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Soldiers & Sailors Historical & Benevolent Society
Washington, D. C., 23 Mar 1903

To All Whom It May Concern.

Bequeathed to every American is a priceless legacy
Preserved to us by the valor of the Boys in Blue

     This certifies that William Cunningham Enlisted from New Martinsville, West Virginia, to serve three years or during the war, and was mustered into the United States service on the 29th day of October, 1861, at Romney, W. Va., as a Private of Captain James M. Bowers' Company "H", 1ST REGIMENT VIRGINIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Colonel Joseph Thoburn commanding.
     The nucleus of the regiment was the 1st Virginia Infantry, three months service, which was reorganized and recruited by Col. Joseph Thoburn, who had been Surgeon of the three months regiment, the organization being completed Nov. 14th 1861. While the regiment was being recruited four companies were sent to the Little Kanawha to suppress the "Moccasin Rangers", who were marauding in the vicinity of Burning Springs. After dispersing this band the detachment moved to Romney, Va., where it was joined by the rest of the regiment on Nov. 9th, and attached to the command of Gen. Kelley. Jan. 7th 1862, participated in the battle of Blue's Gap, Va. Moved from Romney Jan. 10th 1862, and served under Gen. Lander until Feb. 1862, then assigned to the 3rd Brigade of Shields' Division, serving in the campaign in the Valley of Virginia through May and June, participating in the defeat of the enemy at Winchester, Va., March 23rd, and Port Republic, Va., June 8th and 9th, 1862, losing heavily in killed and wounded. In July 1862, assigned to the 4th Brigade, Rickett's Division, McDowell's Corps, Army of Western Virginia, and participated in Pope's Campaign including the battles of Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, Thoroughfare Gap, and Secon Bull Run, Va., then assigned to duty in the defenses in Washington, being stationed on Arlington Heights. In October, 1862, returned to Wheeling and recruited until Nov. 24th, reported to Gen. Kelley and placed on duty at North Mountain until March, 1863, then moved to Romney and there assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 8th Army Corps. June, 1863, joined Gen. Kelley's command, co-operating with the forces on the flank of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg Campaign, making many long and dofficult marches. Aug. 16th 1863 sent to Petersburg, W.Va., five companies being sent thence to Moorefield, W. Va., where they defeated part of Imboden's Brigade on Sept. 5th. On the 11th the detachment was again attacked by part of Imboden's Brigade under McNeil, the camp surrounded by largely superior numberd and most of the detachment captured, afterward being imprisoned at Richmond, Va. During the remainder of the fall and early winter the rest of the regiment performed valuable service in defending the line of the railroad, resisting rebel raids and protecting property. Jan. 30th 1864, moved from Petersburg to New Creek, W. Va., and on Feb. 25th returned to Wheeling on veteran furlough. April 1st joined Sullivan's command at Webster, and assigned to the 3rd Brigade. Participated in the Shenandoah Campaigns, being successively under the command of Sigel, Hunter, Crook and Sheridan, and bearing a foremost part the battles of New Market, Piedmont, Lynchburg, Snicker's Ferry, Winchester, Cedar Creek (1st), Charlestown, Halltown, Berryville, Opequan, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek (2nd), Va., where Col. Thoburn was killed while commanding the Division. Oct. 29th 1864, sent to Cumberland, Md., where the non-veterans were mustered out, and the veterans and recruits were organized into a battalion of four companies under Lieut Col. Jacob Weddle, and on Dec. 10th 1864, consolidated with the 4th W. Va. Infantry into the 2nd W. VA. Veteran Volunteers, serving on guard, picket, scout and miscellaneous duty until July 16th 1865, then mustered out at Wheeling, W. Va.
     The said WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM was constantly with his command, bearing a gallant part in all its battes and campaigns as outlined above through the Second Battle of Bull Run, Va., Aug. 30th 1862, where he was badly wounded, a shell taking off his left foot. He was taken to Washington, D. C., and confined for two months in Grant Hospital, thence transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he remained until March 16th 1863, when he was HONORABLY DISCHARGED at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Washington, D.C., by reason of Surgeon's Certificate of Disability caused by loss of left foot from wound received in action.
     He was born Nov. 2nd 1835, in Belmont County, O., and was united in marriage to Nancy J. Brand, at West Alexander, Pa., Oct. 25th 1865, from which union were born the following children, viz:- Alexander, March 18th 1867; Elizabeth, Aug. 7th 1869; Stephen, June 28th 1871; William H., Sept. 20th 1875; Benjamin F., April 16th 1898; Eva, Oct. 28th 1880.
     He is a member of M. Branum Post No. 221, Department of Ohio, G.A.R.; also an honorary member of Woman's Relief Corps No. 34. His wife, Mrs. Nancy J. Cunningham, is an honored member of Woman's Relief Corps No. 34. During the Civil War she served as a U. S. Army Nurse, and was on duty at Sprigg House Hospital and Thenium [Athenaeum] Hospital, Wheeling, W. Va., and now draws a pension by reason of her service.
     These facts are thus recorded and preserved and preserved for the benefit of all those interested.

     Compiled from Official & Authentic Sources by the
Soldiers & Sailors
Historical & Benevolent Society.
In testimony whereof: I hereunto set my hand and cause to be affixed the seal of the Society.
Done at Washington, D.C. this 23rd day of March, A.D. 1903.

No. 85173.
H. W. Kellogg, Historian.