Myers' History of West Virginia
S. Myers, 1915; Vol 1; pages 454-500.
The South fought for their homes, and for slavery - yet slavery was not the primary cause of the war. The South had complained of unfair treatment from the hands of the Federal Government as far back as the time of Alexander Hamilton. They complained incessantly of the encroachment of the General Government upon State Rights, as has been shown in a former chapter. An anti-slavery sentiment had also long existed in the North. The interests of the two sections were not mutual. There was nothing in common between them. The political leaders and the newspapers of both factions were constantly and persistently nagging and threatening each other.
The South had frequently threatened withdrawal from the Union and forming an independent government. As late as the early part of 1861 there was a strong feeling in the North that it would be a good thing for all concerned if the two sections were divided. They reasoned that, so long as South and North were tied together as one country, there would be danger of contamination from slavery, and that Southern influence might eventually force slavery in the Northern States and thereby offer cheap colored labor in competition with the whites; but, if they were politically foreign to each other, no such contingency would exist. Why, then, not let the South go? Their trade relations would remain the same, and they would be safe from a repugnant labor traffic. But, a majority of the Northern people took a different view. While they were opposed to slavery, yet they were not so much concerned about that so long as it was confined to its present limits; but they set their foot squarely down on secession. They believed a division of the government would render each section weaker in defense from European attack, and that it would afford a precedent for other divisions and ultimately lead to a number of small principalities, similar to those in some of the tropical regions. Our forefathers had sacrificed life, limb and property that we might enjoy the precious inheritance of a republican form of government of united states; and now, to sacrifice all this as a compromise with a dissatisfied faction or section would never do. No, the Union must stand at all hazards.
This was all very well and proper. Yet, as we have seen, the North was not entirely blameless for the unfortunate conditions in which the country found itself. She had been selfish and impatient for her own ends; and the punishment she brought upon herself was not, by any means, undeserved. Had the people of both sides paid less attention to the rampant harangue of hot-headed political speakers and jingo journalism, and had shown that the sons of the Revolutionary fathers were, by natural ties, duty-bound to treat one another with a spirit of fairness, they would have discovered some honorable means of adjusting their difficulties without resorting to war.
What a pity that thousands upon thousands of the very cream of American manhood were so cruelly and so needlessly sacrificed!
Aside from its humane features, how useful might have been all these men had their efforts been directed in other channels of honest human endeavor. And the heartaches and tears it would have saved!
It is not a pleasant duty to record the stories of bloody battles fought on any field or for whatever cause; and it becomes more unpleasant when the scenes one describes happened in our own country and State, and in some cases, on ground familiar to the writer, and by men or boys from his own neighborhood - in many instances one neighbor against another, family against family, and in some cases, brother against brother, or father against son.
But the fates decreed that the war must come, and war it was indeed - for four long years - years, of hardships, anxiety, turmoil, destruction of life and property, and countless homes made desolate; and during the enactment of these terrible scenes, the great majority of those responsible for the trouble were either dodging the muster roll, or comfortably housed at a safe distance, and drawing a government salary.
As this is a State history, we will confine ourselves to engagements in West Virginia as nearly as possible, occasionally going outside as circumstances may require.
In presenting the story of engagements between the Federal and Confederate soldiers in West Virginia, we will quote freely from "History of West Virginia and Its People," by Miller and Maxwell.
On April 24, 1861, Lieutenant Jones, U. S. A., anticipating an attack upon Harper's Ferry that night by Confederate troops, fired the factories and blew up the government arsenal at that place at 10 o'clock at night, and made his escape with his men. The garrison consisted of forty-eight or fifty men under Lieutenant Jones. They at once commenced planning for the destruction of the place, by order of the government at Washington. With their own swords they cut kindling with which to fire the buildings. They emptied their bed mattresses and filled them with powder and then carried them into the arsenal, so that no suspicion was aroused among the residents of the town. Fifteen thousand stand of arms were then placed in the best position to be destroyed by an explosion. Splints of boards and straw were thrown up in different parts of the shops, so all could be destroyed at once. At 9 o'clock in the evening Lieutenant Jones was advised that no less than 2,000 Confederates would be there by midnight, so he at once proceeded to destroy the government property. The windows and doors were thrown wide open in all the main buildings, so the flames would have free course; fires were lighted in the carpenter's shop; the trains leading to the powder were ignited, and the men marched out. The fire alarm aroused the citizens, and just as Lieutenant Jones and his men had entered the lodge to escape, an excited crowd gathered and pursued them, threatening vengeance upon them for destroying the works. He suddenly wheeled his men and declared that unless they retreated he would fire upon them. This dispersed the most of the crowd. As they fled, he with his men took to the woods. Within fifteen minutes after he left he heard the first loud report of the explosion. By the light of the fire thus made, which illuminated the night, he was enabled to make his way out of the country to the north. All of his men escaped but four, who it is believed were captured and killed. He made straight for Hagerstown, wading streams and swamps, reaching that, place at 7 in the morning. There he secured omnibus transportation over to Chambersburg in time to take a train for the east.
January 11, 1861, the 2d Kentucky Infantry landed at Guyandotte. On the night of the 13th, four companies marched out on the road leading to Barboursville, in Cabell County, and in the early morning reached Mud River bridge, within a few hundred rods of the town. On the ridge, in the rear of the court house, were about 350 Confederates under Col. James Ferguson, and a detachment of Border Rangers under Capt. (later General) A. G. Jenkins. The Federals approached the bridge and received the first fire, which they answered and, crossing the bridge, carried the ridge and took possession of the town. The Federals lost five killed and eighteen wounded; the Confederates had one killed and one wounded, the former being James Reynolds and the latter Absalom Ballinger.
On May 20, 1861, seventy soldiers of the State troops came into Clarksburg for the purpose of recruiting for the Confederate Army. They had come in from Romine's Mills, and marched up the main streets with rifles in hand. In a short time they were joined by another similar band from the surrounding country, commanded by N. M. Turner, Norvil Lewis, Hugh H. Lee and W. P. Cooper. The loyal citizens of Clarksburg were incensed at this act, and at 6 o'clock the bell of the court house rang out as a warning, and the two home military companies were soon in line. These were commanded by Capt. A. C. Moore and Capt. J. C. Vance. A column was at once formed, with flags unfurled and bands of music playing. This display frightened the "green" Confederate troops, who, after a time, asked if they might be allowed to leave in peace, when they were told that they could remain until morning providing they would stack their arms, which, I after 8 o'clock, they concluded to do.
Another version of this event is related by Henry Haymond in his "History of Harrison County", as follows:
"On the afternoon of May 23rd, 1861, the residents of the town were startled by the appearance of several squads of men coming in on different roads, a portion of them being armed with squirrel rifles and shotguns.
"The court house bell was rung, long and loud, and the Union Guard, with a large number of other citizens, assembled in the court room and amid great excitement it was proposed that the new arrivals and all others who gave them aid and comfort should be forthwith captured. But the arrival of some of the older citizens upon the scene undoubtedly prevented a collision between the two bodies. It was proposed by a cool-headed speaker that a committee should wait upon the secession body and ascertain their intentions in marching into town under arms. This was very reluctantly agreed to and the committee retired, and after some time reported that the new arrivals had no hostile intentions, but were there for the night and intended on the following day to march peaceably to Grafton to join Colonel Porterfield.
"After a good deal of discussion it was finally agreed that the Secessionists should surrender their arms, which would be placed in the jail, locked up, and the key given into the possession of Waldo P. Goff, a prominent Union man, and that they should be delivered to their owners on the following morning, and that they should then leave town. This was done and a collision happily avoided. On the next day their arms were restored to them and the company marched down Pike Street on their way to Grafton.
"A large crowd gathered on the pavement at the OldWalker House at the corner of Second and Pike Street to see them march away. It was a pathetic scene. Everyone seemed impressed with the solemnity of the occasion. There were no loud hurrahs nor waving of flags as generally takes place when men leave to go to war. Some quiet good-byes were said between those leaving and those remaining, and as they crossed Elk bridge and rounded the bend in the street near the Catholic Church they were lost to sight. Very few of them ever saw their native town again, about twenty of them were killed in battle and ten died from disease and only six surrendered at Appomattox."
The same writer also relates what he terms "The Affair at Righter's":
"Peter B. Righter, a well-to-do farmer and grazier, lived in a handsome residence on Coon's Run, about four miles from Shinnston, just over the Marion County line. He was a pronounced Secessionist and his house was a headquarters for those of like faith in the neighborhood.
"He was reported to the military authorities and a detachment of Company I of the 20th Ohio, under Captain Cable from Mannington, was ordered to the Righter farm on June 21st, 1861. They were fired upon from the house, one of his men was killed and three or four wounded, and John Nay, the guide, was also wounded.
"Captain Cable's command fell back to Shinnston and, receiving re-enforcements on the 22nd, returned to Righter's and found the premises deserted. The house, barns and outbuildings were burned and all the horses taken and moved to Mannington.
"Banks Corbin, a resident of the neighborhood, while held a prisoner by the troops, attempted to escape, was fired upon and killed.
"This incident caused great excitement in the neighborhood and brought the realities of war home to the people."
On May 6, 1861, Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Department of West Virginia, while General Garnett held a similar position in the Confederate Army. The latter was at Beverly, Randolph County, and McClellan endeavored to force him to the east side of the mountains. He divided his troops into two wings; the one on the left began at Grafton to march, via Philippi, under the command of General Morris, while his right went by the way of Clarksburg and Buckhannon.
The first regiment of Federal troops organized in what is West Virginia was mustered in for three months, and rendezvoused on Wheeling Island, at the City of Wheeling, under command of Col. B. F. Kelley, having been mustered May 15, 1861, as the First Virginia Federal Volunteer Infantry Regiment. This command was joined by the first Union troops to cross the Ohio River - an Ohio regiment, commanded by Colonel Lander. About the same date a Confederate force was organized under Colonel Parterfield, near Grafton. The Federal troops went via the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, while the Confederates went back to Philippi, being followed up by the Federals, and on June 3, 1861, occurred the first engagement on West Virginia soil.
