Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Saturday Feb. 25 1865

Lucy came on the accommodation this forenoon & will remain till Monday.  This morning about four o’clock, William was called up by Mr. Frost who had come on an extra train for him to go to Athens where there was trouble apprehended on the Railroad.  It seems that some women had objected to having the road pass over a few acres which they owned unless the Company would give them $50,000.  They had been at law about it for years, and refused to touch the money which had been awarded to them & had been awaiting their acceptance for years.  They had now got a decree from some Buckeye Judge -- under which they proposed to tear up the track.  They had given notice that they should do so last night, but the Railroad Company had prepared themselves for this contingency by referring the matter to General Hooker now in command of this Department who at once said the road was a military necessity and must not be obstructed.  William and Mr. Frost went out on an extra, taking Levi Barber, the Provost Marshal with them.  When they came to the scene of operations they found rails &c piled up on the road & two of the discontented females standing on the track with red flags in their hands which they waved vigorously upon their approach.  Barber told them he had Gen. Hooker’s order to prevent the obstruction of his road, but it was as if one talked to the wind, they would not hear to reason and when the passenger train made its appearance, Mrs. Brown planted herself on the track with the National Flag wrapped around her (which she had single handed captured from some twenty Copperheads in Valandingham times) and with a red flag in either hand she stood prepared to dispute their passage exclaiming that she was not the first person who had died for freedom.  She stood her ground and when the train stopped the cow catcher almost touched her.  It happened that one of the cars thus stopped was filled with recruits who upon seeing her singular costume began to gather about her singing “We’ll rally round the flag boys” -- Charlie Wood seized a rail to remove it, but she clung to the other end -- altogether it was a very ludicrous scene -- Soon after these indignant females were reinforced by three other warlike damsels (sisters to the first party) who came down to participate in the melee.  William said he walked along the track with one on either side both talking at once a perfect torrent of argument and invective and he should as soon hope to have made himself heard in the midst of a West India hurricane as to get a word in there.  They denounced the Railroad and its officers, and “the little switched off town of Marietta, that pretended to have 5000 inhabitants and had not half the number” &c --After the passenger train had passed they again piled up the rails and [unreadable] on the railroad, when Mr. Barber told them that he had orders to keep the road open, and if they persisted in obstructing it he should be obliged to arrest and imprison them which they dared him to do--
Gen. Hooker was appealed to by telegraph who immediately ordered up a detachment of soldiers from Cincinnati to protect the road --  Finally all the five rioters (who are daughters of the late Judge Currier) unboarded with the exception of Mrs Brown who was defiant to the last --

William came home very tired about midnight, bringing Archie Hopkins (who is a distant cousin of Lizzie’s) home with him.

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