Harrison Gray Otis and the Burning of the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort

Blue_1_800_crop_3 This morning I received an inquiry from a reader who was wondering if I had any information on Harrison Gray Otis's involvement in the November 1863 burning of the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort in West Virginia. As both Union and Confederate armies had used the resort during the war as a camp and a hospital, Federals wanted to ensure that the Rebs could no longer utilize the structure and surrounding area for their war effort and the resort was fired. Only the Pavilion, a Greek Revival structure, remained.

You may recall that Harrison Gray Otis enlisted in the Union Army as a private and climbed through theharrison_gray_otis ranks to Captain in short order. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and enjoyed a prosperous career as a journalist and editor. My reader has found information suggesting that Otis gave the order to fire the resort - but cannot verify these reports.

I turn to you - my knowledgeable amigos...did Otis give the command? (we'll need proof, of course)

With compliments,