Among the Ruins

This article from the July 25, 1877 issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post notes the railroad strike's extensive destruction and details public and private efforts to keep it under control.


A stroll among the almost interminable ruins of the fire of Sunday is inevitably accompanied by so deep a feeling of saddness, viewing the measureless destruction of valuable property, that the picturesque scenes which meet the eye at every turn lose their beauty in constantly recurring regrets. As a great fire rarely has such rich fuel so there is rarely left standing ruins so magnificent. Among them the special artist may find matter for months of busy work, and a number of gentlemen of the crayon have reaped a rich harvest of sketches during the past four days.


Passing up Liberty street, and coming suddenly upon its junction with Grant, one comes without warning upon widespread destruction. The giant chimney of the elevator, the existence of which was hardly suspected while the building stood, now seems in its slenderness and lonliness, to stretch almost to the clouds. The massive walls by which it was a few days ago surrounded lie in broken heaps, leaving this one monument of their great extent intact. From this, stretching up Grant and toward Washington street, is a succession of lesser ruins in which the eye of the artist may find many odd and interesting features.


of ruin left by the fire is the Union Depot. Here the flames seem to have eaten out the sharp corners and unrelieved walls made too perfect by mechanical architecture to leave a pile which is fascinating in every aspect. Many of the walls still stand at their former height, and the inner partitions of solid brick show their former position and strength, but with breeches running tortuously from top to bottom, which give the observer opportunity to number the succession of rooms and halls. The gorgeously furnished rooms which have been occupied at sometime by nearly every person known to fame in America, and into which a plebian eye has rarely gazed is now open to the view of the motley throng of the curious who crowd the vicinity daily. The great dining hall, which resembled a cathedral, with its columns and arches, now has its interior thrown open to the vagrant and wealthy alike. The fluted arches have fallen, many of them still leaning against the walls and adding to the attractions of the ruins. The arches of the entrances remain intact almost without exception, their pillars of stone proving too strong even for the weight of walls that tumbled over upon them, and together forming a point of much beauty.


From the Union Depot to the car shops and other buildings of the company, there is little but the remains of cars. The magnificent palace coach in its ruins cannot be distinguished from the remnants of the ungainly box car, just as the skeletons of the bediamonded ones who luxuriated the former will be the same in shape and ghastliness as those who were wont to apply the brakes on the latter. On, on, square after square, there is nothing but a sea of uncanny car trucks, around which, in almost every case, there is debris that indicates the contents of the car. Grain, flour, all articles of metal and earthenware, merchandise of every description, lie black and charred about the wheels, which were blockaded by a question in social economy which the world has ever found incapable of solution.


are the scenes presented in the vicinity of Twenty-eighth street. Nearing this piont, a stray locomotive is seen here and there, warped and unburnished, as though it had almost escaped the flame, and then fallen exhausted. In the round houses engines without number, mere wrecks, skeletons of the iron horses which had drawn the traffic of the road, stalled here when magnificent in their strength, left to be warped and twisted out of shape by the fire. The walls of these building [sic] are also left in attractive ruin, slender portions with crooked edges rising to their original height, to keep company with the tall chimneys, and smoke-stacks. A birds-eye view of the round houses from the bluff to the south is very interesting. The walls are left standing a circle within a circle and within both spaces a double circle of iron horses so badly broken down that they can never enter for a race again. Far on above this, farther than the eye can reach from looking from the bluff, again comes the endless succession of car trucks, broken frames and freight charred by fire.


To give definite idea of the extent of the buildings destroyed in the territory over which the reporter has strolled in a desultory way, dimensions of a portion may be given. The repair shops were thirteen hundred feet front and one hundred and seventy feet deep. The two round house were each two hundred and seventy-four feet in diameter, one having thirty-eight and the other forty-four tracks, and capable of containing at once over two hundred locomotives. One hundred and twenty-five were destroyed in there on Sunday. The car shops were over four hundred feet in length and nearly seventy in width. The blacksmith shop was eighty feet long and forty wide. The lumber yard had walls one hundred feet long and fifty wide. Shops for engine repairs were one hundred and eighty feet long and sixty wide. The machine shop was two-hundred and twenty feet long and seventy wide, and the blacksmith shop in connection one hundred and ten feet in length. The other large buildings burned were the transfer depot and the Union Depot and hotel.


The Committee of Public Safety has made the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce its headquarters. All day Monday the committee was in session, and did considerable in the way of organizing citizens' squads and a special police force. The work of the committee has thus far been effective. In many of the wards of the city, and in the rural districts, citizens have organized through its influence and life and property has been protected thereby.


At yesterday's session of the committee the following resolution was adopted:

Resolved, By the Committee of Public Safety, that the Mayor be requested to enforce his proclamation as to the closing of drinking saloons throughout the entire city.


A sub-committee consisting of Messrs. Weldon and Hacke, called upon the sheriff at the court house and requested his presence at the meeting. The gentlemen stated that it was the desire of the committee to co-operate with the sheriff and the mayor. They were having no difficulty in procuring men, but they wanted the sheriff and mayor to either direct them or give them authority to act. They understood that the rioters were up the Allegheny river, that they had fired the [lops] at Verona, and that the county Workhouse was in danger of destruction. It would not do for the men organized here to take possession of the Workhouse without any authority from the county, because then they would be met with the charge that they were nothing but a mob themselves. They understood that the sheriff was not being properly backed in this matter, and they intended now to see that he was supplied with sufficient force.


