This company was organized in large part, at Parkersburg, W. Va., as Company A. of the Home Guards, by Dr. John W. Moss and J. P. Kiger, about the first of April, 1861. The object of the organization at that time, was to protect the city, and to take possession of 400 flint lock muskets and two pieces of artillery, which were sent to Parkersburg at the time of the John Brown insurrection, and were stowed in the jail building, The sheriff and many of the city officials sympathized with the seceding states, and were making boxes to ship these arms to Richmond, when about sixty men of this company quietly assembled at the city hall, one afternoon about the 15th of April and marched to the jail, headed by John Jackson, and demanded the arms. The demand was refused, when the company with axes and crowbars broke into the jail, and took the arms out, and put them in the city hall, where they were guarded day and night for two weeks, when the Fourteenth Ohio, three months men, came in and took possession of them, which were the first troops that entered Parkersburg, coming by boat from Marietta, O. The company knew that this regiment was coming, and intended to be at the landing to receive them, but were a little late getting started from camp, so that when they were within three squares of the wharf, they heard the boat coming. Capt. Kiger then started his company on the double quick, and they were not seen by the troops on the boat, until they turned a corner at the wharf. Before coming into view, the color bearer of the company fell, hurting himself somewhat, and their handsome silk flag, a present from the loyal ladies of Parkersburg, fell out of ranks and out of sight. The soldiers of the boat seeing the troops approaching the river so rapidly, and not being able to distinguish who they were, supposed it to be an attack by the enemy, and the greatest confusion followed. The long roll was beaten on the boat, officers gave sharp and quick commands, and ramrods were rattling as the men loaded their guns. Captain Kiger took in the situation at a glance, halted his company, who waved their hats, and cheered the approach of the boat, and quiet was soon restored.
Previous to this little episode, when the company had the arms safely deposited in the city hall, they marched to the court house, where Jackson mounted a store box and began to make a speech to the company. By that time a large crowd of Southern sympathizers had collected, and General Moorehead, who was at the time commander or the militia of Virginia, rushed up to Jackson and demanded the return of the arms that had been taken. But few words passed when Jackson struck the general over the head with his cane, when stones and brickbats were hurled among the company from every side. The affray lasted about ten minutes, during which knives, stones and fists were freely used. Many were badly hurt, but the company came off victorious, and Jackson finished his speech.
Soon after the street fight, a call was made for three months volunteers, and all of the company, numbering sixty-eight, enlisted, except four, one of whom was too old, and the other three were so badly hurt that they could not go, but the three enlisted afterwards in the three years service. The number was increased to eighty men, under command of Captain John Kiger, and went into camp at Wheeling. The quota not being full, the mustering officer refused to muster them into the service. About that time Andrew Grubb was raising a company for an Ohio regiment, in Bridgeport, O., and he agreed to fill out the quota, supplying twenty men for that purpose, and he was elected first lieutenant of the company, and the company was mustered into the service July 21, 1861, for three years. At once they repaired to Beverly, where they became Company K of the regiment. The following is the muster out roll, showing list of members and their record. The company was mustered into the U. S. service July 21, 1861, and was mustered out August 20, 1864. All the members not otherwise marked, were mustered out with the company. The recruits and veterans were transferred to the Sixth W. Va. Cavalry, when the company was inustered out.
CAPTAIN J. P. KIGER.
John P. Kiger was born in Winchester, Va., in 1822. At the age of 21 he made Parkersburg his home, and followed merchant tailoring until the war. He married at the age of 25, at Parkersburg, and had one son and one daughter. He was well educated, took a deep interest in po1itics and military affairs, and held various offices in the State Militia. He was drill master for years of the militia in his county, and was considered the best drilled officer in Wood county. His ambition was to be a soldier, for which he seemed to be specially adapted, in personal appearance, courage and skill. The War of the Rebellion afforded the opportunity, and he had the honor of leading Company K to the front. He was well liked by his company, and he took great pride in equipping and drilling the men, bringing them to a high state of efficiency. He resigned in the fall of 1861, on account of the ill health of his wife, and remained with her until her death. He resumed business in Parkersburg until 1815, when he removed to the valley of Virginia, and is now making his home with his son, near Washington, D. C.
More About Captain Grubb
Andrew Grubb joined Company K at Wheeling, with a squad of men from Ohio, and became first lieutenant. Upon the retirement of Capt. Kiger, he became captain, which position he held until the company was mustered out. He was an efficient, brave and faithful officer, and the men had a good leader in him. He was always ready for duty, and no service was too severe for him to fulfill to the best of his ability. After retiring from the army he lived in Bridgeport, O., until his death, which occurred 1889; The captain was held in high esteem by his comrades, as a patriotic, courageous man.
Arthur J. Weaver ranked among the bravest and best soldiers of our regiment. We are indebted to Sergeant G. A. Quimby of his company, for the following facts in regard to him: He resided in Parkersburg for two or more years before the war, his parents living in Frederick, Md. He was born in the south, place not known, in 1837, and was unmarried. He seemed to have a presentiment from the time he enlisted, that he would be killed. He was often heard to say that should it be his lot to fall, he wanted the world to know that he freely gave his life for the best government in the world. He was of a genial, cheerful disposition, and in camp freely mingled with the men, joining in their sports. On the march, he would cheer the men, and make their burdens as light as possible, often helping to carry the guns of any who were worn out. He was never absent from the company, or sick a day, during his service, and was on every march and in every engagement until his death, never complaining or finding fault with his condition. On the Huntersville raid December, 1861, in the severe cold, and heavy rain, with no shelter of any kind, he spread his blanket over his own and Quimby's shoulders, on which a gum blanket was laid, and playfully said, 'we will play horse and sleep standing,' sharing all he had with his comrade. He was very fond of scouting, and in this way did some good work, and gained valuable information. Just before the Droop Mountain battle, the men were eating a meal, and he told them to eat heartily as they had hard work before them. Turning to Quimby's mess he joined them, and said to Quimby, "It may be, 'Buddy,' this will be the last meal you and I will eat together"; then followed the battle, the heroic charge, and Lieut. Weaver in his best spirits, happy and cheerful, gave up his noble life for his country.