The Confederates were compelled to retreat, but neither side lost many men. Colonel Kelley was wounded in the breast, but recovered, and later was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General. This was the first military engagement west of the Alleghany Mountains in the Civil War.
A celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first land engagement of the Civil War was held at Philippi, W. Va., in June, 1911.
The following is taken from the Wheeling Sunday News of June 4, 1911:
"Philippi, W. Va., June 3, 1911. "Philippi's first home-coming week ended successfully to-day. As a closing feature of the affair the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first land engagement of the Civil War was indeed all that could be expected. The quiet little village of Philippi was filled to overflowing with visitors from near and far. The crowd was variously estimated at from 10,000 to 15,000, or at least 10 visitors to one inhabitant.
"The program of the day was one entirely of speech-making, and there was not a dull moment from the time the festivities opened until they closed. Among the notables present who delivered addresses were: Governor W. E. Glasscock; United States Senator "Fiddling Bob" Taylor, of Tennessee; Uncle Henry G. Davis; Col. J. M. Schoonmaker, of Pittsburgh; Judge Frank Cox, of Morgantown; Col. John T. McGraw, of Grafton. United States Senator C. W. Watson and Hon. Lewis Bennett, of Weston, former Democrat candidate for Governor, were also present but did not speak, the master of ceremonies explaining at their own request that they were not speechmakers.
"Gray-haired veterans, bent with age, swarmed the streets all day long, exchanging reminiscences of war days and listening to the stories of the war as told by the speakers. As nearly as could be ascertained from the registry of visiting veterans, there were about an equal number of the blues and grays present.
The committee in charge of the celebration gave away as souvenirs small battle flags, both of the Federals and Confederates. It was no uncommon sight during the day to see crowds of Confederate and Union soldiers mingling together, proudly unfurling to the breeze the battle flags of both sides. Very few Union veterans left the grounds without taking along as a souvenir the stars and bars of the Confederacy.
Whatever may have been the differences of the North and South during the days of '61 to '65, it is certain that no ill feeling exists among the old boys who attended the celebration at Philippi.
The celebration today was devoted entirely to a memorial to the first land battle of the war fought on the hill just north of Philippi on the morning of June 3rd, 1861. In this engagement, led by Colonel Lander of the Seventh Indiana Volunteers, the Confederates were routed from Philippi, where they had taken quarters, and forced to flee for dear life. One of the distinct features of the battle was Colonel Lander's sensational ride down the steep declivity of Talbot's Hill, now known as Battle Hill. As a feat of horsemanship it is probable that this ride has never been surpassed.
"In this engagement Colonel Kelley, commanding the First Virginia Volunteers; was shot through the breast by William Simms, a Confederate quartermaster, and was seriously, but not fatally wounded. Only a few days ago Colonel Kelley died at his home in California. Otherwise he would have been present at yesterday's celebration. Colonel Kelley was the first and only Union soldier wounded in this battle. In this battle Company E, Seventh Indiana Regiment, captured the first Confederate flag.
"At the break of day this morning the boom of cannon from 'Battle Hill' announced to the sleeping inhabitants in the valley below that the fiftieth anniversary of the first land engagement of the Civil War was on. From that time on until the evening sun had faded behind the hills there was a rapid succession of events of the most interesting nature.
"A military street demonstration in honor of Governor W. E. Glasscock was held at 9:45 and at 10 the visitors gathered on the lawn surrounding the court house to listen to address by Governor Glasscock and 'Uncle' Henry G. Davis, West Virginia's grand old man. Both speakers were introduced by Senator S. V. Woods.
"Governor Glasscock spoke for nearly two hours. In his opening remarks the Governor referred to the Civil War as the only way of settling differences existing at that time. 'A compromise was impossible,' he said. 'Slavery was either right or wrong and there was no way to arbitrate the question. The right of a State to secede from the Union was another question which could not be settled by arbitration or compromise, because there was no halfway place.
"'The boys of 1861-65, whether they wore the blue or gray, believed they fought for a righteous cause, and whatever may be our differences of opinion, with one accord and with unanimity of opinion, we are agreed that they are all patriots, and their acts of valor and self-sacrifice make up the most interesting pages of our nation's history.'
"Declaring his pride that he had been a life-long native of West Virginia, Governor Glasscock then digressed into a rather extensive description of West Virginia's great wealth and natural resources, etc.
"The Governor closed his speech with the following burst of patriotic oratory:
"'We are now standing upon the ground where the first battle of the great Civil War was fought, but as we look out before us we behold a beautiful city inhabited by people who yield to none in their education and intelligence. All honor to the men who fought through the Civil War and preserved to us through turmoil and strife the liberties guaranteed by the constitution.'
"Immediately after Governor Glasscock's address, Uncle Henry G. Davis was introduced to the throng. The Grand Old Man told of a number of reminiscences of Civil War times. He spoke very briefly, and in addition to paying tribute to the "Judge Frank Cox, the veterans of both sides, Mr. Davis dwelt upon the great industrial development of the State, and in a very clear manner pointed out the wonderful progress made along this line since the war. * * *
"Judge Frank Cox, the noted Morgantown jurist and orator, was next introduced. His speech was 'short but sweet'. He was not on the program, but he delivered a very stirring and interesting address. He deplored the tendency of the American people to drift away from the spirit that actuated the soldiers in the war, toward selfish and mad races for worldly wealth.
"At the conclusion of his address, Judge Cox introduced Col. J. M. Schoomaker, of Pittsburgh, Vice-President of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad.
"Colonel Schoomaker in his opening remarks told of his first visit to West Virginia, when he led his regiment of cavalry down through Philippi to the Shenandoah Valley and finally to Gettysburg. It was upon this visit, he said, that he became impressed with the wonderful possibilities of the country, in the development of the coal, lumber and other industries.
"Colonel Schoonmaker's company is now building a rail- road up the Tygart's Valley River, and hopes to have it finished within the next year or so. The war of the rebellion, said the speaker, was a war of principle, and not one of race prejudice. No nation, he said, could stand with half free and half slave labor. He spoke briefly of the cost of the war in its hundreds of thousands of lives, and monetary loss as well. A beautiful tribute was paid to the women who attended and cared for the sick and wounded during the awful struggle.
"Senator Woods then introduced U. S. Senator 'Fiddling Bob' Taylor, of Tennessee. The Senator delivered one of the best addresses ever heard in West Virginia, if not the very best. He is a scholar and a man of culture, and his address was truly a classic. Punctured at frequent intervals with rare gems of genuine American humor, the speaker's address, held the attention of every person in the vast audience.
"Among other things he said: 'Ours is the greatest country in the world. Our inventions and discoveries have advanced the world a thousand years in a century.' "Senator Taylor then took up the important discoveries and accomplishments of history, detailing the men and matters that figured in them. Taking up American heroes, he went through the list from Benjamin Franklin down to U. S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee, extolling each in the most beautiful language.
"He declared that modern politics is the most exquisite art that the devil himself ever invented. The American people, politicians included, had gone money mad, and while we have outstripped all other nations in the accumulation of worldly wealth, he declared his belief that other nations out- stripped us in the things that really make a nation great. 'Lust for gold,' he said, 'has dug the grave of every nation that has fallen, and I wonder if it is not digging our grave.'
"In closing, Senator Taylor said: 'May God grant that we have many more of these peace reunions for both the Blue and the Gray until the cry shall ring out from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, a united nation with one God.'
"Col. J. T. McGraw, peer of all the Democratic silver- tongued orators of West Virginia, was then introduced. He delivered one of his characteristic, witty and interesting addresses. He was the last speaker of the day. In a flowery flow of oratory he praised the war time deeds of the veterans, showing equal interest in both sides.
"A responsive chord was struck by the speaker when he pointed out two of the preceding speakers in the persons of Colonel Schoomaker and Senator Taylor as living examples of the feeling and spirit which now exist between Confederate and Union veterans. At the time Messrs. Schoomaker and Taylor were sitting side by side in the speakers' stand. Schoomaker was a colonel in the Union Army and Taylor held a similar commission in the Confederate ranks. At the close of Colonel McGraw's address, King Kelley went skyward in his balloon, and while the band played 'Dixie' and the crowd cheered, the celebration passed into history."
The writer is in receipt of a communication from Mr. S. F. Hoffman, clerk of the county court at Philippi, in which he recites the following incident in connection with the engagement at that place in June, 1861:
"On June 2nd, 1861, while the Federals were marching on this town, which was at that time occupied by the Con federates, one of the infantrymen, a man by name of Charles Degner, of Company I, Seventh Indiana Regiment, while crossing a small stream of water on a foot-log, lost his balance, and falling accidentally discharged his gun, the ball penetrating his leg. He was taken into the house of Simon Switzer, who lived nearby, and a physician summoned, but before the physician's arrival the wounded man died from loss of blood.
"He was buried on the hill above where he was shot and left there until the Federals returned, when they took charge of those who had been wounded. They also took up the remains of Degner and transferred them to the National Cemetery at Grafton, W. Va., where he was buried along with the others; but there is no monument there by which his grave can be identified."
Broaddus Institute at Philippi marks the spot where the cannon were planted from which belched forth the first shot of the first land engagement of the Civil War.
The writer has a clipping from a Wheeling paper dated June 17, 1911, announcing that George W. McBride, aged 71, who in April, 1861, had enlisted in the Twenty-fifth O. V. I. and took part in the first fighting of the war at Philippi, had been instantly killed by falling from a tree at Barnesville, Ohio, and breaking his neck. He ascended the tree to replace a young robin in its nest, and in seeking to get his footing on a steep ladder on the way down he lost his balance.