The sheriff replied that he was ready and willing to do anything in his power. He was prepared to lend both his service and his money, but thus far the citizens had not supported him. Before the arrival of the Philadelphia troops he had made efforts to secure men to quell the disturbance. His deputies tried to get men but none volunteered and he had finally to resort to force. Even then they deserted him and he was obliged to go out to Twenty-eighth street, in advance of the Philadelphia troops, to arrest eleven of the rioters. He said that by evening he would have five hundred men if the county would offer some inducement to them, and suggested that the County Commissioners and Controller Warner be also invited to take a hand. These gentlemen were then sent for and Messrs. Warner, Beckett and McClelland promptly responded. Mr. Irwin was not at the office at the time but was on duty with his regiment, the Eighteenth. Upon their arrival in the sheriff's office the case was stated to them and the sheriff asked if they would authorize the payment of the men. He thought they could not be had if pay was not guaranteed. Mr. Weldon here stated that he did not think it a question of pay. The sub-committee had come to ask the sheriff, who was the law officer of the county, to go with them and consult with the committee on public safety. The committee could raise five hundred or a thousand volunteers if necessary. The sheriff's solicitor next stated that there was no question about the power of the sheriff; he could summon any number of men, and not a one would be entitled to pay, but he thought a small number of paid men would be better than a large number who had been forced to take up arms. The commissioners were of the opinion that if was not necessary that the conuty should guarantee pay; that as the sheriff had power to summon men, he ought to assume it. The gentlemen then repaired to the rooms of the Chamber of commerce, where a


was held. No person but members and the county officials being admitted. What action the committee and officials decided upon at this meeting is not known and will no doubt remain secret until put into force. The following resolution, which was adopted, was all that was handed to the papers for publication:

Resolved, That the thanks of the people of Pittsburgh are due, and are hereby thendered by the Committee of Public Safety, to the officers and men of the Pittsburgh and Allegheny fire departments for their service and untiring efforts during the late trouble and conflagration.


The committee increased their numbers by adding the names of the following prominent citizens: Joseph Dilworth, Major Wm. Frew, General J. K. Moorhead, Gen. Crossan, A. E. W. Painter, Harry Oliver, Jr., John H. Shoenberger, General J. B. Sweitzer, J. G. Slebeneck, Richard Smythe, Chas. E. Speer, B. F. Jones, Simon Beamer, Mark W. Watson, Joseph S. Morrison, Samuel S. Brown, Thomas Fawcett, Hill Burgwin, James Littell, James R. Reed, M. Swartzwelder, Henry Lloyd, Wm. Rea, Reuben Miller, Jr., T. B. Atterbury, A. F. Dalzell and S. S. Marvin.


A telegraph received at the Dispatch office yesterday, stated that the round house and shops of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern railroad were in flames A bulletin was conspiciously placed in front of our office announcing the report, which attracted a large crowd. The committee seeing that this may create fresh trouble entered the Dispatch office and requested the proprietors remove the bulletin immediately or they would have it removed and take possession of the office. The bulletin was then removed.


An important meeting of the members of the committee will be held at the Chamber of Commerce at 9 o'clock this morning All are earnestly requested to be present promptly.


Editors of The Post:

In the published minutes of the Committee of Safety, held yesterday, I am mentioned as being absent. I was, at the time of said meeting, on duty with my regiment, the Eighteenth. I will give my hearty co-operation to such measures as my colleagues think are proper to assist in the protection of life and property. James Irvin,


The call for sixty able bodied men who have seen honorable service, issued by Gen. Negley a few days since, has had the desired effect. The call was promptly responded to by many of our old veterans and they were mustered. On Monday night Gen. Negley slept on a bench in Lafayette Hall, his headquarters, while others remained on guard, ready to give the signal in case of disturbance in any part of the city. A mounted patrol of over two hundred men made a tour of the city and found it remarkably quiet everywhere, except at the depot of the Connellsville road, on Ross street, where a small row was promptly squelched. Yesterday morning representatives of working men called on the General and stated that they were in sympathy with him and were ready to co-operate. A workman, who resides in Lawrenceville, also presented himself and offered his services. Captain Banning had a squad out all day Monday and all night. They returned yesterday morning at eight o'clock. The sixty verterans who have been mustered in are under pay and are under command of Captain Barr. They are known to be men of good character, and are vouched for. Their guns are stacked in the hall and are guarded day and night. In case of an outbreak the General is prepared to organize several more companies ashe has a large number of guns and plenty of ammunition. He is prepared to call together several hundred men at very short notice. On man from Beaver, Pa., and one from Indiana Pa., both of whom had served under the general in the rebellion called on him yesterday and requested to be enlisted. Officers who commanded regiments during the late civil war and regular officers are held in readiness to take charge of any number of men if necessary. Among them are T. B. Swearingen, who served as Adjutant General, Capt. T. B. Nichols of the regular army, Capt. D. B. Morrison, Capt. O. M. Harper, Maj. Fred Kennedy of the Seventy-ninth regiment, and staff officer, Capt T. C. Reiter of the U. S. navy, Gen. C. L. Fitzhugh of the regular army, Captain David Shield of Gen Hayes' staff, W. H. Brill, Quartermaster of the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteers, Col. D. B. Morris, Col. Thos. Williams of the regular army, Capt. T. H. Woodward and others. Gen. Negley is receiveing communications from officers and privates from all parts of the State, offering their services. Guadrs [sic] are on duty at the main and side entrance to Lafayette hall, and no one is admitted or allowed to go out without a pass. Last night the members of the company slept in the hall, while a strong guard was on duty. Over a hundred men requested to be enlisted yesterday, but the General has no need of them at present. The company will remain organized until all is quiet.