David A. Jennings was promoted to second lieutenant from private February 19, 1862, and resigned January 22, 1863. No date is available to give a sketch of his life. When he enlisted he was 20 years of age.
G. A. Quimby was born in Washington county, Ohio, August 6, 1841, of English descent, and remained on a farm until 13 years of age, when he was apprenticed to learn the brick mason trade at Marietta. His parents died in 1847, leaving four boys and three girls, George being but 6 years old. He had no school privileges, reading being the only branch that he learned, until he was taught to write by his comrades, George Brown, J. P. Ford and W. R. Stewart, after they were in the field. He drifted from place to place, working at his trade, making Parkersburg his home in 1859. At the age of 13, he united with the Baptist church at Marietta, Ohio, and was always active in church duties. Quimby was one of the first to join the company, and his record was that of a good soldier, never shirking duty, in his place on the march and in the battle, and missed but one fight in which the company was engaged, Allegheny Mt. He was then stricken down with typhoid fever. When his time was out, he enlisted for one year in Company G. Second W. Va. Cavalry, and was in the third brigade, third cavalry division, commanded by General Custer. He was in the battles under Sheridan in the valley, and at Petersburg, engaging in all that his brigade had a part in, until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. At the close of the war he made Dayton his home, then married and moved to Columbus, O., where he engaged in contracting and building until 1880, when his health gave way under the effects of diseases contracted in the army, and is now a bookkeeper. He is a member and deacon of Hildreth Baptist church, was Sabbath school superintendent for several years, and is an active member of McCoy Post No. 1, G. A. R.
George W. Brown was born in Lancaster county, Pa., and left home at an early age and traveled through the west, learning cigar-making, which he was following in Kentucky, when the war broke out. Like many thousands of loyal men in the south, he was compelled to seek safety, and traveled through the woods until he reached the Ohio river, thence to Parkersburg, where he sought an opportunity to "get even" with his enemies, and he joined Company K. He was lively and agreeable, a favorite with his comrades. His courage in battle could not be surpassed. After the war he settled in Parkersburg, where he was married and made that his home since.
James Lewis Wilson is the son of the late Capt. Daniel Wilson, of Company B, and was born at Phillippi, Va., December, 1848. He claims to be the youngest regularly enlisted soldier from West Virginia, who served during the war of the rebellion, being less than 14 years of age when he was mustered into the service as drummer of Company K. When he joined, Lieut. Weaver took him into his tent, and he shared with this brave officer his bed and board, until the lieutenant was killed. At the reorganization of the regiment in the fall of 1864, when the recruits and veterans were consolidated with the Sixth West Virginia cavalry, and took the latter name, and while at New Creek, and the mounted and available part of the command was in the field, the place was surprised and captured by Gen. Rosser's command. Nearly all the men were captured, and among the rest the young bugler. The men were hurried by hard marches through the mountains, without food or suitable clothes, or blankets, as everything had been taken from them, to Staunton, thence to Richmond, where they were confined in Pemberton prison. In the building with 600 other unfortunates, he spent the winter of 1864-5, where they were all subjected to the hardships and privations incident to southern prisons. There he celebrated his sixteenth birthday. The heartless remark of "Old Boots," the jailor, that "here is a boy that would like to see his mother," as he with other officers passed along the line taking the names of those who could not stand the treatment much longer, will not soon be forgotten. A few days later, however, all in the building were paroled, placed in a vessel, steamed to City Point, thence north, where he joined his regiment. The regiment soon after went west, and saw service in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming, against the Indians. His term of service expiring December, 1865, he was sent to Omaha for discharge, after three years and four days service. Just 17 years of age, he found himself on the then borders of civilization, far from home, with a few hard earned dollars in his pocket, a great deal of experience, and no education. He returned to his home in W. Va., started at once to a select school, then to Morgantown, where he was a cadet at the Agricultural college, remaining one year. He then began the study of medicine under Dr. A. H. Thayer, his old surgeon. By the advice of Capt. Blue, one of his old regiment, he came before the Examining Board at Morgantown, in competition with others of the district, for admission to West Point. He was successful and was appointed in June, 1869, by Hon. J. C. McGrew, and entered that famous military school in June, 1870. He was graduated No. 5 in a class of forty-one, in 1874, joining his regiment, the Fourth U. S. Artillery, in California. He was graduated at the U. S. Artillery school in 1876, took part in the campaigns against the Sioux Indians in 1876, the Nez Perces in 1877, the Bannocks in 1878, and the Apaches in 1881. He was professor of Military science and tactics, and of Mathematics, at the W. Va. University 1884 to 1888. He completed the course of submarine mines and torpedo service, at the school of application for Engineers, at Willetts Point, N. Y., 1889. Lieut. Wilson was united in marriage with Miss Camilla Zantzinger, niece of Admiral Farragut, at the residence of the admiral in New York City, November 10, 1874, and has two daughters, Virginia Farragut, and Mary Augusta. He is now first lieutenant of the Fourth Artillery, and is located at Jackson Barracks, New Orleans, La.
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