The oldest military organization in the famous Kanawha Valley of Virginia when the Civil War came on was the Kanawha Sharpshooters of Charleston, a company organized January 9, 1861, really in anticipation of a civil conflict. Subsequently, this company was a part of the Confederate Army. The two armies - the one at the north and the one from the south - saw in the fertile valley of the Kanawha, with its grain and salt fields, valuable elements needed to maintain an army and carryon a successful warfare, and each lost no time in trying to secure and keep possession of the valley. In June, 1861, Ex-Governor Henry A. Wise entered the valley with a force of Confederate soldiers estimated at 2,700 men, and established his headquarters at "'Two Mile", just below Charleston. At Gallipolis, Ohio, a force of Federals was gathered for the same object. This command consisted of the 21st Ohio Infantry, the 2nd Kentucky, 1st Kentucky, and Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. Col. J. D. Cox was in command. By July 17th he had reached Scary Creek, Putnam County, where he met a body of Confederates under Captain Barbee: the Kanawha Riflemen, Captain George S. Patten; Captain John S. Swan's rifle company; Major Sweeney, with a small body of infantry; Captain Thomas Jackson's battery of light artillery; and Captain. J. M. Corn and Colonel A. G. Jenkins with cavalry forces.
The battle began, and Lieutenant Colonel Allen, of the 21st Ohio, fell mortally wounded, while Colonel Norton received a severe wound. Late in the day Colonel De Villiers, Colonel Woodruff and Lieutenant-Colonel Neff rode upon the field, and mistaking a body of Confederates for their own men, entered their lines and were taken prisoners of war. Night came on and the Federals fell back to the mouth of the Pocataligo River, leaving 21 dead and 30 wounded. The Confederate loss was not so great. A few days later General Wise abandoned the valley and General Cox occupied Charleston. In passing, it may be added that General Cox was, at the time the war broke out, a brigadier-general; was Governor of Ohio in 1866-67; was Secretary of the Interior under President Grant's last administration, and wrote much valuable history concerning the civil conflict.
During the war railroads within the fighting zone suffered greatly. In West Virginia and Maryland the Confederates tore up miles of track and burned or blew up a large number of bridges; rolling stock and passenger equipment suffered too, and traffic between Baltimore and Wheeling was practically closed to the public from, May, 1861, until April 2nd, 1862. During this time, the company, under guard of Federal troops commanded by General Kelley, was engaged in repairing the damage. It was estimated that the loss of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company was not less than $2,000,000.
The question of the government allowing mail service to be continued in the Southern States was brought up in May, 1861, and an order was issued by the Post Office Department at Washington to the effect that postal service within the seceding States would be suspended from May 21 of that year. "Mails sent to offices closed by this order will be sent to the Dead Letter Office, except those in West Virginia, which will be sent to Wheeling. It is not intended by this order to deprive the Union men of West Virginia of their postal service."
In June, 1861, General Johnston concentrated a Confederate force of 15,000 men at Harper's Ferry. General Robert Patterson lay on the Maryland side of the Potomac River with about an equal number of Union troops. On the 30th he moved as to attack Johnston; but the latter held his position, and on July 2nd Patterson's advance crossed the Potomac at Williamsport and was fired upon by the Berkeley County Border Guards. With the whole army across and General Abercrombie's brigade in advance, the march commenced by the pike roads to Martinsburg. Five miles distant from Williamsport, at Falling Waters, the Confederates had outposts. A mile farther and the battle commenced in earnest. Abercrombie's brigade, made up of the 11th Pennsylvania and the 1st Wisconsin, McMullen's Rangers, a detachment of Philadelphia cavalry and Perkins's artillery of six guns, constituted the Federal force; while the Confederates had what was to become famous as the "Stonewall Brigade". The firing kept up two hours, with little loss to either side. This was "Stonewall" Jackson's first battle. He withdrew to Harper's Ferry, and Patterson marched to Martinsburg. Johnston, having destroyed the public property at Harper's Ferry, marched up the valley and over the Blue Ridge, and then quietly stole away from Patterson and was present at the battle of Bull Run.
In August, 1861, 300 Confederates lying at Bethesda Church moved to Mud River Church (now Blue Sulphur Springs) in Cabell County, and when near Pore's Hill (now Ona Station), five and a half miles from Barboursville, were fired upon by a body of 400 Federals, a detachment of the 5th West Virginia Infantry.
The Confederates returned the fire, but retreated, losing one man killed and two prisoners taken, while the Federals returned to Barboursville without loss.
Early in September, 1861, General Floyd with a large force of Confederates advanced into Western Virginia, taking his stand near Carnifex Ferry on Gauley River, where on the 10th of that month he was attacked by General W. S. Rosecrans with a Federal force made up largely of the 10th, 11th and 12th Ohio Infantry, with Snyder's and McMullen's batteries. The 10th Ohio led the advance, and the Confederates received the assault. The curtain of night covered the scene and both armies rested on the field, but before daybreak the Confederates had left, and the most important battle in Virginia west of the mountains was ended. The Federal loss was 225 killed and wounded, including Colonel Lowe, of the 12th Ohio Regiment. The Federals held possession of the valley more than a year, when they were compelled to abandon it, and Lightburn's retreat is well known as an historic event worth mentioning.
In the Spring of 1862, General Cox marched eastward from Charleston and occupied a position at Flat Top Mountain. In August he moved on to join General Shields in the Shenandoah Valley, leaving General Lightburn in command, with headquarters at Gauley's Bridge, Fayette County. His eastern outpost was at Fayetteville, occupied by the 27th Ohio, Colonel Sibert. The Federal force in the valley was then 3500 men. About September 7th General Loring, with a Confederate force, was sent into the valley. On the morning of the 9th he attacked the Federals at Fayetteville, when Colonel Sibert hastily retreated. He was closely pursued, and made a short stand at Cotton Hill, but was unable to maintain his position and retreated, finally joining General Lightburn at Gauley Bridge. From that point the entire force fell back to Camp Piatt, where at noon on the 11th a stand was made, but the Confederates came in force and at daybreak on the 12th the Federal advance reached Charleston, where in the next twenty-four hours the entire army of occupation was concentrated.
Early on the 13th the Confederates appeared in large numbers on Cox's Hill, from the opposite side of the Kanawha. A Federal council of war determined upon a retreat to the Ohio River. Accordingly the government stores which could not be removed were burned, and the retreating columns, with a train of more than eleven hundred army wagons, crossed Elk River under heavy fire and burned the bridge behind them. The artillery fire continued until noon, when firing ceased, and the Federal forces were marching toward the Ohio.
Fearing that the enemy's cavalry on the south side of the river might cut off the retreat toward Point Pleasant, when two miles out the column turned north to the Charleston and Ravenswood pike, and in three days had reached the Ohio River. Transports conveyed the troops from Ravenswood to Point Pleasant, while the wagon train passed the river at Portland, moving thence by way of Chester and Pomeroy to the same place. At Point Pleasant, Milroy's brigade from Washington City was added to the Federal forces. General Cox with his brigade hurried on from the Shenandoah Valley, via Harper's Ferry, to Point Pleasant, where the army then had increased to 12,000 men. He then began the march up the Kanawha Valley, but before he reached Charleston the Confederate Army, which had been transferred to the command of General John Echols, abandoned the valley.
On September 14, 1861, the Federals, under command of Generals Rosecrans and Reynolds were, early in the morning, attacked at Camp Barteau by the Confederates. The battle lasted all day; and late in the evening the Federals withdrew to Rich Mountain, in Randolph County. Their loss is not recorded, but that of the enemy was thirty-six killed.
Shortly after the above occurrence, the Confederates marched to Camp Allegheny, in east Pocahontas County. Here they were joined by two other regiments, and at once proceeded to fortify themselves, and on December 12th they were again attacked by the Federals, who were again defeated, after a hard day's battle and heavy loss on both sides. Captain J. C. Whitmer, of the Pocahontas Rifles, and Captain Anderson, of the Lynchburg Artillery, were among the killed.
Thirteen days after the battle at Camp Barteau, a body of Confederates in ambush attacked a body of Federal troops under Isaac Hill, at High Log Run bridge, in Wirt County, the Federals retreating with the loss of one man wounded.
A short time after the above event, Major K. V. Whaley recruited a company at Guyandotte for the 9th West Virginia Infantry. On the evening of November 10th, 1861, the 8th Virginia Confederate Cavalry suddenly appeared and opened fire on the Union men's position at the southern end of the suspension bridge. The result was disastrous to the Federals, all being killed, wounded or captured excepting a few who effected-their escape through the lines in the confusion of battle. The Confederates lost two killed and a few wounded.
At the commencement, Colonel Zeigler, with the 5th West Virginia Infantry, was stationed at Ceredo, eight miles below, and, learning of this attack, with a force of men went aboard the steamer Ohio, ascended the river, disembarked on the Ohio side at the mouth of the Indian Guyan, a mile below the scene of conflict. From here they marched to Proctorsville, and at daylight on the 11th began crossing the river. As the Federals entered the town the Confederates were leaving. The Federals applied the torch to two-thirds of the buildings. A few days later a few men came over from the Ohio side and set fire to the extensive flouring mills of Dr. Thomas Buffington, and then went a mile up stream and fired the handsome residence of Robert E. Stewart. In May, 1862, the Greenbrier Riflemen, commanded by Captain B. F. Eakle, and Company E, under Captain Wm. H. Heffner, of Edgar's Battalion, occupied Lewisburg. On the 12th of this month, Colonel Elliott, of Crook's brigade, commanding 800 cavalry and 120 infantry, proceeded to Lewisburg. The Confederates, not caring to risk a fight at this time, fell back to the Greenbrier River, and the Federals occupied the grounds just vacated by the enemy; and a few days later were reinforced by Colonel Gilbert with a large detachment of Crook's brigade. Early on the morning of May 23rd, General Henry H. Heath, with a force of 2500 men, attacked the Federal position. After an hour's fighting, the Federals succeeded in gaining an advantageous position over the enemy, from which they were enabled to do greater execution, in consequence of which the Confederates were compelled to fall back, leaving the field in full Possession of the Federals. The Confederate loss was sixty killed and that of the Federals twenty-five killed.
The Kanawha Valley remained in the possession of the Federals until September 6, 1862, the troops occupying Camp Piatt, at Charleston, opposite Brownstown, with their most eastern post at Fayetteville. Scouting parties operated south and east through this territory. One of the detachments from the 4th West Virginia Infantry, under Major John T. Hall, August 6th, 1861, was attacked by the Confederate cavalry at Kenneth's Hill, in Logan County. The Federals were routed with a loss of .three killed and eight wounded, among the number being Major Hall, who was killed. The Major was a son of Hon. John Hall, who framed the first constitution of West Virginia.
