalo express and the Titusville mail. Both these trains made trips yesterday, and were not interfered with, though considerable murmuring was heard among the strikers, who have been, since the trouble, congregating at Forty-third streets and at Verona borough. Some say these trains must also be abandoned, but he majority, will not hear to their discontinuance. No way passenger trains will be sent over the road until the company is assured protection from the mob.


The trains on this road are still in the hands of the strikers, who run them as near on schedule time as they can to make connections. All the local trains have been arriving and departing as usual to accommodate business men living on the line of the road. It was stated yesterday that the strikers had ordered the discontinuance of all trains except a mail east and west. In consequence of this announcement, it was thought no trains but those mentioned would be put in motion, but yesterday all trains arrived at and departed from the Federal street depot as heretofore. Last evening the fast line, which leaves Allegheny at 11:57 P. M., and the Erie express, which arrives at 11:27 P. M., every evening, were taken off by the strikers.


Local as well as through trains have been arriving at and departing from the South Side station as usual. Of course they are somewhat irregular. A little difficulty was experienced on Wednesday evening by conductor Bruce of the mail train going west. He put a man off at Minick station, when the latter whistled for his gang to come and stop the train. This they failed to do and the train proceeded a little further and a switch was found to be misplaced, but the conductor succeeded in getting out of this difficulty also. At a point beyond Mansfield the conductor observed the companion of the [unclear] individual, whom he promptly ejected. Both men were arrested and brough to this city. They are not strikers. All trains left as usual last evening, and will continue to do so to-day if not interfered with.


All trains are running on this road, and have thus far not been intercepted. The employes seem determined to remain with the company. Many have expressed themselves determined to "hold the fort" against the mob until they are compelled to desist.


Here, too, no violence has yet been brought to bear against the running of passenger trains, but as has already been mentioned, this company has abandoned its Try street depot, and trains leave from the Fifth street depot, South Side.


Mention has already been made of the work by detectives, special and regular, as well as police, in making arrests of suspicious characters, and parties who are known to have stolen goods from freight cars on Sunday last. A systematic search is being made and the officers are meeting with encouraging success. In one house in Virgin alley, four wagon loads were found, and similar stores are being discovered in other sections. Mayor McCarthy notified the railroad authorities that if they would provide a warehouse and wagons for transportation, he will turn over the goods to them. This they have done, and the Mayor gives all goods recovered into the bands of C.A. Carpenter, General Freight Agent of the road. One man who resides at Braddocks came into the city on Sunday with a sorrel horse and a three seated wagon, and transported two loads to his home. Yesterday he returned to the city and took another load homeward, covered with straw, which he no doubt secreted somewhere. Many persons, principally colored people, called at the Mayor's office yesterday and gave the names of persons who took part in the stealing. The County Commissioners have rented two warehouses in which they are storing goods as fast as they are recovered by their special detective force. Up to last evening they had recovered twelve wagon loads. The goods are of every description-silks, calices, leather, whips shoes, carpets, books, pictures, whisky, tobacco, valises, umbrellas, sewing machines, flour, meat, cheese, etc. They have the name of one man who is said to have fourteen barrels of flour in his house.


The Citizen's Reserve Corps is now in good shape for effective work. The members of the organization are to be paid by the Committee on Public Safety. General Negley last evening, issued his first general order as follows:


PITTSBURGH, July 26, 1877. General Order No. 1

Having been assigned by the "Committee on Public Safety" to the command of the Citizens' Reserve Corps, I announce the following as my personal staff:

  • Maj. T.R. Swearingen, Adjutant General
  • Gen. C.L. [Fitzaga], Inspector General and A.D.C.
  • Lt. Col. Fred. Cartier, A.D.C.
  • Capt. George Rainer, A.D.C.
  • Mr. C.M. Haprper, Ordinance Officer.
  • Col. D.B. Morris, A.D.C.
  • Mr. W.H. Brill. Quartermaster and Commissary.
  • Col. Thos. Williams, A.D.C.
  • Dr. H.L. Sutton, Surgeon.
  • JAS. [P] NEGLEY, Commanding.

    The following is also handed us for publication:

    A few recruits are wanted to fill the ranks of the paid company attached to the Citizens' Reserve Corp, Lafayette Hall. None will be accepted unless they are well recommended by reputable citizens.

