What Civil War Generals were at Harpers Ferry During John Brown’s Raid

In the movie Santa Fe Trail it depicted several pre–Civil War officers at the battle at Harpers Ferry (John Brown’s Raid). I know that Robert E. Lee and Jeb Stewart participated. However, I could find no evidence that Custer and Longstreet and Pickett were there. What Civil War officers actually took part at Harpers Ferry?


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Dear P.F.

Counter to whatever you “learned” from the 1940 film Santa Fe Trail, the only Civil War officers-to-be involved in crushing the Harpers Ferry aid were Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee, 1st Lt. J.E.B. Stuart and Marine 2nd Lt. Israel Greene, who rose to major and adjutant/inspector for the Confederate Marine Corps. In 1859 Major James Longstreet was in Texas, Captain George Pickett was in the Oregon Territory facing off against local British forces in the “Pig War” and George A. Custer was still attending classes and accumulating demerits in the USMA at West Point.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History


One Response

  1. Jes

    It would appear from P.F. ‘s question, that he actually “learned”
    nothing but the truth from his research on the movie. I see no need for you to try and slam him. You did not add anything to his research, only confirmed what he had already found.


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