In the month of August, 1862, General George B. McClellan ordered General D. H. Miles to occupy Harper's Ferry until further orders. Meanwhile General Robert E. Lee began the invasion of Maryland. On September 8th a Confederate division consisting of the brigades of Generals Walker, Hill, Pender, Archer and McLaws, all commanded by Stonewall Jackson, appeared before the place. On the 11th a heavy artillery was opened upon the Federals, and the next day witnessed the surrender of the entire Federal forces, 18,583 men, 47 pieces of artillery, 13,000 stand of small arms, and other war material. The night before the surrender, the 8th New York Cavalry Regiment cut its way through the lines and escaped into Maryland.
General Miles was mortally wounded by a bursting shell. General Jackson left the place in charge of General A. P. Hill, and hastened on to meet Lee on the eve of the battle of South Mountain. This was among the most important events that occurred in West Virginia during the Civil War.
General Jenkins, commanding a cavalry brigade in the Confederate service at Dublin Depot, on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, having received information that a large amount of Federal Army supplies was at Point Pleasant, in Mason County, determined upon its capture; and on March 20th, 1863, a detachment of 800 men, partly made up from the 8th and 16th Virginia Cavalry Regiments, commanded by himself in person, with Dr. Charles Timms, of Putnam County, as surgeon, began the 200 miles' march over the mountains. After one week's hard traveling over bad roads and through inclement weather, they reached Hurricane Bridge, in Putnam County, where was stationed a Federal force: Company A, Captain Johnson; B, Captain Milton Stewart; D, Captain. Simon Williams, of the 13th West Virginia Infantry; and Company G of the 11th West Virginia.
Early the following morning, March 28th, Major James Nowling, of the Confederate forces, under a flag of truce, reached the headquarters of Captain Stewart, the Senior Federal officer, and demanded an unconditional surrender. Stewart refused to comply, and Major Nowling left, remarking that "within thirty minutes an attack will be made," and he made good his threat, and the sound of musketry was heard within that time. It was returned with much effectiveness, and for five hours the engagement continued. The Confederates then withdrew and continued their march toward the mouth of the Kanawha. The loss to the Federals is not exactly known, but there were several killed and wounded, Ultmas Young and Jesse Hart being among the killed. The Confederates reached Hall's Landing, on the Kanawha, the following day, just as the steamer "Victress", Captain Fred Ford, of Gallipolis, Ohio, in command, was descending .the river. On board was a United States paymaster with a considerable amount of government funds. At a point nearly opposite the landing, the boat was hailed from the bank by a man seemingly alone. The pilot recognized .the signal and turned toward Shore, when the boat was met by a storm of bullets. Captain Ford at once backed the steamer to the middle of the stream, but not until she had been riddled with shot. Luckily, no one was injured, and she continued her voyage, arriving at Point Pleasant. From Hall's Landing the Confederates marched to Point Pleasant, where Captain Carter, with Company E of the 12th West Virginia Infantry, ;was camped between Main and Viand streets, two blocks from the court house, to which he took his men when firing began. For four hours they were closely besieged. The citizens, fled to the opposite of the river and spread the news; and reinforcements soon arrived, including a battery of artillery. Preparations were made to bombard the town, in the belief that the Confederates, instead of the Federals, were the occupants of the court house; but before firing could begin, the error was discovered. They made it so hot for the Confederates that the latter withdrew, crossed the Kanawha, and that night camped at the headwaters of Ohio Eighteen, in south Mason County, and the next day were at a point in Tazwell County, Virginia.
While this skirmish was in progress, one of the most shocking deeds of the Civil War was being enacted, in the outright killing of the venerable Colonel Andrew Waggener, then almost eighty-four years of age, by a Confederate soldier. The published account runs thus:
"The Colonel had heard firing, and was leisurely riding his favorite saddle horse into the town, carrying with him his cane, a heavy stick which always accompanied him. He was on the Crooked Creek road when met by a soldier, who halted him and demanded his horse. He, of course, refused to give the animal up, whereupon the soldier (not a brave one) sought to grasp the reins of the bridle, when the Colonel struck him with his cane; whereupon the soldier drew his gun and shot him, the old veteran falling from his horse; thus he who had faced shot and shell fifty years before, in the war of 1812-14, died on a battle field and in an action in which he was not engaged. Colonel Waggener had won distinction at Carney's Island; his father was a major in Washington's army during the Revolution, and he, with a brother, was at Braddock's defeat, and stood high in military circles."
Burning of Oil Tanks at Burning Springs.
On May 9th, 1863, General Jones, with a large body of Confederate cavalry, arrived at Burning Springs, Wirt County, where on that night they set fire to some oil tanks, containing about 100,000 barrels of oil. It is said the light from the fire was seen at Parkersburg - 42 miles distant.
Engagement at White Sulphur Springs.
On August 26, 1863, General Averill in command of the Federal troops composed of Cotter's Battery B of the 5th Ohio Artillery, and General Echols in command of Chapman's Battery, met at White Sulphur Springs, two miles from White Sulphur, where they engaged in an all day's battle, The Federal loss was 150; the Confederate 60 men.
Battle at Headwaters of Sandy Lick, Lincoln County.
In the fall of 1863, the Confederates, commanded by Captain Peter Carpenter, were marching through Union District, Lincoln County, and on reaching the headwaters of the Sandy Lick, a branch of Sugar Tree Creek, information was received that Company G, Third West Virginia Cavalry, commanded by Major J. S. Witcher, was coming that way. The Confederates thereupon proceeded to obstruct the road with trees and brush, and when the Federals approached opened upon them so vigorously with shot and shell that the latter were forced to retreat. John Insco and Wm. Smith were killed and three others severely wounded, while the Confederates escaped with the loss of one man killed and another wounded.
Battle at Droop Mountain.
A very hotly contested engagement occurred on Droop Mountain, November 6, 1863, between the Federal forces consisting of the 14th Pennsylvania, the 23rd and 28th Ohio Infantry, the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 10th West Virginia Infantry Regiments, and a West Virginia battery on the one side; and 22nd Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel George Patton, the 19th Virginia, under Colonel W. P. Thompson, 20th Virginia, under Colonel W. W. Arnett, 14th Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel James Cochrane, Jackson's and Chapman's batteries, and Edgar's and Derrick's battalions, the whole in command of Major John Echols, on the Confederate side. The former had marched from Meadow Bluffs, Greenbrier County, and the latter from Beverly, Randolph County, both armies meeting at the extreme point of Droop Mountain, about 10 o'clock a. m. The fight immediately began, and continued until about 4 o'clock p. m., when the Confederates retreated beyond Lewisburg, the Federals pursuing them several miles. We are not informed as to the loss in killed and wounded, but both sides lost heavily.
Battle at Fairmont.
We quote the following from "West Virginia and Its People" :
In April, 1863, the Confederates, having driven a small force of Federals from Beverly and Philippi back to Grafton, crossed the railroad at several points between Grafton and Rowlesburg, and went on to Kingwood, thence to Morgan town, which place they reached on Monday, the last week in April. The following day they went down the east bank of the river (probably means UP the east bank of the river - Author) to within eight miles of Fairmont, where they were met by another body of troops, which later crossed the railroad. The whole force then went back to Morgantown, where they greatly alarmed the citizens, destroying property and plundering the place. They took every available horse they could find en route. They then marched on to Fairmont, where they were to concentrate Wednesday morning, crossing Buffalo Creek, approaching the town of Barracksville on the Mannington pike. Their forces numbered about five thousand strong. In the meantime, many weak-kneed citizens of Fairmont, fearing being taken prisoners and forced into the Southern army, had left for Wheeling and points in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Two companies of militia came from Mannington and brought all the guns they could find. Not to exceed three hundred men could be counted upon in an assault - these were four companies of the 106th New York Regiment; two companies of Virginia militia, consisting of 175 men; thirty-eight men from Company A, Sixth Virginia, and a few from Company N, of the 6th Virginia Regiment, together with about forty or fifty citizens.
The Confederates were in command of General William E. Jones, who later declared his force consisted of seven regiments of cavalry, one of mounted infantry, three hundred mounted sharpshooters-in all about six thousand men, many of whom were of the famous Ashby's Cavalry.
Wednesday morning dawned in a wet, foggy atmosphere. The Federal scouts came darting into the town, reporting that the enemy was out about three miles. One company of militia and most of the citizens around the place went out to meet them. Pickets commenced firing at each other about 8 o'clock. The Confederates, finding the Federals well protected, prepared to attack them as they came down Coal Run. This had the desired effect, and the Federals fell back. The men from the hillsides retreated, some of the main force near the railroad bridge, a mile above town, and some to the Palatine end of the bridge. The latter made a gallant stand and resisted the enemy's crossing for nearly an hour. They took shelter in a foundry and fired from the windows upon the Confederates, who were mostly sharpshooters at that point. They dismounted and took their shelter in vacant buildings, stables and behind trees. A soldier from Bingamon was fatally wounded, and soon all but a dozen had straggled away. The remainder ceased firing, and each one took to looking after his own safety. As soon as the firing ceased a white flag was seen rising from a house. It had been set up by the Confederates, who sent a man with it to treat for surrender, but to their utter astonishment they found no one there to receive it. The enemy then hastily replaced the planks on the bridge, over which a full thousand men soon crossed and pushed their way to get in the rear of the Federals at the railroad bridge.