    Peaceable and law abiding citizens in all parts of the county are urged to organize companies of minute men who will be called into active service only in case of emergency.

    [?] organizations opposed of approved officers and men, will be [inraibbed] with men and ammunition at the headquarters of the Citizens' Reserve Corps, Lafayette Hall.


    From the Philadelphia Telegraph of Wednesday evening, we clip the following account of the arrival of the Philadelphia dead at that city:

    The saddest scene which has been witnessed at the West Philadelphia depot since the inauguration of the excitement, was the arrival this morning at ten minutes past ten o'clock, of the four dead soldiers of the 1st Division, which were placed on the fast line from Pittsburgh last evening at eight o'clock.

    One can look with comparative concern upon the devastation of property and feel that it is only a question of time when, by an expenditure of money, the evil can be repaired, but when a mention is turned to the widow, orphan and bereaved mother made by the criminal act of lawless marauders, this national calamity is a frightful thought to contemplate. Millions cannot allay the anguish nor time efface the remembrance of the riots of 1877 among these who are thos [sic] brought so closely face to face with death.


    Watched by a large but instinctively silent assemblage, and when the freight car doors were swung open, revealing four cases of death, there was an anxious move forward by the sympathetic passengers who came in on the fast line with the lifeless bodies. Trucks were brought [into] requisition and one by one the dead were taken from the car and given into the possession of David H. Schuyler, who at once placed them in separate hearses and they were driven away from the depot.


    Among the four was the body of Lieut. J. Dorsey Ash, Keystone battery, which was, from the dimension of the outer box, evidently encased in a [?].

    Another was the body of Private M.E. Gillis, Company E Sixth regiment, while the other two, although unknown to everyone in the depot, are very probably the bodies of Corporal James Hennessey, Company L. Sixth regiment, and Private Alexander Miller, Company B, Sixth regiment, making up the four dead of the Sixth Division as telegraphed as the correct list to Major A.D. Fall, at [1] o'clock this afternoon.

    One of the doubtful coffins was addressed to M. & N. Harper and the others to His Honor Mayor Stokely from Undertaker Devore, of Pittsburgh.


    When the train stopped there stepped from one of the rear cars a lady with bowed head and grief stricken face supported by a gentleman who conducted her tenderly down past the dreaded freight car, through the depot, and into a carriage standing at the front. As if by instinct every one knew that they were mourners to one of the four deceased, and whispered words of sympathy passed from man to man. The lady, scarcely thirty, carried such a woebegone look in her countenance that her mission could not be misunderstood. Her first trouble, perhaps coming upon her with such a sudden and terrific force that upon her face was stamped indelibly every trace of affliction stirring within her breast. She was the widow of Lieutenant J. Dorsey Ash, to whom [?] her brother, the gentleman, escorting her from the train, Undertaker Schuyler went to learn what disposition should be made of the body they mourn. By instruction of the gentleman the hearse was driven off, the diver being ordered to stop at the armory Broad and Race, there to meet an escort of militia and thence proceed to the late residence of deceased, No. 3708 Spruce street. The bodies of the other three militiamen were conveyed to Schuyler's office, No. 2054 North Ninth street, where they were at once opened for identification.


    The body of Lieutenant Ash was received at the armory of the First regiment about 11 o'clock, a large body of people flocking to see nothing more than the wooden box containing his remains. At 12:30 the box was placed in a hearse, and under an escort of twelve men in charge of Lieutenant Grimm, of the First regiment, the body wast [sic] taken to Lieutenant Ash's late residence, No. 3708 Spruce street.


    The same paper also gives the following account of the [exploit] of the Philadelphians who were prevented from coming to this city by the Altoona mob, which had learned of the riot at Twenty-eighth street on Saturday night.


