A Confederate Journal
Edited by George E. Moore
At the Beginning of 1861 the people of Virginia were deeply perplexed by the secession of South Carolina and the impending dissolution of the Union. The conflicting claims of state loyalty and federal allegiance distressed the individual and often disrupted family and community relations. Many there were who remained steadfast before the altar of the Union, but others found their love for Virginia, the Old Dominion, to be all-persuasive. The journal which follows was written by two persons of the latter type Western virginians who remained loyal to their state.
The authors of this journal were members of a prominent Virginia family the Morgans of Marion County who were descended from the original settler of West Virginia, Morgan Morgan, and who count among their number such other distinguished persons as David Morgan (1721-1813), the "Indian Fighter"; Congressman William S. Morgan (1801-1878), who as a member of the Virginia Assembly was largely responsible for the passage of the bill creating Marion County; and Honorable Ephriam F. Morgan (1869-1949), sixteenth governor of West Virginia.
George P. Morgan, author of the first portion of this journal, was born on August 23, 1820. He was the grandson of David Morgan and a brother of the Honorable William S. Morgan. He lived on a farm near Rivesville and was a member of the volunteer company organized in Fairmont and commanded by Captain William P. Thompson. In a skirmish at Camp Bartow in October 3, 1861, he was captured by the federal troops and imprisoned at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio, where he died on December 30, 1861. After the capture of George P. Morgan, the journal was continued for several weeks by his nephew, Stephen A. Morgan.
Stephen A. Morgan was born in Marion County on August 27, 1835. He was reared on a farm near Rivesville and was educated at the Fairmont Seminary. He read law in the office if Judge James Neeson in Fairmont, and was admitted to the Marion County bar in 1860. He was an active member of the "Marion Guards," the volunteer company commanded by Captain Thompson, and served subsequently in Company A, 31st Virginia Infantry. Besides his membership in the Virginia state convention which is recounted in the journal;, he also sat as a member of the House of Delegates in 1862. In the later stages of the War he, too, was captured by the Union forces and imprisoned at Camp Chase until the end of hostilities. After residing for many years in Baltimore, Maryland, he returned to Fairmont where he died on December 22, 1911, at the age of seventy-six.
Stephen was one of a family of five boys and two girls, the children of Henry S. and Mary Lanham Morgan. Of the boys Charles R., William L., and Edward L. also served in the Confederate army; another brother, Henry B., was too young for military service. The sisters, Louisa and Sallie, were charming and courageous young ladies who found the war years in Marion County a cheerless time, but who broke the monotony on one occasion by a memorable journey by horse and buggy from Fairmont to a Confederate camp on Greenbrier River to visit their brothers.
The journal is the property of Stephen Morgan's great-niece, Miss Sara Morgan Watts, who once taught French at Fairmont State College, and who now resides in Tempe, Arizona. To Miss Watts and her mother, Eva Morgan Watts, I am deeply indebted for their kindness in permitting me access to the journal, and for their gracious consent to its publication.
The journal opens on July 8, 1861. By this time the Union invasion of Western Virginia was well under way. Ohio and Indiana troops under General George B. McClellan had converged upon Grafton by moving along the two lines of railroad connecting that town with Parkersburg and Wheeling, respectively, and on June 3 the Confederate detachment at Philippi was routed and driven back upon Beverly in the Tygart Valley. The Southern authorities responded to these early defeats by dispatching into Western Virginia Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett with instructions to recruit men, build fortifications, and organize the defenses of the region generally. Garnett entrenched the major portion of his command at Laurel Hill near Belington, but placed several hundred men in a fortified camp at the western base of Rich Mountain in order to guard the approaches to beverly by way of the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike.
The Union army advanced against the Confederate positions in two columns. One wing, commanded by General McClellan in person, moved from Buckhannon toward Beverly, while the other, led by Brigadier General Thomas A. Morris, engaged Garnett's forces at Laurel Hill. It is this engagement and the subsequent Confederate retrograde, commonly known as "Garnett's retreat," which are described in the early pages of this journal.
2. THE CIVIL WAR JOURNAL OF GEORGE P. MORGAN
JULY 8, 1861 Early in the morning the enemy made his appearance near our fortified camp (near Laurel Hill) and were promptly repulsed by the 1st Georgia regiment with the loss of one wounded on our side and several killed on theirs. The day was principally occupied in skirmishes, in which nearly all our forces were engaged, but with the loss of only one man on our side.
