The boulevards were like all the other streets, brilliantly illuminated, with immense numbers of people walking up and down on this late February evening. Men, women, and children were rejoicing, as the terrible struggles of the day had ceased. Near the Hotel des Capucines there was a heavy force of military troops, whos main purpose seemed to be directing traffic. All was tranquil for some time; presently a column of unarmed students and artisans marched down the boulevard singing. Suddenly a shot echoed throughout the city, an entire squadron of troops charged the crowd with muskets blazing and swords drawn. Percy B. St John was an eyewitness to the events herein described; the following was taken from his notes compiled at the time. The sight was awful. Husbands were seen dragging their fainting wives from the massacre; fathers snatching up their children, with pale faces and clenched teeth, hurried away to put their young ones in safety, and then to come out in arms against the monarchy. Women clung to railings, trees, or to a wall, or fell fainting on the stones Afterwards Utter strangers would be seen shaking hands and congratulating one another on their escape.1 Shortly after the deputy General, commanding the National Guard was on the spot making inquiries into the cause of this most tragic and atrocious event. The Deputy addressed the Colonel, who commanded the squadron with this remark…you have committed an action, unworthy of a French soldier. The Colonel, overwhelmed with shame, replied that the order to fire was a mistake. Apparently a soldiers gun had gone off, accidentally striking his horses leg in the process. The Colonel, thinking he was under attack, gave the order to discharge. At this the Deputy replied, you are soldier, I believe in your good faith; but remember that an a…
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