FIRST REGIMENT VIRGINIA INFANTRY.
The companies composing the First Regiment Virginia Volunteer Infantry (three months' men) were mustered in, commanded by, and recruited as follows:
On the 23d of May the regiment was complete, so far as the number of men was concerned, and B. F. Kelley, a former citizen of Wheeling and colonel of the militia, then living in Philadelphia, was called to take command of it. The credit for raising this the first loyal regiment in the State has frequently been given to Colonel (General) Kelley. It is proper to state, by way of correcting this error, that Colonel Kelley's first collection with it was after the men had been enlisted, and, as shown, the regiment organized when he was called to the command, - responding at once to the call by his presence; General Kelley himself would make no claim of the kind. During the month of May, as the several companies were mustered into the service, they occupied quarters in the Fair Grounds near the Back River bridge, on the island. This camp was afterwards called Camp Carlisle. The citizens of Wheeling were called on to supply many of the men with blankets, to which
roll they responded nobly. Such was the condition of affairs in the State and in the city of Wheeling at this period, as viewed by the people all over the North, embracing the officers in charge of the army equipment and supplies, that it was not considered safe to send arms to Wheeling direct; the sentiment favoring the government and that favoring secession, it was considered, being so nearly equally divided. A wrong estimate on the part of those officials, as was afterwards developed. In consequence of this feeling, however, the arms for the regiment were sent to Wellsburg, to Messrs. W. H. Carothers and Campbell Tarr, two prominent Union men of the town, who, with Lewis Applegate and Adam Kuhn, were among the most active supporters of the government at this crisis, and instrumental in securing the arms, to be by them distributed to the command, and were shipped to Wheeling by steamboat in charge of Companies F and G of the regiment. The facts connected with the furnishing of these arms compelling the naming of these gentlemen, it will appear to be unjust to others who were at least equally active and intelligently energetic in combating the disunion sentiment in Wheeling, and lending their assistance to the cause of the Union in every way possible, if their names be omitted. Among them Messrs. A. W. Campbell, C. D. Hubbard, S. H. Woodward, John Bishop, John R. Hubbard, H. K. List, T. H. Logan, and John K. Botsford are especially worthy of mention, besides many others whose names for obvious reasons cannot be included here.
The men having received their arms, but without knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, or even cartridge-boxes, to say nothing respecting camp equipage, which many of them hardly knew of even by name, thus unprepared were to enter into active service, consoling themselves that the other fellows were no better off in this respect. They, however, soon came to the knowledge that the troops of other States were much better prepared for a campaign than they were, having nearly everything mentioned that they had not, besides being uniformed. All of them, however, were hardy and robust, and felt that they could stand a summer campaign, and the majority were familiar with the use of arms. Thus was the first command raised in Virginia, and probably the first in any Southern State prepared and sent to the field, unrecognized by their State, while at the same time men were being enlisted, uniformed, and forwarded to the Southern army from the same town. Viewed at this distance, this appears to have been preparation for a Pickwickian war. Such, nevertheless, was the case.