Hayward  Shepherd                                                                                                         John Brown Raid
                                                                                         B & O Railroad

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Yards in Martinsburg, ca. 1858.  courtesy Wikipedia    

The African American man at  left foreground is newly-recognized as Hayward(Haywood)
Shepherd, a railroad employee who was killed by John Brown's men at Harpers Ferry on
October 17, 1859 (midnight darkness)
Enhancement of 1858 Rail Yards by Jim Surkamp, historian of
African Americans in Jefferson County, West Virginia
      photo from the same location taken in November 2020
        by Richard Snowden identification project volunteer

The Martinsburg Yards in the 1858 photograph were destroyed
in October 1862 by the Confederate General Stonewall Jackson
Rebuilt in 1866, the restored
Martinsburg Roundhouse is a
National Historic Landmark (2003) and community facility
Pencil sketch of Hayward /Haywood
Shepherd and Fontaine Beckham is by
David English Henderson, who lived near
Charlestown, between the Washington and
Allstadt plantations.  Henderson provided
first-hand details of the raid to his cousin

David H. Strother (
Porte Crayon), published
Harper's Weekly.  
Both men served as cartographers during
the Civil War; Henderson as a Lieutenant in
the Confederate States and Strother as a  
Brigadier General with the Union.

Fontaine Beckham was also killed by
Brown's men in the battle that took place in
the afternoon of October 17, 1859.  

Beckham was the station agent of the
B & O Railroad, and the mayor of Harpers
This 19-page document, which is scanned and enlarged
with OCR recognition may be downloaded

Registered by Allies for Freedom on
Internet Archive as
Public Domain
courtesy Stan Cohen, John Brown
The Thundering Voice of Jehovah (1999)

The Virginians buried Hayward (Haywood) Shepherd with military honors for defending the state from John Brown's attack. Stories circulated for years that he talked with the men who
shot him, refusing to join them.  In 1931 a monument was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy stating Shepherd was an example of loyal slaves.  The installation was
protested by W.E.B. DuBois and local African Americans.  The controversy has persisted into the present decade, with markedly different histories of the event by historians.  On
October 19, 2020, flowers were placed at his virtual memorial thanking "a loyal Virginian."

Sources:  Jean Libby, Black Voices From Harpers Ferry; Osborne Anderson and the John Brown Raid (1979:142-145,231)  Hayward Shepherd Find-a-Grave Memorial ID 123489179.  Winchester-Fairfax
Colored Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia
Louis A. DeCaro, Jr.
The Untold Story of Shields Green; the Life and Death of a Harper's Ferry Raider (2020:91-92)


Hayward Shepherd was a free man who worked as baggage-master for the B & O Railroad and the Winchester & Potomac terminus at Harpers Ferry.  Born ca. 1825 (age 34-35), his
residence was in Winchester, Virginia, with his free wife (Sarah Elizabeth Briscoe) and five children.  Their daughters ranged in age from 16 to 7 years; only son John H. was four.  All
were described as Mulatto.  Haywood is always described as Black.

Sources:  Eugene L. Meyer, Five for Freedom; the African American Soldiers in John Brown's Army (2018) and the 1860 Census of Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia

About the photograph:
The photograph (originally a
daguerreotype) was made by participants
in an Artist's Excursion train.  The first car
was adapted for making images in the field,
a pioneering photographic technique

The elderly man with a beard in the center
of the front row is identified as
Philip E. Thomas, the "Father of American
Railways"  (1776-1861)

See the
Harper's Monthly of June 1859
which describes the events by
David Hunter Strother
(Porte Crayon), a native of Martinsburg       

"I am very sorry.  It was not my intention that any blood should be spilled."  Testimony of B & O conductor W. A. Phelps

Source:  Charles P. Poland, Jr., America's Good Terrorist; John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid  (2020:68)  Robert De Witt, ed. The life, trial, and conviction of Captain John Brown, known as "Old
Brown of Osawatomie," with a full account of the attempted insurrection at Harper's Ferr
y (1859:68-69)
"Faithful Slave" monument in Harpers Ferry
dedicated October 1931
photo by Reichard Snowden, December 2020