While the fight at the suspension bridge had been going on the Confederates had disposed of their main force for attack at the upper bridge. The Federal force, 275 men, were at the bridge, and had taken position a half mile or so to the north, but within gunshot of the roadway leading to Pruntytown. As the Confederate cavalry dashed along the road to reach the bridge they were exposed to a raking fire, which unhorsed about a dozen. Having got across the south bridge and occupied the heights at the eastern end of the railroad bridge and gained the river above, the Confederates had the Federals completely surrounded. General Jones, observing the situation, called out: "Why don't you fellows surrender?" The Federals sent back the yell to their own men to "rally". Then began one of the most desperate unequal contests known in all the four years' warfare. The Federals were in open meadows, protected somewhat, however, by small ravines, but exposed to the Confederate sharp-shooters behind rocks and trees on the bank of the river. Inch by inch they were forced back to within two hundred yards of the bridge, all the time coolly loading and firing at concealed Confederates. Finally they saw their case was hopeless, and just as the Confederate cavalry were ready for a charge which would have destroyed the Federals, a white flag was raised from one of the houses near by, and the firing ceased. Scarcely had the formality of capitulation been completed when two pieces of ordnance from Colonel Mulligan's command at Grafton opened upon them from the opposite side of the river. Then they "double-quicked" their prisoners to the court house, where they were kept until that evening, when they were paroled. The Confederates on the left bank of the river were soon shelled out of range, but those on the same side as the battery made a desperate effort to tear up the railroad, on which stood Mulligan's car with the battery upon it. They took up a few rails and piled several cords of wood on the track, but after a short engagement they were driven off by eighty men of Company B, l06th New York Regiment, and a few rounds from the Federal cannon. While the train bearing this battery was behind the hill, protected from being cut off and captured, the Confederates completed the destruction of the railroad bridge, then said to be the finest in the United States, its cost being half a million dollars, and its length nine hundred feet. It was an iron structure supported by four piers of massive masonry. The iron work was supported by tubular columns of cast iron. In these columns kegs of powder, brought for the express purpose, were placed, and thus the immense structure was thrown into the river below, causing the greatest single loss sustained by the Baltimore & Ohio road during the Civil War. This battle was fought Wednesday, April 29th, 1863. The great odds in the contending forces, the time fighting was going on and the few Federals killed, were almost unheard of in war - only one man was killed and four wounded on the Federal side, while the enemy lost about sixty men killed and as many more wounded, as stated by General Jones himself soon after the engagement.
The Confederates pursued the retreating Federals and had a running fight till they were in sight of Grafton. Having plundered, and destroyed the bridge, the main object of the raid, the enemy left Fairmont and proceeded to Philippi and so on to Beverly, Randolph County.
Governor Pierpont telegraphed General Lightburn from Wheeling to Fairmont, asking what the loss had been in the raid at Fairmont in May, 1863, and was answered as follows: "Your public and private library was destroyed; eleven horses taken from Mr. Watson; John S. Barnes was wounded; young Coffman was killed; no property burned except your library and Coffman's saw mills. Money taken from N. S. Barnes, $500; Fleming, $400; A. Fleming, $300 in boots and shoes; Mrs. Sterling, $100; Jackson in flour and feed, loss great; Major Parrish lost all of his goods; everyone who had good horses lost them; NATIONAL newspaper office destroyed and type all in 'pi'; United States property destroyed, $500; Monongahela; river railroad bridge of the Baltimore & Ohio road destroyed, piers only left standing, bridge in river. Coal Run, Buffalo and Barricksville bridges all destroyed. It was Lieutenant Zane of Wheeling who destroyed your library by burning it in front of your office."
On May 29th, 1864, an engagement took place on the Curry farm, a quarter of a mile from Hamlin, in Lincoln County, between the 3rd W. Va. Cavalry and a body of Confederates commanded by Major John Chapman, in which Mathias Kayler, a Federalist, was killed. He was from Raleigh County.
In the same year and in the same county, at the mouth of Coon Creek, another skirmish was had between Captain Carpenter's Company K, 3rd W. Va. Cavalry, and the Confederates. The former retreated with the loss of Lieutenant Henry A. Wolf, who was shot at the first firing.
In the autumn of 1864, General John H. Oley, of the Federal forces, in command of the Kanawha district, sent Captain John M. Reynolds with Company D, 7th West Virginia Cavalry, to occupy Winfield, for protection of river transportation on the Kanawha. There it constructed rifle-pits, traces of which were still recently visible. Late in October that year Colonel John Witcher, of the Confederate service, had regiments along the Mud River country, and hearing that the Federals had fortified at Winfield, decided to attack them, which was done at night time with 400 men divided into two divisions, one commanded by Colonel Thurman, who reached the center of the works first, at Ferry and Front streets, when firing began at once. Colonel Thurman received a mortal wound and was taken to the real& to die. The firing continued, and after capturing several horses, the Confederates withdrew to Mud River bridge, leaving the Federals in possession of the town.
As Generals George Crook and B. F. Kelley have figured so conspicuously in the history of the Civil War in West Virginia, it may be interesting to our readers to read the particulars of the account of their capture, along with Captain Thayer, by the Confederates, while in their sleeping rooms at hotels in Cumberland, Md., on the night of February 21st, 1865.
We give the account as recorded in Maxwell and Swisher's History of Hampshire County, as follows:
Capture of Crook and Kelley.
The capture of General George Crook and General B. F. Kelley, at Cumberland, Maryland, February 21st, 1865, by the McNeill Rangers, was a remarkable performance, and attracted much attention. That sixty men could carry away two generals, surrounded by an army of eight thousand, was a subject for much wonder. The names of those who took part in the raid, so far as are now remembered, are J. G. Lynn, G. S. Harness, J. W. Mason, R. G. Lobb, H. P. Tabb, John Taylor, J. C. McNeill, L. S. Welton, William H. Haye, William H. Poole, J. W. Duffey, L. S. Judy, Sergeants C. J. Dailey and John Cunningham, John Aker, J. W. Markwood, D. E. Hopkins, Charles Nichols, Joseph A. Parker, Isaac Parsons, I. E. Oats, J. G. Showalter, J. W. Kuykendall, Benjamin E. Wotring, G. F. Cunningham, I. H. Welton; John Mace, Mr. Tucker, F. W. Bean, J. W. Crawford, George H. Johnson, C. R. Hallar, W. H. Maloney, Jacob Gassman, I. L. Harvey.
"To enable the reader to form a correct idea of the military situation at the time, February 21st, 1865, a slight retrospect at the outset is necessary," says J. B. Fay, one of the participants. "The debatable ground between the two opposing armies in Northern Virginia ran parallel with the Potomac, and embraced, sometimes, the length of two or more counties southward. During the latter part of the war this region was dominated by three famous Confederate leaders - Mosby, Gilmor and McNeill. Their forces sometimes intermingled; but ordinarily the operations of Mosby were confined to the country east of the Shenandoah; those of Gilmor to the valley of 4 Virginia; while McNeill's special field of action lay to the westward, along the upper Potomac and South Branch. McNeill's command was composed principally of volunteers from Virginia and Maryland, though nearly every southern and not a few of the northern states had representatives in the ranks.
"Moorefield, on the South Branch, was the principal headquarters of this command. In a daybreak attack on a company of Pennsylvania Cavalry, who were guarding a bridge over the Shenandoah, near Mount Jackson, in the fall of 1864, Captain McNeill met his death. His son, Lieutenant Jesse C. McNeill, was next in command.
"In February, 1865, Lieutenant McNeill consulted me about the feasibility of going into Cumberland and capturing. Generals Kelley and Crook. After giving McNeill every assistance that his design could be successfully carried out, he determined to make the attempt. I was commissioned to proceed at once to Cumberland, or its vicinity, and prepare the way for our entry by learning the number and position of the picket posts, the exact location of the sleeping apartments of both generals, and any other information deemed necessary. Selecting C. R. Hallar as a comrade, I started. A few nights after we left Moorefield found us upon the north bank of the Potomac, a few miles west of Cumberland. At this point the desired information was procured, and we retraced our steps.
"Hallar was dispatched to intercept Lieutenant McNeill, who, during our absence, was to have "twenty-five well- mounted men prepared to move leisurely in the direction of Cumberland, ready to act on my report. At the time of which I write, six or eight thousand troops occupied the city. On the night of our entry, in addition to the resident commander (Major-General Kelley), General Crook, General Hayes (since President of the United States), General Lightburn and General Duvall were temporarily in the city. A great harvest of generals might have been reaped had we been aware of the fact. At that time General Sheridan's army lay at Winchester, and a considerable force of Federal troops was entrenched at New Creek, now Keyser. Both of these points are nearer Moorefield than Cumberland is. This shows the hazard of a trip from our headquarters to Cumberland and the probability of being cut off.
"When McNeill and party arrived at the rendezvous, in addition to those of our own command there were with him a number, probably a dozen, belonging to Company F of the Seventh and D of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, of Rosser's brigade. The men and horses were fed and rested. The shades of that evening saw us upon our ride. Our route lay over Middle Ridge, across the valley of Patterson's Creek, through the ridges beyond the base of Knobly Mountain, where, taking a northerly course we came to a narrow gap leading up to open fields on the mountain top. Passing up this gap, over an icy road, we found the fields above covered with snow drifts of uncertain depth, which forced us to dismount and lead our struggling horses. Having reached the road through a lower gap to the Seymour farm, we quickly descended the mountain into the valley and crossed the Potomac into Maryland.
