The Situation

This article from the July 28, 1877 issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post notes the expected next-day arrival of General Hancock and volunteer troops and outlines what the editors believe will be a satisfactory end to the strike in Pittsburgh.


The anticipated concentration of troops in Pittsburgh and Allegheny yesterday afternoon, so far has not indicated itself. We had telegrams on Thursday night reporting the departure of soldiers from Philadelphia, to Pittsburgh, but suppressed them at the request of the committee of Safety, who thought such publication inexpedient. Naturally, rumors magnifying the movement were in circulation all day yesterday. The idea of suppressing news these days is a good deal like damning up Niagara with mosquito bars. If the papers don't give the sovereigns reliable intelligence, they invent for themselves matter adjusted to the most capacious appetites for news. The annexed special from Washington to the Cincinnati Commercial of yesterday gives the gist of the news held in reserve by the morning papers yesterday:

Hartranft's General Order No. 2, was written after a prolonged telegraphic interview with the President, and the rough draft received the unanimous approval of the Cabinet prior to its publication. To-morrow Governor Hartranft and General Hancock will make a tour of the Pennsylvania road. There will be four thousand troops, of which number eight hundred will be regulars, in Pittsburgh to-morrow, and on to-morrow the Pennsylvania road will resume business. Strikers and rioters will either be punished on the spot or arrested and turned over to the civil authorities. This is the programme, as made up between the President and Governor Hartranft, and they are satisfied that they have the strength to carry it out.

The volunteer troops referred to above arrived at Altoona yesterday morning, and the regulars at noon. The belief is that they will be held at Blairsville until the proper time arrives for them to come to this city. There are enough of soldiers at Blairsville to increase the force to 4,000 men. It is possible they may arrive here at an early hour this morning.

We believe there will be no difficulty in placing the railroad officials in undisturbed posession [sic] of their property. The strikers will not resist Federal troops or State troops in such force as will be arrayed against them. The whole question then will resolve itself into this: Can the railroad companies, once they are in possession of their roads, secure the crews of firemen, engineers and brakemen necessary to run their trains? If they can, the strike will be substantially ended, so far as outward exhibitions of lawlessness and intimidation go.

The Coroner's inquest on the persons killed in the riots of Saturday and Sunday yesterday examined a number of witnesses, and the jury then set about fixing up the usual silly verdict-one in each case, so that the list of fees would be complete. Unfortunately for the jurors, however, the names of but twenty-three victims of the riot were returned to the Coroner, while in fact there were over forty deaths, and the fee list will still be incomplete. The investigation has been very imperfect and inconclusive, and should have been kept open until witnesses were secured from among the crowd that faced the troops. A true history of Saturday's proceedings is what is wanted, and what it was the duty of the Coroner to have elicited.

About this Document

  • Source: The Daily Post
  • Date: July 28, 1877