Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gun Seizures

The Covington Journal of August 31, 1861 reprinted this article from the Frankfort Yeoman describe what sounds like chaos throughout parts of the state as Kentucky tried to hang on to its declared neutrality.I broke it up into multiple paragraphs to make it easier to read.

The unlawful seizure of the Washington Artillery of Newport; under political influences there, inaugurated disorders of the same sort elsewhere in the State. That seizure was followed by the seizure of guns at Mayfield by States Rights men. Then followed the raid from Cairo into Ballard county and the capture of two citizens. Then the seizure of the steamer Terry by a Lincoln gun-boar; and, on the same day, tit for tat, the seizure of the steamer Orr by the crew of the Terry. We have already noted the cavalry raid from Hoskins into Lexington the other day. We learn that the muskets belonging to the State Guard at Midway were taken from the company arsenal by one of the sureties on the bond to the State and carried to his house for safe-keeping. 

On Saturday night, the steamer Trio, bound up the Kentucky River, was hailed by men at Byrns' landing, and not responding, two bullets were shot through the hat of the pilot (named Claxton) when the boat came to and was searched for arms, but none found. Descending, the Trio met the Dove on Sunday morning, ascending, and reported the above facts, when the Dove stopped at Severn, six miles below Byrns' and sent a messenger there to learn the intentions of the armed men at that place. They replied that their purpose was to search the boat for arms and munitions destined for Lincoln's camps, but no harm to the boar or crew was intended. The messenger returned and the boat came up and was searched. No arms or munitions were discovered and the Dove proceeded upward. Before the boat reach Byrns' landing, a young lawyer, named Geo. Lucas, came to a sudden death by the accidental discharge of a musket.

Gov. Magoffin, on learning the facts on Sunday night, immediately dispatched Major John B. Major to Owen county, to require the armed men at Byrns' to return to their homes. These disorders are deeply to be regretted, but are the natural results of Lincoln's violation of Kentucky neutrality.

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