"At this juncture Lieutenant McNeill held a council of War with some of us, and after saying that there was not time to reach Cumberland before daylight by the route laid down by me, the Lieutenant proposed that that part of the expedition be abandoned. But to prevent the trip from being an entire failure, he suggested that we should surprise and capture the pickets at the railroad station near by, at Brady's Mills. The prizes for which we had come so far were estimated by quality, not quantity, and a company of infantry was not considered a fair exchange for two major-generals. His proposition met with an emphatic and almost unanimous dissent. It is proper here to say that my route contemplated flanking the neighboring village of Cresaptown, moving on to the well- known National road and taking that thoroughfare, which was not picketed, to enter Cumberland from the northwest by way of the Narrows, a pass through Will's Mountain. This would have doubled the distance to be traveled from the point where we passed the river, but it was the only prudent and reasonably safe route, and but for several unnecessary delays already made, for which Lieutenant McNeill himself was responsible, ample time had been left to pursue it. The fact then remained, however, as McNeill declared, that we could not then get to Cumberland by that route in the required time; and it we were to proceed further on our expedition we must take the shorter route, the New Creek road, and try our chances by surprising and capturing the pickets on that road, and get into the city without giving the alarm. The attempt to pass quietly through two lines of pickets promised but doubtful results, but we determined to try it. McNeill and Vandiver, followed by Kuykendall and myself, rode ahead as an advance guard, the rest of the troops, under Lieutenant I. S. Welton, keeping close behind. A layer of thin, crusty snow was on the ground, and although it was an hour and a half till dawn, we could see very well for a short distance. The New Creek road skirts the base of Will's Mountain, running almost parallel with the railroad and river, and all three come close together at the mouth of a deep ravine. About two miles from Cumberland the road deflects to the left and winds up through a ravine and over the hill to the city. A cavalry picket was stationed at the mouth of the ravine, and as we neared this post a solitary vidette was observed standing on the roadside, and who, upon noticing our approach, gave the challenge: 'Halt, who comes there?' 'Friends from New Creek,' was the response. He then: 'Dismount one, come forward and give the countersign.' Without a word Lieutenant McNeill put spurs to his horse, dashed forward, and as he passed, being unable to check his horse, fired his pistol in the man's face. We followed rapidly and secured the picket, whom we found terribly startled at the peculiar conduct of his alleged friends. Two comrades, acting as a reserve, had been making themselves cosy before a few embers under a temporary shelter in a fence corner about one hundred yards in the rear. Hearing the commotion in front they hastily de- camped toward the river. They got no farther than the railroad, however, for we were close upon them, and in response to our threats of shooting, they halted and surrendered. Examining them apart, and under threats of instant annihilation at the end of a halter, they gave the countersign for the night, which was 'Bull's Gap.' Mounting these men upon their horses, which we found hitched nearby, we took them into Cumberland and out again, when one was turned loose, without a horse, but richer in experience.
"The imprudent action of Lieutenant McNeill in firing a shot which might have caused a general alarm and forced us to abandon our design, created some displeasure among the men. Sharing in this feeling, I insisted that Kuykendall and myself should take the advance in the approach to the next inner post. This was assented to, and we moved on with the determination that no more unnecessary firing should be indulged in on our part. The second post was fully a mile away, over the high intervening hill and located at the junction of the road we were on with the old Frostburg pike. This post consisted of five men belonging to the First West Virginia In- fan try, who were comfortably ensconced in a shed behind blazing log fire, and all busily engaged at cards. As we drew near the circle of light one of the number was observed to get up, reach for his musket arid advance in front of the fire to halt us. To his formal challenge Kuykendall answered: 'Friends, with the countersign." We kept moving up in the meantime, and when the command was given for one of us to dismount and give the countersign, I noticed an impatient movement among our men in the rear; and to mislead the picket and enable us to get as near as possible before our intended dash was made, I shouted back in a loud voice: 'Don't crowd up, men! Wait until we give the countersign.' We did not find it necessary to give it, however. There was an open space around the picket post which allowed no chance of escape, and we were close upon them. The next instant a swift dash was made, and, without a single shot, they were surrounded and captured. Their guns and ammunition were taken and destroyed, and they were left unguarded at their post, with strict instructions to remain until our return.
"On its face this would appear to have been a very unwise thing, but it was the best that we could do. We had no intention of returning that way; but we rightly trusted that before the men could realize the situation and get to where an alarm could be given, our work in the city would have been done. We were now inside the picket lines, and before us Jay the slumbering city. The troop was halted here for a short time while McNeill hastily told off two squads of ten men each, who were directly charged with the capture of the generals. Sergeant Joseph W. Kuykendall. Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, a special scout for General Early, and a soldier of great courage and coolness, who had once been a prisoner in Kelley's hands and had a personal acquaintance with him, was placed in command of the men detailed to secure that general. To Sergeant Joseph L. Vandiver, a man of imposing figure and style, was given the charge of capturing General Crook.
"An interesting fact in connection with this affair is that among the number detailed to capture General Crook was Jacob Gassman, a former clerk in the hotel where General Crook lodged, and whose uncle then owned the building, and Sergeant Charles James Dailey, whose father was landlord at the time and whose sister, Mary, afterwards became Mrs. Crook, and was probably then Crook's fiancee. The duty of destroying the telegraph lines was intrusted to me, while Hallar and others were detailed as my assistants. These preliminaries being arranged, we moved on down the pike, rode into Green street and around the court house hill; then over the chain bridge across Will's Creek and up Baltimore street, the principal thoroughfare of the city. Taking in the situation as they rode along, the men occupied themselves whistling such Yankee tunes as they knew, and bandying words with isolated patrols and guards that occasionally passed. Some of our men were disguised in Federal overcoats, but in the dim light no difference could be noticed in the shades of light blue and gray.
"Part of the men were halted in front of the Barnum house, afterwards the Windsor hotel, where General Kelley slept, and the others rode on to the Revere house, where General Crook reposed in fancied security, A sentry paced up and down in front of the respective headquarters, but took little notice of our movements, evidently taking us for a scouting party coming in to report. J. G. Lynn, of Kuykendall's squad, was the first the reach the pavement, where he captured and disarmed the sentry, who directed the party to the sleeping apartments of General Kelley. Entering the hotel the party first invaded a room on the second floor, which proved to be that of the adjutant-general, Melvin. Arousing him, they asked where General Kelly was, and were told that he was in the adjoining apartment, a communicating room, the door of which was open, and they entered at once. When General Kelley was awakened, he was told that he was a prisoner, and was requested to make his toilet as speedily as possible. With some degree of nervousness the old general complied, inquiring as he did so, to whom he was surrendering. Kuykendall replied: 'To Captain McNeill, by order of General Rosser.' He had little more to say after this, and in a very short space of time both he and Adjutant Melvin were taken down into the street and mounted on horses, the owners of which courteously gave the prisoners the saddle and rode behind. In this manner they were taken out of Cumberland, but as soon thereafter as separate horses could be procured they were given them.
"At the Revere house an almost identical scene took place. The sentry having been taken and disarmed, the capturing party ascended the stone steps of the hotel and found the outside door locked. The door was opened by a small colored boy and the party entered. The boy was greatly alarmed at the brusque manner of the unexpected guests, whom he evidently suspected of improper intentions. When asked if General Crook was in the hotel, he said: 'Yes, sah, but don't tell 'em I told you,' and he afterwards made the inquiry: 'What kind o' men are you all, anyhow?' While Vandiver and Dailey were getting a light in the office below, Gassman went to No. 46, General Crook's apartment, and thinking the door was locked, knocked at it several times. A voice within asked: 'Who's there?' Gassman replied: 'A friend,' and was told to come in. Vandiver, Tucker and Dailey arrived by this time and all four entered the room. Approaching the bed where the general lay, Vandiver said in a pompous manner, 'General Crook, you are my prisoner.' What authority have you for this?' inquired the general. 'The authority of General Rosser, of Fitzhugh Lee's division of cavalry,' said Vandiver in response. Crook then rose up in bed and asked: 'Is General Rosser here?' 'Yes,' replied Vandiver, 'I am General Rosser. We have surprised and captured the town.' That settled the matter as far as the bona fide general was concerned. He was immensely surprised at the bold announcement, but know- ing nothing to the contrary, accepted Vandiver's assertion as the truth. He submitted to his fate with as much grace and cheerfulness as he could muster. Speaking to me afterwards of his sensations at the time, the general said: 'Vandiver was just such a looking person as I supposed Rosser to be, and I had no reason to doubt the truth of his statement. I was very much relieved, however, when I learned the real situation and that the city and garrison had not been taken.'
"When the sidewalk was reached a clerk in the hotel, who had evidently been asleep and had just awakened, came out on the sidewalk with a lantern, and holding it up to get a good look, asked: 'How many Johnnies have you got, boys?' He quickly realized that he had made a mistake. John Taylor snatched his hat off his head; John Cunningham ran through his pockets; while W. H. Maloney caught him by the back and jerked his overcoat over his head. They left him standing dumbfounded.
"General Kelley and his adjutant were taken some time before General Crook was brought out and mounted; but when this was finally done, and headquarters and other flags were finally secured, the entire party rode down Baltimore street in a quiet and orderly manner to the chain bridge. A large stable was located here, and from this several fine horses were taken, among them 'Philippi,' General Kelley's charger, which had been given him by the West Virginia soldiers in honor of his victory over Colonel Porterfield at Philippi. The taking of the horses caused some delay, which greatly excited Lieutenant McNeill, who, calling for me, ordered that I should lead them out of the city at once. Turning the column to the left, I led it down Canal street and on to the canal bank, where, a few hundred yards below, we came unexpectedly upon a dozen or more guards, whom we surrounded and captured. We destroyed their guns and ammunition, but did not encumber ourselves with more prisoners. From this point the column went at a gallop down the tow path until halted by the picket posted at the canal bridge, a mile below town, on the road to Wiley's ford. The column not halting, one of the pickets was heard to say: 'Sergeant, shall I fire?' when Vandiver, who was in front, shouted; 'If you do, I'll place you under arrest. This is General Crook's bodyguard, and we have no time to waste. The rebels are coming, and we are going out to meet them. This explanation seemed satisfactory. We passed under the bridge, beyond the picket post, which was the enemy's outmost guard, and crossed the Potomac. We were four or five miles away before the boom of a cannon was heard, giving the alarm.
"General Crook was riding bareback. When they were well across the Potomac, he called to W. H. Maloney and asked him to ride ahead and get a saddle, remarking that he was very tired. Maloney said he did not know where to get one. To this General Crook replied: 'Take one from the first man you meet, and tell him that General Crook ordered you to do it.' Maloney dashed ahead to Jacob Kyle's, and, waking him, told him he wanted a saddle for General Crook. Mr. Kyle answered: 'Your men took the only saddle I had yesterday.' 'We are not Yankees,' said Mr. Maloney. 'General Crook is a prisoner. I will search your house, and if I find you are lying to me, I will burn your house.' 'The saddle is on the porch in a flour barrel,' replied Mr. Kyle. Mr. Maloney got it and General Crook had to ride bareback no longer.