The members of the police force have been untiring in their efforts both to preserve the public peace and to bring the offenders to justice. Many of the officers have been doing double duty. They deserve much praise for their vigilence and courage. The force now numbers two hundred men, since the discharged men have been reinstated. Most of these were kept diligently patroling the streets last night. Here and there an arrest was made, but their numbers and activity, together with the efforts of the citizen and military, have inspired the law breakers with fear, and fortunately their services were not needed in making arrests. Since Sunday morning about two hundred and fifty persons have been arrested, of whom one hundred and ninety three have been confined in the Central Station House. Of these forty-five have been committed to the Work House for terms varying from twenty days to six months. Others have been committed to jail for trial at court on charges of arson and larceny. The detectives and some of the patrolmen spotted many of the more activie spirits of the mob during their hellish work, and most of the offenders will be brough to justice.


Several of the incendiaries have already been arrested. Last evening Gotleib Trunninger, a German aged twenty-eight years, was arrested near the metal yards. According to his own statements Trunninger fired three buildings on Sunday. He will have a hearing to-day. James Carter, of the South Side, who was arrested on Sunday night, while attempting to fire the Duquesne freight depot, Liberty and Water streets, was yesterday morning brought before Mayor McCarthy for a hearing. Dr. John S. Dickson, who had ordered his arrest, appeared as prosecutor. The accused was committed to jail. Edward Glennon, charged with entering a building with intent to commit a felony, was also committed to jail for trial. He was arrested on Sunday by Detective McGovern, while plundering the store of B. Cohen, No. 34 Liberty street.


Among those captured yesterday was ex-Lieutenant of Police McChesney. Mayor McCarthy states thas [sic] he saw McChesney leading on a gang of rioters during the late disturbances, and that he expostulated with him and endeavored to prevail upon him to desist. He also states that he has information going to show that McChesney fired into the soldiers. McChesney was an efficient officer, and if the charges made against him be true, it would be hard to account for his strange conduct. At an early stage of the troubles he turned in to aid the police, although he was one of the men discharged under the recent order of Councils. It was afterwards that he took part with the rioters, if the allegations be true.


During their retreat out Penn avenue and Butler street, it will be remembered, the Philadelphia troops were harassed by one man who kept firing at them from the nooks and alleys. It was alleged that he killed at least one of the Philadelphians and porbably [sic] two, and wounded five or six. This charge is made against one Connors, whose brother Patrick was killed while standing in the crowd which received the shot from the Philadelphia troops on Twenty-eighth street. Yesterday afternoon Connors had a hearing before Acting Mayor Butler, and was committed to jail for trial.


The band of thieves arrested at the Connellsville depot on Monday night were all committed to the Workhouse yesterday morning. They were escorted to the West Penn depot in Allegheny, by a guard of forty members of the Washington Infantry and a posse of policemen under the charge of Detective O'Mara. They were all sentenced for the same period—ninety days. Edward Boyer, who was arrested on Sunday morning while threatening in a crowd on the corner of Fifth avenue and Smithfield street, to help burn the whole city, was also Claremonted yesterday for ninety days.


During the raid on Bown's gun establishment on Saturday night Detective Moesner discovered a man emerge from the store, bending under a heavy burden of valuable goods. He followed the thief up Virgin alley, and when the two had passed beyond the crowd the detective hailed his friend. "Oh, I'm a striker," replied the man. "I'm a striker, too," replied the officer as he dealt the thief a blow and sent him to grass, while pocket knives flew in every direction. Then the officer lit down on the thief and finally he succeeded in gathering him into the Central Station. Yesterday the accused was committed to jail, under the name of Alex. Murray, for trial at court, on a charge of larceny. The man is not a railroader.


One of the parties who sported a blue ribbon at Lafayette Hall, on Monday night was arrested by several of the officers. The prisoner who carried a carbine had voluntarily joined the citizens' forces. While mingling among the men he boasted that he had killed several Philadelphia soldiers. The citizens corps who didn't admire his bravery, however, sent word of the fact to the mayor's office, and the policemen pounced down upon him. His name is given as Harry Goff. One of the arresting officers saw him fire several shots on Saturday night. His case is not yet disposed of.


There are over one hundred prisoners in the county jail who were picked up during the past three days in the vicinity of the fire, either drunk or disorderly, or in the act of stealing something. Forty-five were committed on Sunday, thirty-five on Monday and about twenty yesterday. Nearly all of them are committed for five and ten days. In addition to these there are prisoners.


