Lt. Colonel, 1st W.Va. Infantry, 3 Years' Service.
Photos, letter & genealogy provided by Nancy Ireland.
Jacob Weddle was born on 9 Jun 1834/38 in the area of West Alexander, Pennsylvania and Triadelphia, (W) Virginia. He was the son of Henry and Sarah (Bently) Weddle who were married in Wheeling, Ohio County, (W) Virginia 23 Apr 1826. The other children of Henry and Sarah were Margaret, Andrew Jackson, William Bently, Elizabeth, Henry, John N., Sarah Jane and Mary Alice.
Jacob and Jennie (Lancaster) Weddle
On 17 May 1861 at Wheeling, Ohio County, (W) Virginia, Jacob Weddle married Jennie Mary Lancaster. Jennie, born 17 May 1841 in New Jersey, was the daughter of Joseph and Nancy Ann (Hill) Lancaster.
The children of Jacob and Jennie were: Jennie, Clarence, Lucian, William, Joseph James, Hattie, Mollie, Nellie Alleen, Nancy Lee and Jesse Duff.
Jacob Weddle wrote the following letter, "An Incident of Sheridan's Campaign in the Valley," to the editor of the Ohio Soldier:
Lt. Colonel Jacob Weddle died 7 Feb 1889 in Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio and was buried at Woodland Cemetery, Ironton, Lawrence County, Ohio. His wife died 9 Feb 1924 in Washington, Pennsylvania and is buried there at Washington Cemetery.
Ironton Register, December 16, 1886
Some Exciting War Experiences
"What’s the matter? What have I done?" returned the Colonel with a laugh.
"Why, haven’t you read the ‘Narrow Escapes’ in the Register, and don’t you see you have kept out of them?" the reporter replied.
"Yes, I read them, and I like to read what the other boys have done, but please excuse me."
"Not at all -- we let no guilty man escape. Come now; the 1st West Va. was a fighting regiment, and you were one of them. Think up a ‘Narrow Escape’ right quick, now."
"Well," said the Colonel, putting on his thinking cap, "Port Republic was about as hot a time as I ever saw, but you want some personal reminiscences where a fellow got in a peculiar tight pinch himself? I guess that was down at Berryville. Let’s see -- now I don’t know that I’ll get the dates precisely right -- but it was when Early was retreating out of Maryland. He had gone into Virginia and was striking toward Winchester, and we were following him up cautiously. We had started from Sandy Hook, and intended to reach Leetown and demonstrate on his flank, but he had passed down the pike. We then went to Snicker’s ford, where we encountered the enemy and had a severe fight.
"I must tell you of a funny incident here, and rather ‘narrow’ too. Our regiment had charged across the ford and had been driven back, where we had a steep, slippery clay bank to climb, to get out of the way of the enemy’s fire. My adjutant and I had clasped hands to aid each other up the bank. The rebs were across the river, only a short distance, just peppering us lively. Now, as fast as my adjutant and myself got near the top of that bank, we slipped back, and the more we hurried the worse we would slip, and the faster the rebs fired the more we hurried. It was a scaly time, and many of our boys were shot there. My adjutant, whose hand I held till we got up the bank, was shot twice in the cap, a shoulderstrap carried off, a button shot away and a ball pierced his clothing in left side -- five close misses in getting up that bank; but I escaped -- that’s a close call.
"Well, a couple days after that, we moved on to Berryville, and my regiment and the 2nd Maryland were sent out the Winchester pike on picket. The rest of the division was below Berryville. We had out three companies, from each regiment, on each side of the road, on picket, and the main part of the two regiments was on the pike, a short distance back. I was sitting in the regimental ambulance, and my cook had just announced that the coffee and bacon were ready, when ‘bang’ went a musket out the road, and ‘bang, bang’ went others. I mounted my horse and galloped in the direction of our advanced picket line, which, in the meantime, had got itself in good position, and using my glass saw a large rebel force advancing in line of battle. I was commanding my regiment, but Col. Rogers, of the 2nd Maryland, was my senior. I gave orders to pickets to fall back stubbornly, and then reported to Col. Rogers, who had ordered his own regiment to do the same thing. The two regiments then kept on falling back slowly and fighting all the time, till they got to Berryville. Here were some old earthworks, badly washed by the rain, and we got over into them. The rebels kept coming, and confident of success charged the earthworks. This was about 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The form of the earthworks was a right angle, and the rebel line came up in a sort of semi-circle, enveloping the corner of the angle. We would have been most delightfully wiped out then, had it not been for Gen. Duval, who lay with the rest of his brigade in the neighborhood of Berryville, and who formed in line when the firing was first heard. His forces reached the fort soon after we got behind it, but the works being very small, a part of his brigade was thrown out to the left to prevent the enemy coming in that direction and getting behind the works.
"The attempt of the enemy to carry the works by storm was a very exciting combat, at least where I stood, about midway of the front of the angle, and just where the ‘narrow escape’ which you demand took place. I was standing there, sword in hand, directing the firing against the advancing line of the enemy. The rebs came nearer and nearer, and the fire got hotter and hotter, and soon the rebs were right on us. Now mind, the earthworks were hardly to be dignified by that name, not being over two or three feet high and affording very little protection at anything like close quarters. While I was standing, as I remarked, a great, tall reb right in the front of the attacking line made a jump at me and sought to reach me with a lunge of his bayonet, and it was close work, I tell you. He had the longest arms and made the biggest lunge, and he was going for me. The point of his bayonet gave me a prod in the lower part of the breastbone and drew the blood, but not enough to hurt much. He was about to step forward to be sure the next time, when one of the boys near me jumped up and placing his musket near the fellow’s head blew it pretty nearly off. That was a ‘narrow’ as I wanted it."
"Yes," said the reporter, "that was very close, but how did the fight end?"
"Oh, we repulsed them, but they kept up an artillery fire till 10 o’clock. The next morning, however, we left, and formed a new line nearer the Potomac. That fight was on the 3rd of September. A few days after, Sheridan came in with two corps and drove Early out of the valley."