JULY 9, 1861 Still skirmishing between the pickets of each army with no loss on our side.
JULY 10, 1861 Today about 2 o. c. the enemy began throwing shells at our camp, but with no effect not more than half exploding. After throwing more than a hundred, our battery opened one gun and is now pealing away, having completely silenced the enemies guns. We have six guns in battery which have not yet opened. The result of our canon [sic] this evening was to dislodge a squad of the enemy occupying the stone house of Mr. Douglass at Bealington 1 1/4 miles west of our camp our loss was none; that of the enemy not known.
JULY 11, 1861 Everything [was] quiet until about noon when the enemy began firing shell, which continued at intervals for several hours, all the shells falling short. Several were picked up near our outer trench and are now in camp not one fourth of them exploded.
This evening at 6 o. c. while a portion of Col. Jackson's regiment was taking post near the enemy we were fired at with musket and shells, which we returned, with no loss on either side so far as known.
JULY 12, 1861 everything is quiet up to noon, though our officers confidently expect an attack tonight. Two pieces of our artillery have taken position about 1/4 mile on the left, still leaving four to work in the old battery. These bear upon the road for near 1/2 mile and must do terrible execution if the enemy persist in carrying our entrenchments in front.
About 2 o. c. this afternoon news came in that the division of our army under command of Col. Peagram, stationed at Rich Mountain 8 miles west of Beverly, had been engaged by a superior force of the enemy, defeated and compelled to surrender. This rendered our position untenable, and a retreat back was at once ordered. It was not, however, till midnight that all our force was underway. Morning found us near the cross road west of Beverly where we found to our surprise that the enemy had forced his way through, blocking the road and completely cutting off our retreat in that direction. But one way was left us and that a most dangerous and difficult one. It took us a north course some 20 miles to Cheat River, where we camped for the night, continuing our march early next morning through rain and mud till about noon a few miles above the horse shoe bend the enemy came up with our rear, where a brisk engagement ensued,, the 1st Georgia regiment and 23rd Virginia Regiment being all of our army engaged. The action lasted but a few minutes, resulting in great loss to the enemy, our artillery dealing destruction at every fire. Our loss though few in numbers was yet most disastrous; our commander in chief, Gen. Garnett, was killed; of privates the number [killed] has not yet been known. Nearly half the Georgia Regiment was cut off and we supposed were taken prisoners, but fortunately nearly all escaped, making their way through the mountains, enduring cold, wet, and almost starvation for four days, joining us along the road at various points. In our retreat nearly all the baggage was lost, besides a great number of wagons and horses. The men are nearly all broken down and totally unfit for duty under a week or ten days rest.
Our route lay north from the battle ground to Horse Shoe run, which we followed to the head, bringing us in the N. W. Turnpike near Mount Carmel. We continued on that road eastward to the intersection of a road bearing in the direction of Staunton, passing through Petersburg, Franklin, and other small towns, finally reaching this place, Monteray [sic] (Highland County) on the 20th, marching much of the time day and night.
JULY 21, 1861 Here we are stationed, resting and waiting orders to march we know not whither; the enemy seems to be pressing us on every side, and the probability of our ultimate overthrow seems almost certain. the whole horizon [sic] seems dark, and our prospects exceedingly gloomy. The enemy having entire control of all west of Cheat Mountain, fortifying every pass, and still advancing eastward.
JULY 22, 1861 Nothing important. The day [is] a rainy gloomy
one, only adding more to the suffring [sic] of the soldiers, particularly those who lost their clothing, tents, and other comforts. Soldiers will be cheerful, however, sometimes under any circumstances. While I write this a party near here are playing cards merrily though nothing but a poor supper, rainy night, and wet blankets is in store for them, but few of our company are sick, none seriously.
JULY 23, 1861 Nothing new today. we are all comfortably encamped near Monteray [sic] by the side of a little mountain brook with plenty of pure water, pure air, and all seem cheerful and happy. A soldier may be worn down and almost starved by long marches and in a few days forget all and be ready and willing to go through the same again. This seems the case with our Co. more than any other. Here we cook, eat, and rest. All enjoy themselves finely; we have a few sick, though not seriously. My favorite boy and mess mate Ed is quite sick. We are expecting to march in a short time and will have to leave all our sick.