The laborers, coal yard men, dumpers, etc., who struck yesterday at the American Iron Works of Jones & Laughlin, on the South Side, held a meeting last night at Kaney's hall, on Seventh street, near Twenty-seventh street, to hear the report of a committee appointed in the afternoon to interview Mr. Jones, of the firm. The strikers numbered between four and five hundred men and boys. The laborers want an increase of thirty-five cents per day, which would put their pay at $1 25. Admittance to the meeting was refused to all persons not connected with the works. When a representative of this journal applied to the door, however, the guard kindly said, "All right, sir, The Post is the workingman's friend, and the fairest and best paper in the city." Another workman who volunteered to conduct the reporter to the meeting, spoke in similar tones of The Post. The meeting was attended by between seven hundred and and [sic] eight hundred persons and was very orderly and quiet. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Thomas Harris, who called upon Mr. Thomas Robinson, chairman of the Conference Committee, for a report of the interview with Mr. Jones. That gentleman responded as follows:


Myself and the other four members of the committee, each one of which represents a different nationality, viz.: English, Irish, Welsh, Polish and German, visited Mr. Jones, and informed him that the laboring hands in the yards were going to quit work unless their wagas [sic] were advanced twenty-five per cent; that they were only receiving from eighty cents to one dollar per day, and that they could not live and support their families on that amount. Mr. Jones replied that the American Iron Works was paying as much as any of the other mills. The firm, he said, intended at present to take stock and therefore since the strike had been inaugurated the mill would not be run for two or three days. In the meantime he would inquire what other mills and whether any advance was to be made in the pay of laborers. If so, of course they would consent. He also remarked that they could not afford to pay any more, as iron was selling at such low rates at present. To this the committee replied that it was not the fault of the laborers but of the manufacturers, who met at the Monougherhals House and other places in the city and try to cut each others' throats by pulling down the price of iron. Mr. Jones said he thought the men were taking advantage of the railroad troubles and that he had fears that the mill and the company's store would be set on fire and robbed. The committee assured him that he need not have any fears of any unlawful act occurring. They themselves would guard the works and store if necessary against any mob that might attempt it; that all they were after was $1 25 per day, and that they would remain idle for three months or longer if they did not get it.


Next a Polish and a German member of the committee each reported the conferene in his own language, after which a motion was made that a Vigilance Committee of twenty men be appointed to guard the mill and store during the night. The motion was lost, the reasons being given that such action would have a tendency to excite the outside people and might possibly lead to something serious; and that as the men wished to do everythink [sic] in a lawful and peacable manner, no occasion would be offered to create excitement or encourage any act of violence. A motion was made that the recently discharged trackmen also be reinstated at the same wages as the other laborers, and this was also carried.

The Chairman advised the men to remain firm and not to visit the mill at all to-day, also to keep sober and to show to the public that they wanted only their rights, nothing else. On motion the strikers adjourned to reassemble on next Thursday evening, at 7 o'clock, at what is known as "The Common," and hear the report of the Conference Committee, which was continued.


The excitement in Allegheny is not subsiding in the least, but rather increasing. The prolonged continuance of the strike on the Fort Wayne road served to impress all law abiding citizens with the necessity of making the most active efforts and exercising the greatest precaution. Many had hoped for the past day or two that the negotiations pending between the strikers of the Fort Wayne road and the officials would result satisfactorily, and thus anticipated that all traffic would have been resumed by this time. Matters being now more mixed than ever, and all prospects of a settlement being over, the opinion was generally expressed that an outbreak was possible at any time, and that rioters taking advantage of the situation would renew their nefarious work. A determination was generally expressed that such a calamity should be averted at all hazards Everywhere a disposition was shown to shoulder parts of the burden if an emergency should arise.


Last evening a report was generally circulated that many tramps had proceeded over the hills in the vicinity of Woods Run, with the evident purpose of organizing to renew their incendiary work. That part of the city not being so well guarded as other parts, it was said they believed they could succeed in firing the cars and commencing the work of devastation. To foil them in this movement, an extra force was sent in that direction, and if the mob had purposed such a raid, and commence carrying it out, they will meet with a warm reception and their designs frustrated.


met last evening in the Mayor's office for the purpose of endorsing the nominations made by the Mayor for special police. The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, after which the men suggested were called into office and their nominations endorsed. They then were distributed on the several districts. Following are the names of those endorsed, in addition to those already reported:

Samuel Lemon,Wash Swayne,
Geo. Kershner,John Clever,
Albert Holmes,Wm. Long,
John A. Harlan,Morton Ross,
John Sheady,— Pullman,
Nick Troutman,Martin Bitler,
— Thompson,Samuel Wood, Jr.
Jacob Prish,George Ferguson,
Wm. Campbell,— Richmond,
David Drain,Thomas Hall,
Henry Caddis,Summerville Keefe,
Charles Snyder.

without trasacting any business of special interest, the meeting adjourned until this evening.


Four pieces of artillery are stationed inside of the enclosure of City Hall square during the day, in charge of a squad of men from Knap's Battery. They pass the time by resting on the grass, reading papers, conversing, &c. A rope is stretched around their territory to keep out the crowd. During the night the cannon are employed in guarding the bridges.

Gen. Leasure has been placed in charge of all bodies of militia and citizens' corps. Of the latter there are some four hundred members, all well armed and supplied with ammunition. The headquarters of the citizens corps is at the armory of Knaps Battery. One firm alone, that of Smith Sutton & Co., have supplied one hundred volunteers to this branch of Allegheny's protectors, and it would certainly seem that lawlessness on the North Side will be short lived indeed. It might here by added that among the Fort Wayne employes [sic] the same exists. All the men guarding the cars out the line are around, and it would be very unhealthy for a tramp or outlaw to attempt any theft.


