Local News. The Situation Here

This article from the July 23, 1877 edition of the Daily Alleganian and Times gives an account of recent events and notes the continuing excitement generated by the strike.

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No events of a serious nature have happened here since our last issue, which may have been due in part to the non-arrival of any freight trains east or west. The backbone of the strikers was broken on Friday night by the arrest of Rench, who seemed to have been considered the acknowledged leader. We believe none of the four who were arrested that night, namely Gross, Izer, Rench, and Lowry, appeared for trial on Saturday, except Lowry, whose trial was set for 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but was deterred till to-day at the same hour, and to come off before Justice Widener, Gross, Izer and Lowry are from Cumberland. We understand that shortly after Rench's release the other night, Sheriff Bauer called at the station-house to secure him as a prisoner.

All day Saturday, the Sheriff was busy searching for Rench, but could not find him, the latter keeping very close though it is said that he had not left town. He was certainly seen on the streets here yesterday.

An [sic] Saturday afternoon, the wildest rumors were set afloat with regard to proposed incendiary attempts on the rolling mill and Queen City Hotel.

These grew so rapidly and seemed to be of such a serious character that the railroad officials telegraphed for U.S. troops from Keyser.

A detachment of the 2nd artillery, consisting of companies, E, G, and H, numbering 75 men, and commanded by Col. Litchfield, arrived here at 5:15 p. m. and were quartered in the basement of the hotel. Sentinels were posted at various points about the building at the freight depot and rolling mill.

At 7 o'clock the mill train from the east arrived, bringing a detachment of troops from Martinsburg and Sir John's Run, about 50 in all, under the command of Capt. Rogers.

A great deal of alarm has been created among our citizens by the fact that several thousand barrels of coal oil are now stored in cars, stopped freight, at various points in the railroad yard. There is a large amount in the rolling mill enclosure and a considerable quantity in South Cumberland. At the latter place the coal oil is on cars that are standing close to a row of houses, and great anxiety is felt less some reckless persons should set the coal oil on fire and thus create a general conflagration.

The barrels in South Cumberland have been bored full of gimlet and auger holes by young gamins, stealing the oil and the cars have been saturated. Should they once take fire, they would burn like tinder boxes. It is thought some steps will be taken to-day by the citizens to secure the removal of this coal oil to a point beyond the city limits.

The excitement in town on Saturday over the news of the Baltimore riot has been unprecedented since war times. The afternoon papers from the east were eagerly sought after, but none had arrived.

In the evening the ALLEGANIAN issued a large extra, giving all the news, and a large edition was sold in less than an hour. The excitement was further increased by the frightful news from Pittsburgh. The troops here are now quartered in the freight depot yard.

About half-past six o'clock last evening a detachment of troops arrived here from Martinsburg, a detachment of the 2nd U.S. artillery, consisting of companies F and I, numbering fifty or sixty men, under command of Gen. French. After remaining here an hour or so they left for Pittsburgh. At first it was with some difficulty that the engineer Lewis Maders and the fireman Gus Wiebel, belonging to the engine 282, bringing up the train, could be induced to take it out, since they were not connected with the Connellsville branch. After these refused to take out the engine, it was taken into the roundhouse, but brought out again, when they were induced to run the train. As the engine left town there were upon it four soldiers as a guard.

Elsewhere is published the Mayor's proclamation which fully explains itself.

A great many reckless statements have been sent abroad by reporters and others, about tearing up tracks and other acts of violence here, but we are glad to say that none of them have any foundation in fact, as the greatest quiet prevails.

About this Document

  • Source: Daily Alleganian and Times
  • Date: July 23, 1877