JULY 25, 1861 As we expected orders were issued to march 12 miles west today. Our regiment started at 8 o. c. and encamped about 2 o. c. in a most romantic place among the lofty ranges of the great Alleghany and amid the most dense forest of hemlock spruce, intersperced [sic] with black spruce and many other rare and beautiful trees.
Our officers have a plan in view which we are not permitted to know, but sufficient is known to warrant us in the belief that it will work well. They are posting regiments about ten miles distant between Monteray [sic] and the enemy at Cheat Mountain. This will enable us to throw a heavy force in front of the enemy while our force going around by Huntersville will attack them in the rear. Should we be successful in this move, a fine victory is in store for us and a fine prospect of regaining our independence in W. Va.
JULY 30, 1861 We have remained from the day of our arrival with no change from the ordinary routine of camp life. Our mess consists of 1st Lt. Toothman, 2nd Lt. Thompson Bartlett, Private Nixon and G. P. M., but will soon be joined by Capt. T., W. L. M., and E. L. M. The latter we left at Monteray [sic] sick; we miss him very much, but hope for his speedy recovery and return.
JULY 31, 1861 This morning we received orders to advanced three miles further west on about the highest summit of the Alleghany Mountain. The day after our arrival here (at Camp Alleghany) I was taken down with measels [sic], and though I date this 31st, I am writing on the 15th day of August, not having felt able to write any for the last half month. Many things of interest have occurred, but I have been too sick to note them. Gen. Lee with a large force has gone round by way of Huntersville to attack the enemy near Huttonsville while our army is ordered forward to cut their way through Cheat Mountain and join him as soon as practicable. Nine of us are left here sick and of course will miss the fight. The most intense anxiety prevails among our sick as to the result of this battle. We all agree if our army is successful this time we may get home this fall, but if beaten now we never expect to see home again.
AUGUST 20, 1861 Between the measels [sic] and the worst climate ever seen I am still dragging out a kind of miserable existence unable to do military duty or any thing else. Here on the top of the Alleghany Mountain it rains in torrents nearly every day, and when not raining, we are in the midst of clouds through which one can't see fifty yards. Our sick are recovering very slowly. Two of them will scarcely recover. The weather today looks like clearing off. If so we may expect a severe frost [such] as we had a few nights ago.
Through the kindness of a friend I have at last got a nest of snow bird eggs. These should I live to get home will add much to my cabinet.
We are expecting daily to hear of a battle near Huttonsville which it is thought will play a very important part in our future success in Western Virginia.
AUGUST 25, 1861 Pocahontas County. This day the remains of our sick camp at Alleghany was [sic] ordered forward to Greenbrier River 9 miles west; here we are doing nothing as usual, about four regiments waiting for Gen. Lee to scatter the enemy and then we expect to make a move westward. The monotony of camp life scarcely justifies writing every day, because every day is alike, and unless something worthy occurs, I shall not write.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1861 The only thing worthy of note since my arrival here was the order issued today to advance. A part of our regiment, including our Co., drew four days rations and in company with several other regiments left to join Gen. Lee over Cheat Mountain. This put all our men in fine spirits as we are very sure we should not have received any such order had not Lee been confident of forcing the enemy from his strong position on Cheat Mountain.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1861 Today another is issued for all who are able to travel to advance. Now we are sure of a fight, the result of which we little doubt will favor us. I have bought a "Smith and Wesson" pistol No. 16,507, silver plated sides, patented July 5th, 1859, and fifty cartridges price ______________.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1861 The expedition has returned without doing anything worthy of note except capturing some prisoners and firing on the picket, one of whom they killed, alarming the enemy in time for them to get their guns ready, and thereby preventing the possibility of a surprise as was first intended. This expedition was under the command of Col. Rust of Arkansas, and was one of the many hard and laborious marches made since the war began. Their route for the most part lay through an unbroken mountain wilderness heavily timbered with pine and laurel undergrowth. Cheat River, as well as many of its tributaries, had to be waded and in one instance the bed of the river was the only track through which our men could travel for a distance of near four miles. All returned safely and seem but little the worse.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1861 This afternoon our regiment and two others were ordered out to join Gen. Lee on the other side of the mountain, but before resuming our march the next morning from the little town of Green Bank (where we encamped) an express came in ordering us back to camp, stating that Lee had received reinforcements and did not need our assistance. Somewhat dissatisfied we all returned, pitched our tents, and are just where we were a month ago. Sometimes we think of crossing the mountains this winter, and sometimes we think it very doubtful.