All branches of business are more or less affected. Even the markets were deserted yesterday, though it was regular market day. They were well supplied with vegetables of all kinds, but the people did not seem in the humor for buying, and the hucksters had to return with loaded wagons. Manufacturers suffer greatly from the want of fuel, as well as from the impossibility of getting rid of goods ready for shipment. If the deadlock continues those that are running will be obliged to shut down before the close of the week. It was fortunate for the glass factories that the Duquesne freight depot was saved, as a very large quantity of soda ash was stored there to continue running for some time. Some of the factories will, however, have to shut down for want of glass sand which is shipped over the Pennsylvania road from Lewistown to this city. As regards the iron manufacturers, they are in a worse way than the glass houses. Most of them are almost entirely out of fuel. Lewis, Dalzell & Co. will be obliged to shut down in a day or two. Spang, Chalfant & Co., using natural gass will therefore be enabled to operate for some time. The Pittsburgh Forge and Iron Company, at Verner station, shut down yesterday. Lewis, Oliver & Phillips are drawing their supply from the river, and in this way expect to continue until the trouble is over. Phillips, Nimick & Co. are endeavoring to get a supply of coal over the Castle Shannon road. If they fail in this they will be obliged to shut down in a few days. All the South Side mills will cease work shortly if they are not soon supplied with coal over the Pan Handle. Zugs mill suspended yesterday but will resume to-day. Unless the roads are in operation by next week, so that coke and coal may arrive in the city Shoenberger, Blair & Co's furnace will have to shut down. Adams Express Company posted a notice in front of their office, on Fifth avenue, stating that they would receive "no freight to-day." Whether this will remain posted to-day remains to be seen. The extreme irregularity of trains East and West and the crowded state of the few cars in use is the reason assigned for this decision.


As yet nothing is known regarding the intentions of the Pennsylvania railroad officials after the excitement has subsided. Their whereabouts are not known, but that they are placing the road in as good running condition as possible under the circumstances is noticed by the running of trains from East Liberty and the West Penn depot. The probable course of the company will be to erect a temporary depot somewhere beyond the Outer Depot and place a single track to connect with Liberty street, so as to allow way passenger trains to come into the city. Fort Wayne trains could then pass as heretofore. This proposal, however, is only a surmise. It will be some time before the Pan Handle road makes connections for the East. What will be done in this direction is, of course, not known and will not be until the excitement is over. It was rumored yesterday that the Pennsylvania authorities would not rebuild any of their shops in or near the city. The main stem of the Pennsylvania road is now clear from Blairsville Intersection to Thirty-third street, where the cheif telegraph office has been established. As soon as all fear of trouble is over, Superintendent Pitcairn will establish a ticket office at Lawrenceville and accommodation trains, which are now running to and from East Liberty, will make this their western terminus Express trains, which formerly left the Union Depot, have been transferred to the West Pennsylvania road. They depart from and arrive at the Federal street, Allegheny, depot, at the usual schedule time. A short distance above Freeport, the trains cross the Allegheny river and pass through the Kiskiminitis Valley to Blairsville, where connection is made with the Pennsylvania railroad. The West Pennsylvania is a single track line and it is difficult to run the large passenger traffice of the Pennsylvania through.


Since the mob reign in the city Birmingham station, on the South Side, has been made the main depot on the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis road (Pan Handle route). The passengers of the through trains who arrive here are taken to the West Penn depot from whence they continue their journey eastward. The mails and baggage are transported to Allegheny in wagons, where they are loaded on the cars on the Pennsylvania railroad. There was no trouble along the road yesterday, except at Midway, where a mob organized, but was soon squelched by the citizens' guard. All day yesterday trouble was apprehended at Mansfield and the citizens were organizing to prevent any outbreak. As there are but few tracks on the South Side the officers of the road experience considerable trouble in shifting cars.


The South Side has also been made the terminus of the Pittsburgh, Virginia & Charleston Railroad. The Try street depot has been abandoned and the trains run only to Fifth street, where the station has been established. The freight trains on this road are also running as heretofore, and no trouble is anticipated.


Several of the way passenger trains on the Allegheny Valley railroad made their usual trips yesterday. The regular express train, which formerly left the Union Depot every morning, made the usual trip yesterday from the Pike and Eleventh street depot, and was not interfered with. To-day all trains will run as heretofore, if the strikers do not intefere [sic] at Forty-third street and Verona borough, as has been threatened. Unil the mob reign has ceased and the Pennsylvania road bed has been reconstructed, trains will leave at the old depot, corner of Eleventh and Pike streets.


Yesterday afternoon the way passenger and express trains resumed running on this road, but in the hands of the strikers. All trains depart from the Federal street depot. Passenger traffic, however, has not been very heavy. Only those persons who live along the line of the road and have business in the city comprise the travelers. Few piersons [sic] travel for pleasure these days.


At last accounts the passenger and accommodation trains have been arriving and departing on this road. The terminus of the road is still on Ross street, where it always has been.