    The troubles of the First City Troop are graphically related by their surgeon, Dr. Frank Maury, who has got home, as well as by several fugitives. They numbered thirty-five men, armed with Winchester carbines, and at 6 o'clock on Sunday night reached Altoona in company with two hundred and fifty other soldiers, detachments from the several Philadelphia regiments. A mob of one thousand men gathered at the depot but did not disturb them, but they prevented the two heavy engines that were to draw them over the mountains from reaching the train. A detachment of fifteen men sent by General Lyle to the round house to fetch the engines were captured, Said Dr. Maury. Another stronger detachment, composed [partly] of colored soldiers from some country company aboard of the train, was sent for a like purpose and shared a like fate. The whole of the troops were then marched down to the round house for the sole purpose of getting at the engines so that the train might proceed to Pittsburgh. But where [?] reached it was found locked and barricaded, and the troops were confronted.


    of at least five thousand people, among whom were many women and children, and the troops marched back to the cars, where they were virtually imprisoned for the balance of the day. It would have been madness," said Dr. Maury, emphatically, "for the troops to have attacked the mob, a large number of whom were armed with rifles, and muskets, and General Lyle displayed his good sense by refraining from [entering] the soldiers to fire, an action which would not only have most probably resulted in their being eventually overpowered and massacred, but would at once have caused the death of many of the women and children, who were inextricably mixed in the crowd. Several times during the day I mixed among them freely. Although I was in uniform, they soon discovered I was a surgeon, and that gave me perfect liberty. I found them bitter and violent of purpose beyond all description, and determined at all hazards to prevent a single soldier going further toward Pittsburgh. They were composed of the workmen in the shops and many of the railroad employes, to which were added in large numbers as the day progresses puddlers and miners from Johnstown, and laborers from all around the country, besides tramps and rowdies of the vilest stamp."


    On Sunday afternoon, Dr. Maury states, the First City Troop car was attached to the Atlantic Express going east, Colonel Snowden's intention being to join General Brinton's force by a detour over the Huntingdon and Broad Top road; but at Huntingdon the mob prevented them from making the attempt. The troops then continued east 'to Rayley's, twenty-three miles' west of Harrisburg, where Colonel Snowden heard that a mob of five thousand was awaiting them at the depot of the State capital. The troop waited here some time and then went down within a short distance of Harrisburg, where they got off, and making a long detour of the city, finally reached the arsenal in the city in safety without encountering the mob. They did so too, without the loss of their arms, and all sound.


    Nothing of note has occurred since our last report, the situation remaining comparatively unchanged. Although no disturbances have occurred, yet the utmost vigilance is exercised by the authorities, and every precaution is taken against any outbreak. The Police Committee met again yesterday afternoon and confirmed the nominotion [sic] of twenty-two special policemen. There are now one hundred special policemen, and one hundred members of the veteran corps under Captain Tyson, which are well distributed. A large squad is kept at Woods Run, the bridges are well guarded and other places where danger is apprehended are also attended to.

    There is no change in the situation on the Fort Wayne road. No freight trains are allowed to move, but passenger trains were running as usual until last night when two were taken off. Some of the strikers aver that they will stop all passenger trains to-day, allowing only postal cars to move. The men are as determined as ever and say They can stand it if the rest of the people can. The most rational of the men-and there is a large number of these-recognize quite fully the character of their hazard. They agree that by locking no capital in this manner and stopping all business, that they are cutting at the foundation of all wages whatever, and therefore bringing inevitable misery upon themselves and that if the lockout would be continued for a considerable time starvation would stare them in the face, but admitting all this they hold that the thing will only be temporary, and that the railroad company will be compelled to yield. Some have even been found who confess that the proceeding of forcibly taking possession of the company's property and intimidating men who are willing to work for the wages they refuse is an unlawful one, and in a certain sense riotous, but they entrench themselves behind the maxim, "Necessity knows no law." Others less rational listen to no admonition concerning the consequences. They refuse to consider that they are in antagonism to the United States government, but consider their quarrel simply one between themselves and the railroad. So far, the strikers have managed to live as well as usual. Many of the small groceries, with whom they are in the habit of dealing, give them credit for what they want. The men are, therefore, running largely in debt, as few of them have been able to save anything from their small wages. How they will get along after their credit and the supplies at the grocers is gone, they do not know, but think there will be enough provisions coming into the city for all. If necessary they will let a few freights run to bring in a supply.


    The Brokers and Bank Clerks' Association will meet this afternoon to take action on the death of J. Dorsey Ash, of the Philadelphia troops.

    The Western Union Company were busy yesterday restoring their wires to their normal condition. Col. M.C. Bristol, General Superintendent of Construction of the Western Union, was at work with a force of assistants putting up wires and repairing poles, from Tenth street to Thirty-third street. The Colonel has an extensive job on hard.