3. THE CIVIL WAR JOURNAL OF STEPHEN A. MORGAN
Camp Bartow, Pocahontas County, October 3rd, 1861 Early in the morning of the 3rd the enemy appeared in force and attacked our picket guard stationed on the road leading to the enemy's camp on Cheat Mt. and after a sharp skirmish succeeded in driving them back as far as Mrs. Burner's house within 3/4 mile of our camp where they were met by Col. Johnson with our co'py Company "A" 31st Va. Regt., and with this reinforcement returned about 1/2 mile, went into ambush and prepared to meet the enemy, which they engaged and held in check for over an hour with the loss of about 50 to the enemy.
Colonel Johnson had his horse shot under him in this skirmish. Company "A" after the third or fourth command, the enemy having brought several pieces of cannon to bear upon them, fell back, part of them succeeding in reaching the camp shortly after the general engagement began. The rest taking refuge in the mountains and coming in after the engagement. Private Jack Munford was shot dead and Geo. P. Morgan my esteemed relative and author of [the earlier portion of] this journal, which I propose to continue, as well as my friend and former school mate 1st Sergeant A. Ely Hoffman, Privates Evan Evans, Thos. West, Jas. H. Ney, all members of our company, were taken prisoner. Lt. Bartlet and Corporal Exline were slightly wounded and Corporal Shaver severely.
The battle after the pickett fight was altogether an artillery battle. The battle lasted until about _______ o'clock when the enemy hastily withdrew from the field leaving there several dead which in their haste they had overlooked while taking up their dead and wounded. The loss of the enemy is variously estimated, but prisoners since taken in a picket fight fix the loss of the enemy at about 300. Their loss was evidently very heavy. I was ill and staying in the country 20 miles distant from the camp, and at that distance could distinctly hear the cannonading. I stated immediately for the scene of blood and carnage to take part in it in case I could reach the camp in time. But when I had rode [sic] about 13 miles the firing suddenly ceased, and strange to say it was something of a disappointment that it did not continue until I could witness the remarkable scene. Cap. Rice of the artillery lost his foot on the engagement, and several other of the artillerymen were killed or wounded, they being principally exposed.
CAMP BARTOW, NOVEMBER 2, 1861 In accordance with a proclamation of Gov Letcher an election was held in camp for the purpose of electing members for the State Convention to fill the vacancies occasioned by the disloyalty of S. Clemens, J. S. Burdett, J. S. Carlile, M. M. Dent, and others from North West Va. who had been expelled from that body at the second session. Polls were opened at Capt. Thompson's tent in the 31st Va. Regt. George Kerr, Jas. Neeson, and S. A. Morgan were the candidates for Marion County, and the vote stood Kerr 7, Neeson 6, Morgan 16. A poll was also opened in Richmond where Mr. Neeson received all the votes cast six in number, Lt. Wm. P. Cooper was elected to fill Charlie's vacancy, Capt. J. A. Robinson of Taylor that of John S. Burdette, Captain Jackson of Lewis that of ___________, Professor Pickett of Brooke that of Campbell Tarr, Jefferson Martin of Marshall that of James Burley, J. H. Pendleton of Ohio that of __________ Hubbards, J. G. P. Cressaps and R. E. Cowan of Preston that Brown and McGrew.
CAMP BARTOW, NOVEMBER 6, 1861 This being the day of the presidential and congressional election, polls were opened in the various regts. Z. Kidwell received a majority of the votes for congress from the district and Robt. Johnston was elected from the __________ district, but with the vote of the Shiver Greys from Wheeling, Mr. Russell was elected. A poll was also opened for members of the General Assembly, but without legal authority, which resulted in the election of Sergeant J. F. Arnett and E. F. Vincent. It was a cold, rainy, disagreeable day. John M. Burns arrived in camp from Richmond and brought intelligence that Gen. Thos. Jackson had marched to Winchester and was going to march into West Va. B. B. Righter, John Righter, and Jas. A. Leeper came into camp to attend the election. Receiving information of my election I began to make preparations to leave for Richmond on the morning of the 8th November applied for a furlough to Col. E. Johnson and had it forwarded to Gen. Loring at Huntersville.