The situation on the Fort Wayne road was practically unchanged yesterday. Nothing of interest occurred along the line. The strikers show no signs of treachery, but are rather getting more determined than ever. Some of them express great disappointment at the failure of negotiations yesterday, nearly all of them having been confident that the modified resolutions adopted on Monday evening, already reported, would have been adpoted and business resumed ere this. Some of the strikers freely say, when closely pressed, that they expect to lose their cause, owing to the fact that railway officials, as yet, show no signs of acceding to their terms. Nearly all the passenger trains were running yesterday, though irregularly.

The trainmen kept guard last night as they did on Monday night in protecting the company's property against fire and being plundered. Thieves swarmed about the freight cars in the lower part of the city and began to break them open but were driven off. The strikers were reinforced by portions of the Fifth and Sixth ward clubs and the thieves failed to secure any plunder. Yesterday morning a party of roughs broke open a freight car at Neville station and stole six bags of flour. They were detected in the act by a guard of men set to watch the railroad property. The thieves were pursued and after reaching the river they jumped into the river and escaped, leaving their plunder behind, on the river bank.

The police authorities in this city yesterday arrested a man whom a citizen pointed out to them positively as one he had seen setting fire to the elevator. He denies the accusation, and says when arrested he was in the act of enrolling his name as a member of the Committee of Safety. He was committed to the lock up, and the time for a hearing not fixed. The citizen who pointed him out is positive he saw him apply the torch. There were others engaged in the work, but whether they can be identified is uncertain.

After the fight on Twenty-eighth street, Pittsburgh, Saturday afternoon, a resident of Troy Hill, in this city, found a bullet in his dining room table. It was lodged in the wood and required some time to cut it out. The house is located right oppostie Twenty-eighth street, more than a mile away. The bullet had passed through the door and ended its course by coming in contact with the dining room table. It was very fortunate that no one was near at the time.


The Fourteenth and Eighteenth regiments were on duty yesterday and last night at the armory. Beyond escorting the gang of forty foreign thieves to the West Penn depot in the morning and the dead bodies of the Philadelphia soldiers, as mentioned elsewhere, in the evening no demonstration was made.

It was reported yesterday that a plot had been arranged to fire the Ursiline Convent on Cliff street, but that the plans of the incendiaries were discovered in time. The object was to alarm the people on the hill so that the thieves would have further opportunity for plying their vocation. A sister heard the plotters and informed a citizen who had a patrol organized. The plotters were discovered during Monday night, but they succeeded in escaping.

Mr. John Hemphill of McIntosh & Hemphill states as his opinion that the damage to each of the locomotives of the Pennsylvania road by the fire will not exceed $1,000. He does not state this positively however, as he did not examine them closely.

Capt. Perkins, clerk of the Transfer, says that the number of car loads of freight destroyed will not exceed 1,500, including the coal and coke cars burnt. The clerks are now engaged in tracing the books to find the consignees. When this work is finished the correct number will be known.

Five barrels of whiskey belonging to McCullongh & Co., and three owned by Frey & Schmidt were recovered this morning in Tinpot alley, where it had been taken by thieves who stole it from the burning cars on Sunday.


The firemen were kept playing on the ruins of the fire from early Sunday morning till last night continuously. On Monday the mob compelled the men to stop for a time. Chief Engineer Evans secured the aid of a number of police who drove away the roughs, and the firemen were then enabled to renew operations. Two or three horses belonging to the department have been badly burned since the fire broke out. Some scoundrel, during Monday night, set fire to a building on Washington street, just above the ruins, but by the aid of the police the flames were extinguished without serious damage.

The grain elevator was owned exclusively by a company of business men and the railroad company was in no wise interested in the enterprise. The statement was made repeatedly to the mob on Sunday that the railroad company was not in any way interested in the elevator, but they refused to believe it, and insisted on preventing the firemen from saving the building. The magnificent stack still stands, but the foundations were badly damaged by the fire. It is reported that the company will rebuild.


Among the articles of freight captured from the Pennsylvania railroad on Saturday night were about $1,000 worth of flags, banners, designs in gas jets, shields, &c., that Manager Smythe had purchased recently in Philadelphia and New York for the purpose of decorating the Exposition building. They were in one of the cars standing near the head of Twenty-eighth street, and no sooner did the rabble cut open the bales than a wild cheer went up and soon after every man "stuck by the flag." Another supply of flags has been ordered by the Exposition people.


Every proper effort is being put forth to restore order and preserve peace, in which every citizen should cheerfully co-operate, as our help must come from the Lord, and His blessing is needed, it is proposed to hold a meeting of the Christian public for prayer on Wednesday morning, 25th inst., from 10 to 11 o'clock, in the lecture room of the Third Presbyterian church, Sixth avenue, between Smithfield and Grant. All are cordially invited to unite in this service.

No troops arrived at the Arsenal yesterday, and Major Buffington, the officer in command, states that he has no information of any soldiers being en route.


Pittsburghers, except perhaps the readers of the two penny evening sheet, have neither heard nor read half the exaggerated statements made concerning the strike and its developments. The following, from the Baltimore Gazette, is an instance of the sensational rumors published abroad, which discount even those of the Leader:

New York, July 23—The Sun repeats the Pittsburgh rumor that General Pearson was wounded and hanged, and his wife died on hearing the news.