"Sixty rugged miles intervened between us and safety, but I doubt if there was a man in the troop but now felt at ease. Elated, proud and happy, all rode back that morning over the snow-clad Virginia hills. Our expedition had been a grand success, and every wish was realized. All mounted force from Cumberland, in pursuit, came in sight on Patterson's Creek, but kept at a respectful distance in the rear until after we had passed Romney, when they pressed upon our guard, but upon the exchange of a few shots they retired. On reaching the Moorefield valley a detachment of the Ringgold Cavalry, sent from New Creek to intercept us, came in sight. We were on opposite sides of the river, in full view of each other, and soon our tired horses were being urged to their utmost speed, the Federals endeavoring to reach Moorefield and cut off our retreat, while our great desire was to pass through the town with our prisoners and captured flags, and exhibit to our friends and sweethearts the fruits of our expedition and the trophies of our success.
"It soon became evident, however, that the fresher horses of the other side would win the day. Convinced that the town could not be reached and safely passed, McNeill suddenly led his men into the woods skirting the road, and taking a well-known trail, passed through the ridges east of Moorefield to a point of security seven miles above, where we camped for the night. In the preceding twenty-four hours we had ridden ninety miles over hill and valley, mountain and stream, with very little rest or food for men or horses. Our prisoners received the best possible care and attention, and early the next morning pursued their enforced march to Richmond by way of General Early's headquarters at Staunton."
On February 24, 1865, General Robert E. Lee sent the following dispatch to the war department of the Southern Confederacy:
"General Early reports that Lieutenant, McNeill, with thirty men, on the morning of the twenty-first, entered Cumberland, captured and brought out Generals Crook and Kelley, the adjutant-general of the department, two privates and the headquarters' flags without firing a gun, though a considerable force is in the vicinity ."
The following dispatch was sent from Cumberland by Major Kennedy to General Sheridan, at Winchester, within a few hours after McNeill's men had left the city: "About three o'clock this morning a party of rebel horsemen came up on the New Creek road, about sixty in number. They captured the pickets and quietly rode into town, went directly to the headquarters of Generals Crook and Kelley, sending a couple of men to each place to overpower the headquarters' guard, when they went directly to the room of General Crook, and, without disturbing anybody else in the house, ordered him to dress, and took him down stairs and placed him on a horse, saddled and waiting. The same was done to General Kelley. While this was being done, a few of them, without creating any disturbance, opened one or two stores, but they left without waiting to take anything. It was done so quietly that others of us who were sleeping in adjoining rooms to General Crook were not disturbed. The alarm was given in ten minutes by a darkey watchman at the hotel, who escaped from them, and in an hour we had a party of fifty cavalry after them. They tore up the telegraph lines, and it required more than an hour to get them in working order. As soon as New Creek could be called, I ordered a force to be sent to Romney, and it started without any unnecessary delay. A second force has gone from New Creek to Moorefield, and a regiment of infantry has gone to supply the place of cavalry. They rode good horses, and left at a very rapid rate, evidently fearful of being overtaken. They did not remain in Cumberland over ten minutes. From all information, I am inclined to believe that instead of Rosser, it is McNeill's company. Most of the men of that company are from this place."
General Sheridan sent four hundred cavalry across the mountains from Winchester in the direction of Moorefield, in hope of capturing McNeill and releasing the prisoners; but no success attended the expedition. McNeill was in the mountains and eluded his pursuers, who were trying to close in on him from four directions.
McNeill's men surrendered soon after General Lee. "It was arranged that they should lay down their arms on the South Branch above Romney,” say Maxwell and Swisher in History of Hampshire County. "A company of Federals from New Creek met them for that purpose. Two or three officers and a half dozen men crossed the river where McNeill's men were, while the main body of the company remained on the north side. There was no unnecessary ceremony. The Confederates threw down their arms and were paroled. The implements of war piled on the ground looked as if they had come out of a museum a hundred years old. They were flint-locks, broken stocks, bent barrels, no ramrods, triggerless, rusty, big, little, horse pistols, deringers, pepperboxes, choke-bores, bell-mouthed, antiquated shot guns and old English blunderbusses and others beyond description. The Federal officers were aware that these were not the guns with which McNeill's men had done their fighting. They had hidden their good guns and had gathered up these superannuated, pre-revolutionary traps in junk-shops and garrets and were surrendering them for form's sake. A competent judge who saw the arms piled on the ground declared they were not worth ten dollars a ton. However, the Yankees hauled them to New Creek.
"After they had thrown down their worthless guns, one of McNeill's men asked the Union officers: 'What would be the result if I would keep a little powder to shoot coons and such things, and it should be found in my house, and an old shotgun or something?' The officer told him it would go hard with him if he went to bushwhacking. To this the soldier repiled: 'I won't hurt any of you fellows, but the Swamp Dragons from North Fork better not come fooling around me.' The Swamp Dragons were the Union guerillas who infested the mountain fastnesses around the headwaters of the South Branch and Cheat River. Between them and McNeill's men there was war to the death. Neither side asked nor gave quarter."
In passing, it might be said that "Swamp Dragons" were not confined alone to the waters of the Potomac. They were to be found in nearly every community in the State during the Civil War. In Marion County, where the writer lived, there was a band of this character. They pretended to be members of the "Home Guard," but their actions belied that name. They were home wreckers. It was said that they were "too cowardly to join the regular army, and too lazy to work at home," and that they made their living by preying upon and harassing their neighbors who they thought might be in sympathy with the South. Numerous cold-blooded murders were committed by these guerillas, under the cloak of Unionism, to satisfy some old grudge or an imaginary wrong. They deemed it an opportune time to settle old scores and they took advantage of it. Two of such murders were committed within three miles of Glover Gap, the victims being old, gray-headed men.
West Virginia had in the field thirty-two companies of State troops, known as Home Guards. Their duty was to defend against invasion the counties to which they belonged. If the perpetrators of these crimes were really members of these organizations, it cannot be doubted they exceeded their authority in many, many instances.
Rosser's Raid to Keyser.
In November, 1864, General Rosser led 2000 Confederates to Keyser where he surprised 800 Federals under George R. Latham, and dispersed them, capturing many prisoners and much property.
Rosser's Raid to Beverly.
In January, 1865, General Rosser and 300 Confederates attacked Beverly, in Randolph County, defeating Colonel Youart and taking 580 prisoners. These prisoners were marched, many of them with barefeet, through snow to Staunton. Some of them fell and died from cold and exhaustion. Shortly after that time the outlying Confederate bands were ordered to Richmond to fight Grant, whose grip could not be shaken loose.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE CIVIL WAR.
Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Smithfield, North Carolina, April 12, 1865.
The General commanding announces to the army that he has official notice from General Grant that General Lee surrendered to him his entire army, on the 9th inst., at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
Glory to God and our country, and all honor to our comrade, in arms, toward whom we are marching!
A little more labor, a little more toil on our part, and the great race is won and our Government stands regenerated, after four long years of war.
W. T. SHERMAN,
The above order was issued while the Union army was marching from Goldsboro, N. C., in pursuit of Johnston's army. Johnston did not make a stand, but surrendered near Durham Station, about twenty-five miles northwest of Raleigh, N. C., April 26, 1865.
When Sherman's men learned that Lee had surrendered they went wild with excitement. They shouted, they flung up their caps, they turned somersaults in their delight.
The whole land seemed full of rejoicing that the long, terrible struggle was practically over. Confederate as well as Union soldiers were glad to see peace at hand; and a Southern woman who heard the hurrahs of Sherman's "boys in blue" as they marched past her house, looked upon her wondering children and said, while tears streamed down her cheeks, "Now father will come home."
On April 26, 1865, Johnston surrendered to Sherman near Raleigh, N. C.
When Lee surrendered to Grant, the latter showed a very generous disposition toward the former and his men. "The only conditions he demanded were that the men should lay down their arms and return to their homes. Those who had horses were permitted to take them with them; for, as General Grant remarked, they 'would need them for the ploughing.' Finally, the victorious general issued an order to serve out twenty-five thousand rations of food to Lee's half-starved men. That meant that the strife was over, and that peace and brotherhood were restored."
On April, 14th, 1865, General Anderson hoisted the identical flag over Fort Sumter under whose starry folds he had fought against Beauregard. On the evening of the same day, President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Thus a day of gladness was suddenly transformed into one of national sorrow. Many of those who fought against him in the South wept at his death. We will never know a more unselfish or a truer man than was Abraham Lincoln.
The war was over - the Union saved; but at what a terrible cost in life and property! Thousands upon thousands of the very cream of American manhood had been sacrificed upon the gory fields of battle. Other thousands had died from exposure, while still thousands more were either crippled for life or carried to an untimely grave from exposure. Then, the days, weeks, months and years of untold heartaches, anxieties and hardships endured by those at home. Much as our brave soldiers of the North and the South must have suffered, the wives, mothers and sisters were to be pitied most, for they endured - they suffered most.
God forbid that the American people shall ever take up arms against each other again, but grant that the present feeling of good fellowship of a re-united people shall remain for all time.
The following information is taken from History of West Virginia and Its People.
The population of what is now West Virginia, when the, war broke out, was, approximately, 360,000 men, women and children. Of this number about nine and two-thirds per cent served in the armies - 28,000 in the Federal cause and 7,000 in the Confederate army. The Federals lost 3,200 men and the Confederates 824, or a total loss of 4,024 men during the war.
West Virginia paid out approximately $2,000,000 in the way of bounties and for caring for her soldiers and their families.
Following is the roster of West Virginia troops:
First Regiment, three months' service. Organized at Wheeling, May, 1861, from volunteer companies from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall Counties, at Camp Carlile, Wheeling Island; participated in battle of Philippi, June 3rd, 1861; mustered out of service at. Wheeling, August 28, 1861.
First Regiment, three years' service. Organized in the Northern Panhandle in the fall of 1861; served three years; non-veterans mustered out of service at Wheeling, November 26, 1864. The veterans, or enlisted men, were consolidated with the veterans of 4th Infantry, to form 2d Veteran Infantry regiment.
