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Territorial Enterprise, February 23, 1864


A very amusing performance took place yesterday between the Ophir and Burning Moscow companies. It appears that the Ophir Company desired to move two cabins occupied by their workmen from the vicinity of their new shaft to a level piece of ground nearby claimed by both companies. The Burning Moscow Company were determined to resist the removal of these buildings. Captain O'Reilly, of the Ophir mine, mustered his forces and brought the pressure of 150 men to bear against the cabins, in the direction of the disputed ground. Schiller and Summers, of the Burning Moscow, massed their forces, numbering some 7 or 8 men, on the threatened point. Then in deep silence commenced the tug of war. O'Reilly brought the pressure of his 150 miners to bear on the cabins. The Moscow fellows with crowbars and levers on their shoulders resting, squatted in the earth, and stoutly stood the pressure. The Schillers pushed hard one way with their levers, and the O'Reilly's, similarly accoutered, pushed as stoutly the other. At this junction, O'Reilly resorted to tactics -- to strategy. He got rollers under the buildings. The forces under Captain O'Reilly now made a rapid advance with the cabins in the direction of their territory. In vain the Burning Moscow boys squared themsleves to their levers -- in vain dug their heels into the ground -- under the heavy pressure of O'Reilly's men the cabins continued to advance. Unable to withstand the overwhelming pressure, the Burning Moscow boys fell back -- fell back grinning. Soon, in triumph, the O'Reillys rolled the cabins upon the disputed ground. We are happy to state that no blood was spilled, nor very hard words used by the contending parties. We understand that after the battle the two armies adjourned to the premises of the "unreliable" Hand and had drinks all around. This pushing match afforded great amusement to the disinterested bystanders who were spectators of the scene.

[Reprinted in Sacramento Daily Union, February 25, 1864, p. 3.]

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