The passenger engineers and firemen on the Allegheny Valley road are still out and the trains are run by the officials, many of whom were formerly engineers. Dispatcher McChesney yesterday took out the Kittanning accommodation. Master Mechanic Glass took out the Soda accommodation. One of the passenger trains on Monday was stopped by the strikers at Kittaning, but not interference was offered them yesterday. The passenger train employes [sic] are all firm in their demand for the rebate of that ten per cent. order.

The men employed at the Verona shops are still out, awaiting the action of the Ft. Wayne shop hands. About fifty men stood on guard at the round house during Monday and last nights. Fears were entertained of the mob but no violence was attempted. The parties who broke into the frieght cars at this point on Monday returned the goods to Ticket Agent Lynch yesterday. A few cigars were not returned.


A card from General Pearson appeared in one of the papers yesterday. It was an exclusive bit of information, and of very little account in adding to the general stock of information. Its appearance, of course, may be accepted as an official contradiction that the General was shot. In regard to the order to the Philadelphia troops, to fire on Saturday evening, Gen. Pearson says:

"Finding that my force was not sufficient to take possession of the entire tracks, I left the ground and hurriedly went to the telegraph office at the round house, taking with me Major Evans. I had sent several telegrams, and had been there some minutes, when I received intelligence that the troops had fired on the people. I could not and did not believe it until I saw one of the slain carried past the office.

"No one deplores the unfortunate circumstances more than I. No man depreciates the hastiness of the troops in firing more than I; and from the examination I have made of the matter, and from statements of officers of my own division, who were present at the time the firing commenced, and who were instrumental in stopping it (I allude to Col. J. P. Moore, Major Steene, Capt. E. Y. Breck, and others), I am fully persuaded that Major General Brinton did not nor did any officer over or under him give orders to fire, and that the first shot from the command was fired by an excited soldier, who had been shot at by someone in the crowd. * * * * Finding that the property of the railroad was in danger, I ordered the troops to take possession of and guard the round house, work shops and transfer offices of the company. After they had taken their new position the guards were assulted with pistols, stones, &c., and after several had been wounded General Brinton placed his gattling guns in position to rake Twenty-sixth street, and the officer in charge, who had been repeatedly fired at, was about firing into the crowd (who were still assaulting the troops and destroying the buildings) when I issued positive orders to General Brinton not to fire a shot if he could help it, and not one shot was fired until long after I left the round house."


General Pearson escaped from the round house on Saturday night about nine o'clock, in company with a member of his staff. Before leaving his perilous position he ordered General Brinton, commander of the Philadelphia forces, to hold himself in subjection to the orders of Colonel P. N. Guthrie, of the Duquesne Greys. General Pearson holds the first commission issued to a Major General of the State Guard, by virtue of which he was the commanding officer of all troops stationed here on Saturday night General Brinton has not been so long in the service but being the commander of a division, and one of the finest divisions in the State at that, he naturally objected to having a Colonel of another division placed over him, and he refused to honor the order. There was no communication between Colonel Guthrie and the force of General Brinton, however, so that the order to the latter was as foolish as it was objectionable.


The member of General Pearson's staff who accompanied him in his escape gives some interesting features of the trip. They left the building in full uniform, about nine o'clock on Saturday night. The two fugitives passed quickly in among the freight cars. Strange to relate they were not observed though in full uniform. Down between the long lines of freight they passed rapidly towards the Union Depot. Hundreds were crawling under and over the cars in haste to reach or retreat from the round house. Not one recognized the object of so much party antipathy. The pair reached the Depot Hotel in safety, and repaired to the room of Adjutant General Latta, who ordered him to leave instantly. The General was not long in acting upon this advice. He hastily exchanged his uniform for the dress of a civilian, forgetting his pocket book, and this, with his uniform, was burned in the general conflagration. From the hotel, it is said, he repaired to a steamboat, and took passage to Beaver. This report is denied, however. He is understood now to be in the city. It is reported he was wounded, but neither is this story generally believed.


Some of the mob visited the dwelling of Gen. Pearson on Thirty-ninth, near Butler, after the massacre on Saturday night. Notice had previously been sent to Mrs. Pearson, however, and that lady had all the personal property removed to a place of safety. Mrs. Pearson with her three children, her mother and a sister, sought refuge in a friend's house. It is reported that Mrs. Pearson herself was so terrified that her hair, which was a brown color, actually turned white in one night. The mob had brought a coffin to her, and swore that they intended to kill her husband and put him in that coffin. Since Saturday night Gen. Pearson has seen his family but once. General communications have passed between them, however.


Postmaster Anderson was interrogated as to the condition of mails. He stated that all the eastern mails are arriving and going out with a fair degree of regularity. The Pennsylvania road is now the only one which can be depended on with absolute certainty. The mails are sent and received by the West Penn road. About twelve tons of mail matter were saved from the Union Depot on Sunday and are stored at the Postoffice and a warehouse on Smithfield street. Everything belonging to the department was saved. The Fort Wayne road was not receiving are sending mail up to last evening. Postmast [sic] Anderson received word yesterday morning from the superintendent of this road acting for the strikers to the effect that all mails would be put through as usual if sent to the depot at Allegheny. The mails on the Pan Handle and Pittsburgh and Cleveland roads have been very irregular since Saturday. Yesterday and the day before none were received and none were sent. The Cleveland mails have been sent via the Erie and Ashtabula line since the commencement of the trouble but Postmaster Anderson doubts whether this can be kept up. The Wheeling mails are being sent by way of the Chartiers Valley road.