Second Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Beverly, in August, 1861; consisted of companies from Wood, Taylor and other counties. Company G was transferred to 1st Regiment Light Artillery. By order of June 26, 1864, regiment was changed to Mounted Infantry, but is known thereafter as 5th Regiment Volunteer Cavalry, but never equipped as such. The non-veterans were mustered out of service in August, 1863, and the re-enlisted, 200 in number, consolidated with veterans of the 6th Mounted Infantry (then known as the 6th Regiment Volunteer Cavalry) to form 6th Veteran Cavalry.
Third Regiment, three years' service. Formed at Clarksburg, July, 1861. January 26, 1864, regiment was changed to mounted infantry, but henceforth known as 6th Regiment Volunteer Cavalry. The non-veterans were mustered out of service at Beverly, August, 1864, while the re-enlisted men were organized into six companies, consolidated with re-enlisted men of 5th Regiment Cavalry - the mounted infantry of the 2nd Regiment - and thus formed the 6th Regiment Veteran Cavalry, which should have been designated in the military establishment as the 1st Regiment Veteran Cavalry.
Fourth Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Point Pleasant, June to September, 1861. Non-veterans mustered out of service when time expired in summer of 1864; re-enlisted men consolidated with re-enlisted men of the 1st Regiment Volunteer Infantry, to form 2nd Regiment Veteran Infantry.
Fifth Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Ceredo, July and August, 1861. N on-veterans mustered out of service at the expiration of term of service, summer of 1864; re-enlisted men consolidated with re-enlisted men of 9th Regiment Infantry, to form 1st Regiment Veteran Infantry.
Sixth Regiment, three years' service. Organized in August, 1861, and by special authority recruited to fifteen companies. Non-veterans mustered out at the end of their term; while the re-enlisted men, together with a large number of recruits, preserved the regimental organization until June 10, 1865, when it was mustered out at Wheeling.
Seventh Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Wheeling and Grafton, in July, August, September and October, 1861. No regiment from West Virginia saw harder service. The non-veterans were mustered out at the end of their term of service, but the re-enlisted men, together with recruits, continued the regiment in the field until it was mustered out of service at Munson's Hill, Virginia, July 1st, 1865.
Eighth Regiment, three years' service. Organized in Great Kanawha Valley in autumn of 1861. June 13, 1863, by order of War department, mounted and, drilled as mounted infantry. By a second order the 8th Mounted Infantry was changed to 7th Regiment Cavalry. The non-veterans were discharged, but nearly 400 re-enlisted as veterans, and with about 250 recruits, preserved the regimental organization until mustered out of service in 1865.
Ninth Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Guyandotte, February 28th, 1862, of companies from Cabell, Wood, Jackson, Mason and Roane; the men in this regiment represented twenty-four counties. In 1864 the non-veterans were discharged, term of service expired, and 357 men re-enlisted, and with the veterans of the 5th Regiment were consolidated and formed the 1st Veteran Infantry Regiment.
Tenth Regiment, three years' service. Organization begun in March, 1862; mustered out of service at Richmond, Virginia, August 9th, 1865.
Eleventh Regiment, three years' service. Organization begun in December, 1861, but not completed until September, 1862; mustered out of service at Richmond, Virginia, June, 17, 1865.
Twelfth Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Camp Wiley, Wheeling Island, November 30th, 1862, composed of companies recruited from Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, ,Marshall, Marion, Taylor and Harrison Counties; mustered out of service at Richmond, Virginia, June 16, 1865.
Thirteenth Regiment, three years' service. Organized with eight companies at Point Pleasant, October 10th, 1862; mustered out at Wheeling, June 22, 1865.
Fourteenth Regiment, three years' service. Organized at Camp Wiley, Wheeling Island, August and September, 1862; mustered out at Cumberland, Maryland, June 27, 1865.
Fifteenth Regiment, three years' service. Organized with nine companies at Wheeling, and ordered to field October 16, 1862; the tenth company was organized in February, 1864. Mustered out of service at Richmond, Virginia, June 14, 1865.
Sixteenth Regiment. This regiment has a unique history. It was organized at the old town of Alexandria, on the Potomac River, nine miles below Washington City, and was the only regiment in the Federal service from that part of Virginia east of the Blue Ridge. It was largely composed of men from the counties of Alexandria, Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William, with quite a number from the vicinity of Norfolk. The recorded history of this regiment is very incomplete, hence nothing appears in connected form concerning it in the adjutant-general's reports.
Seventeenth Regiment, one year's service. Organized at Wheeling in August and September, 1864; nearly all the men enlisted for one year; mustered out of service at Wheeling, June 30, 1865.
First Regiment, Veteran Infantry. Regiments were formed by consolidation of re-enlisted men of 5th and 9th Regiments Infantry; mustered out of service at Cumberland, Md., July 21st, 1865.
Second Regiment Veteran Infantry. Formed by consolidation of re-enlisted men of 1st and 4th Regiments Infantry; mustered out of service at Clarksburg, July 16th, 1865.
First Regiment, three years' service. Organized in summer of 1861; non-veterans mustered out when term expired, summer of 1864; re-enlisted men, with 232 recruits, preserved regimental organization until July 8, 1865, when it was mustered out at Wheeling.
Second Regiment, three years' service. Recruited in summer of 1861 ; mustered into service with ten full companies, November 8th; mustered out June 30th, 1865.
Third Regiment, three years' service. Enlisted in summer of 1864, composed of companies brought together, but which had been privately recruited to other commands. Company A was mustered at Wheeling, December 23, 1861; Company C was organized at Brandonsville, October 1, 1861, and the two constituted a battalion; Companies Band D were mustered at Wheeling, October 21st, 1862; Company H, at Parkersburg, November 2, 1862; Company I, at Bridgeport, May 16, 1863; Company M, at Buckhannon, April 4, 1864; and Company G was recruited and mustered into service at Point Pleasant. The re-enlisted men, with 115 recruits, kept the regiment in the field until June 30, 1865, when it was mustered out.
Fourth Regiment. Enlisted in autumn of 1863, for six months, composed of companies from the northern part of the State, in which were men from Doddridge, Tyler, Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Marion, Monongalia, Harrison, Wood and other Counties. It was mustered out of service March 15, 1864.
Fifth Regiment, three years' service. (See 2nd Regiment Infantry Vols.). Organized in July, 1861, as 2nd Regiment Infantry Vols., and served as such until January 26, 1864, when it was mounted and designated as 5th Cavalry. However, it was never armed or fully equipped as cavalry, but continued to serve as mounted infantry. December 1, 1864, it was consolidated with the re-enlisted men of the 6th Cavalry (mounted infantry) to form the 6th Veteran Cavalry, while the non-veterans were mustered out as their terms of enlistment expired.
Sixth Regiment, three years' service (See 3d Regiment Infantry Vols.). This regiment was organized at Clarksburg in July, 1861, as 3d Regiment Infantry Vols., and served as such until January 26, 1864, when it was mounted and designation changed to 6th Regiment Cavalry, but still continued to serve as mounted infantry. It was never equipped as cavalry. Its non-veterans were mustered out September 7th, 1864, and its re-enlisted men were consolidated with the re-enlisted men of 5th Regiment Veteran Cavalry.
Seventh Regiment, three years' service (See 8th Regiment Infantry Vots.). Organized in Great Kanawha Valley in the fall of 1861, as 8th Regiment Infantry Vols., and served as such until June 13, 1863, when it was ordered to Bridgeport, where it was mounted and drilled as mounted infantry. As such it was known until January 27, 1864, when it was changed to 7th Regiment Cavalry. Its non-veterans were mustered out in 1864; but its re-enlisted men, nearly 400, together with 250 recruits, continued the regimental organization until it was mustered out at Charleston, August 1, 1865.
Sixth Regiment Veteran Cavalry. This regiment, which should have been known as the 1st Regiment Veteran Cavalry was formed by consolidation of 200 re-enlisted men of the 5th Regiment Cavalry (or originally 2nd Regiment Infantry), and the re-enlisted men of 6th Regiment Cavalry (originally 3rd Regiment Infantry). Organized at North Branch Bridge, W. Va., September - -, 1864, whence it removed to Keyser, W. Va. January and February, 1865, kere spent at Camp Remount, Pleasant Valley, Md. In March it was sent to Washington City, where it was engaged in the performance of provost duty until June 16, when it was ordered to Louisville, Ky., thence to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and thence across the plains into Colorado and Dakota. Its headquarters in the winter of 1865- 66 was Fort Laramie. The regiment was several times engaged with the Indians, and was highly commended for it gallantry. It was mustered out of service at Fort Leavenworth, May 22, 1866, and arrived at Wheeling the 25th, where, on the 29th, the men received their final pay and were discharged.
First Regiment Light Artillery Vols., three years' service. This was the only artillery regiment in the service of the U. S. from W. Va. It consisted of eight batteries, as follows: Battery A, the first battery organized under the Restored Government of Virginia. Its non-veterans were mustered out of service August 8, 1864, its re-enlisted men being added to Battery F. Battery B was mustered out October 23, 1864; its re-enlisted men were added to Battery E. Batteries C and D continued in service until the close of the war. Battery E was recruited at Buckhannon, August, 1862. Battery F was organized in 1861 as Company C of the 6th Regiment Infantry, and was transferred to the artillery regiment. It was mustered out of service September 14, 1864; its re-enlisted men, with those previously transferred from Battery A, now reorganized a veteran battery called Battery A. Battery G was organized in 1861 as Company G of the 2nd Regiment Infantry Vols., but was transferred to the artillery regiment; it was mustered out of service August 8th, 1864. Battery H remained in the service until the end of the war. The regiment was mustered out at Wheeling.
The Wheeling Independent Exempt Infantry was a body of infantry consisting of two organizations styled Company A and Company B, which had no regimental connection. They were made up of men enlisted in the Northern Panhandle, who were stationed at Wheeling throughout the war as city guard or, more strictly speaking, Capitol Guards, for Wheeling was not only the seat of the Restored Government, but the capital of West Virginia after the admission of the State into the Union. These two companies were on duty during the entire Civil War period, and were not required to perform other military service.
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