    A report was circulated yesterday morning to the effect that there had been found at Millvale station the dead body of Wm. Moore, a passenger brakeman who had been riddled with seven bullets. The report could not be traced to any reliable source.

    The Committee on Public Safety has reorganized and is hereafter to be known as the Executive Committee. The committee has done effective work with its organization and is now prepared to call out an armed force at short notice if necessary.

    There was great excitement yesterday among a number of people who saw what they supposed to be a cannon on Boyd's hill, with the mouth commanding the Union depot ruins. Vissions [sic] of another massacre flitted through the minds of the discussers. A squad of mounted police was sent to investigate. They found a piece of stove pipe resting on an old cart.

    A Smithfield street insurance agent now adds his testimony to the disputed point as to who fired the first shot. The agent says one of the rioters fired first.

    While walking about the tracks near the round house on Saturday night, Vice President Cassatt was covered with a revolver by a villan [sic] who lurked among the cars. He made threats to "riddle" the official when a gentleman covered him too with a revolver, and the cowardly ruffian dared not fire. Mr. Cassatt in the meantime walked away among the buildings.

    The Valley road buildings on Pike street were guarded by C.W. Price, Secretary of Superintendent McGargo and twenty employes, while the mob was firing the elevator and Pan Handle cars. Several of the rioters proceeded to this building to fire it too, but were afraid to face the employes on guard.

    The six wounded persons at the West Penn Hospital are rapidly improving. Corporal Shaw, of the Philadelphia forces, was taken to the St. Francis Hospital, and not to this institution.

    A horse valued at $1,500 and three Southdown sheep, each valued at $300, were in a car at the Outer depot on Saturday night. A faithful darkey had charge of the stock who, amidst the excitement caused by the burning cars on Saturday, finally succeeded in having an engine shift the car to a place of safety. The stock was taken to the stables of Joseph Craig on Church avenue, and the day following it was shipped by steamboat to Cincinnati. It belonged to a Mr. Alexander, a noted Kentucky stock breeder.


    Eight of the prominent strikers of the Pennsylvania Central road were in conference with Superintendent Pitcairn and other officials on Wednesday night. The strikers repented their demand that the ten per cent. reduction be abated, that the "double headers" be abolished, that the classification of engineers be also dispensed with, and finally that all the strikers be reinstated. The demand was sent to Col. Thomas Scott and a reply was received refusing but advising the men to resume work and asking that another conference be held on a future day.


    The following important notice to the public has been handed to us for publication by the railroad authorities:

    Prior to the burning of the Union depot, Sunday, July 22, the ticket offices of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago, Cleveland & Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley railroads were pillaged by the mob. It is supposed that stolen tickets have been distributed to principal cities throughout the country. All railway lines have been instructed to dishonor tickets purporting to have been sold at Pittsburgh, and the public at all points is cautioned against paying tickets at other than regularly authorized railway ticket offices.


    The following was the losses sustained by business firms opposite the Union depot by the fire on Sunday:

    The Rush house, 375 Liberty street. Loss by water to furniture and by broken windows, $2,000.

    Joseph Zimmerman, cigar store, Rush house. Loss by water and broken windows, $200.

    Lindy's hotel, 401 Liberty street, Loss by water and broken windows $300.

    J.J. Anderson, shirt store, 402 Liberty street. Loss by water $75.

    St. James hotel, 403, 405 and 407 Liberty street. Damage by water and broken plate-glass windows. Loss $2,000.

    Building No. 369 Liberty street. Windows broken, loss $125.

    Roberts & Steele, 407 Liberty street, flour merchants. Loss by water and broken glass $100.


    There was another prayer meeting yesterday morning at the Third Presbyterian Church. There was about one hundred persons in attendance, most of the speakers expressed views given on the day previous to the effect that our present calamity is a direct visitation of the anger of God in punishment for the support given by our people to the railroad corporations which, in the speakers' opinions, are great Sabbath breakers. Among the speakers were Rev. Murray, pastor of the "old home" Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Strong, Rev. Senour, pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church; Mr. Digby, member of the Third Church, and two or three others. The exercises were presided over by Rev. Mr. Senour. Another meeting will be held at the same hour and place to-day.

    About this Document

    • Source: The Daily Post
    • Date: July 27, 1877