From the New York Sun we clip the following account of the escape of certain members of the Philadelphia Black Hussar regiment after the massacre at the outer depot on Saturday night:

Mr. E. B. Godfrey, of Godfrey & Clark, New York merchants at 270 Liberty street, Pittsburgh, quit that city on Saturday evening. Attached to the train on which he came was a darkened car, in which, he says, were huddled about thirty members of the Black Hussar regiment, who had escaped from the round house at Twenty-eighth street. Many were wounded. The train in passing through the city slowed at every switch and soldiers who were in hiding jumped on. These men wore their pantaloons inside out and had thrown away everything except their shirts. They were in great terror, Mr. Godfrey says, expecting the train would be stopped by rioters. One coward sat down by a woman and asked her to protect him. She threw a shawl over his head, and he then crouched down in a corner. At Twenty-eighth street the train was stopped by the strikers. "Have you any of those Philadelphia men aboard?" was asked. The conductor replied in the negative. A gang of strikers passed through the car but did not discover the concealed soldiers. Reaching the last car, which was dark and seemed deserted, they were told that there were a few wounded men therein. They did not attempt to enter. The train was started again, but the soldier were in a state of wild terror. They expected to be stopped by telegraph at Derry. Mr. Godfrey thinks this was intended, for a large number of strikers were gathere there, but the train dashed through without stopping. The same fear was shown by the soldiers on the approach to Johnstown, but the train was not stopped. The soldiers were thoroughly panic-stricken, Mr. Godfrey says, and it was not till Altoona was passed that they became reassured.


An informal meeting was held by different reputable citizens of the South Side to consult on the existing state of affairs. Councilman Chambers, who is alleged to have organized the South Side meeting on Saturday evening, was the first subject on that attention of the meeting. His action was denounced and his resignation demanded. A paper was drawn up demanding his resignation which was circulating yesterday for signatures through the ward. The meeting showed the great revolution of feeling which has taken place in all. The workmen at the meeting offered their services free of charge to protect the mills of the ward from attack, should it be necessary. There may be some false reports about Councilman Chambers' action or some extenuating circumstances connected with tt [sic] so that judgment [sic] should be suspended.


The City Councils met in special session yesterday afternoon to consider the present situation of affairs in the city and endorse the action of Mayor Phillips in ordering arms and ammunition. The different wards were well represented in both branches.


In Select Council, President Patterson occupied the chair, with Roland T. White as clerk.

The first business brough to the attention of members was the reading of the following communication from Mayor Phillips which was received

To the Select and Common Councils:

Gentlemen—I respectfully inform your honorable bodies that I made application by telegraph to the honorable Secretary of War for three hundred stand of arms and ammunition for the same. In response, I received an order on the commandant at the arsenal for the guns, &c., which are now in my possession, to be returned when not needed for home protection.

A large number of thieves and tramps are flocking to these two cities. I respectfully suggest that the police force be increased one hundred men, to remain on duty until the 1st of October, and longer if deemed advisable by the Police Committee and myself. I would also suggest that funds be placed to the credit of the Police Committee to pay the bills now being incurred in guarding our city. I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,
O. Phillips, Mayor.

Mr. Lindsay, of the Fifth ward, offered the following paper which was also adopted:

Whereas, Our sister city has been visited by riot bordering upon civil war, the results of which have been most disastrous to human life and property; and realizing the possibility of a recurrence of the same deplorable scenes in our own city, and believing it to be our duty to take such precautionary measures as may in our judgment preserve the peace, therefore be it

Resolved, By the Select and Common Councils of the city of Allegheny that the Mayor be and is hereby authorized to employ such additional police force to such number and for such time as may be in his opinion, and that of the Police Committee necessary for the protection of our citizens and their property; and be it further

Resolved, That the action of the Mayor in procurring arms from the U. S. authorities and in purchasing ammunition for the defence of the city, be and the same is hereby sanctioned and approved.

A resolution was made and adopted that in order to secure the best men on the special police force each member of the Council name a man to the Police Committee whom he is satisfied is in every way capable to do efficient duty.

The meeting then adjourned.


In this branch, Mr. Leon Long called the members to order in the absence of President Hunter, and Mr. S. A. Johnston was chosen as chairman pro tem.

Before considering the question at issue, an ordinance authorizing the issue of $40,000 worth of water bonds, was brought up for action. It passed in Select Council July 12, and was adopted this afternoon, thus making it a law.

The two papers referred to above were read, and the action of Select Branch concurred in. Adjourned.


Postmaster John A. Myler, of Allegheny, and his son Albert met with a serious accident, which it is thought may prove fatal to the postmaster, while out riding yesterday afternoon. They left their residence on Nunnery Hill in a buck wagon and were driving down Federal street, when the horse became frightened at a wagon loaded with furniture. It started down the thoroughfare at a rapid rate. Upon reaching Hemlock street, the horse made a short turn, and both occupants were thrown violently upon the side walk. Immediately after the accident they were removed to their residence being unable to walk, and Drs. Mowry and Smith summoned. Mr. Myler, it is feared, received internal injuries, while his son was bruised about the head. The postmaster has been in delicate health for some time and this unfortunate affair is much regretted by his numerous friends, many of whom called at the family residence last evening.

About this Document

  • Source: The Daily Post
  • Date: July 24, 1877