NOVEMBER 14TH '61 Received my furlough this evening but after the stage had left for Monterey so that I could not leave camp till the next day. Expected to leave for Richmond, but there being no stage, I had to make other arrangements and succeeded in borrowing L. S. Morgan's horse to ride as far as Mr. Campbell's on Jackson River. Col Hausbrough, __________ Ramsey, and Sgt. Jarvis were at green Bank and narrowly escaped being taken prisoner by some scouts of the enemy who were at that place in force. Left camp about 1 o'clock P. M. and arrived at Mr. E. Campbell's in the evening and spent the night. I found N. K. Campbell quite ill with fever Abbie Kerr, Mollie McLeod, John Burns, Uncle W. Kerr, George C. Kerr, Mr. Campbell (Chaplain 1st Ga. Regt.) and Cadet Jackson (son of Gen. J) were boarding at Mr. C's.
HIGHLAND CO., VA., NOV. 15, 1861 I got Rev. Campbell to ride my borrowed horse back to Camp Bartow and had my faithful Mike prepared to ride to Monterey and if needs be to Staunton, which i was compelled to do as I arrived in Monterey about two hours after the stage had left for Staunton. So after talking awhile with some friends at the St. Nicholas John Lewis Proprietor and procuring a small bottle of "red eye" I proceeded on my journey in company with a Mr. Bonifield from Tucker Co. who had run the "blockade" and come through with a member of the 1st Georgia Regt., who was left on the retreat from Laurel hill. Mr. Bonifield had been clerk of the co. court of Tucker and he made me a pleasant and intelligent travelling companion. He had stood well in society at home from what I could gather from his conversation, yet he was born an lived all his life without legs. He was the most singular freak of nature I ever beheld. He could walk or rather move about and ride on horseback better than most men who are blessed with two legs.
I hoped to overtake the stage as W. W. Arnett and Henry Pride were in it on their way to Richmond also, and I wanted to accompany them from Staunton, but so far from overtaking them, we only reached McDowell for dinner which we found in the shape of a "cold snack" at Mr. Rexroad's on "Main Street". I there met my friend Mrs. Sidlington, whose acquaintance I made last summer. A people engaged in war and particularly in revolution I had long before learned were liable to accidents and reversals of fortune, and such was also our fate. I was minus an overcoat having sold it to a soldier before leaving camp Bartow save an old rain coat, which was a present on the Laurel Hill retreat, and it was in the pocket of this garment that, for safe transportation, I put the last afire mentioned bottle, which was as foolish as putting "new wine in old bottles". When we hauled to just above McDowell to pay our respects to Bacchus, we found to our great discomfiture the bottle had gone through a hole in the bottom of my pocket and was lying in the road some place between Monterey and McDowell. Let me say here that we did not replenish until we had crossed the Shenandoah Mountains the next day. I got Mr. Peterson to drive two shoes on my horse and we proceeded on our journey. We suffered much from the cold while crossing over __________ Mountains, and arriving Reynold's Hotel at the foot of the Shenandoah Mts. just before sundown, we decided not to cross the mountains until the next day, and put up for the night. This is a post office, and a while after dark about a dozen stage passengers came straggling in, having walked on in an advance of that "slow coach", thinking that it was cheaper to walk than ride after paying their fare at the rate of eight cents per mile. My friend Mr. Summers from Crab Bottom was among the number. I here made the acquaintance of Mrs. A. J. Smith of Clarksburg, and spent the evening very pleasantly conversing with her about Western Virginia, and those whom we had left behind among the enemy. After so long a sojourn in camp it was a treat to converse with so pleasant and intelligent a lady and particularly one from so near my former home.
HIGHLAND AND AUGUSTA CO. VA., NOV. 16, 1861 It had snowed some during the night and was quite cold, but as we had a long and rather uncomfortable day's ride before us, we decided to cross the Shenandoah Mts. before breakfast, which we expected to enjoy all the better after a cold morning's ride. So we ordered our horses and paid the bill which [was] $1.50 for myself, and nothing for my legless companion, who philosophically remarked that had we both walked on legs, the bill would have been seventy-five cents each.
We soon began to ascend the mountains by zigzag road cut out of the solid rock at places at others out of the dirt. The wind blew intensely cold and we suffered much before we arrived at the miniature hotel on the other side of the mountain which [we] found in time and in the humor for a warm breakfast.
This was what might be termed a "hard place", and our prospects were nearly blighted when we found that a train of about 20 wagons had stayed overnight at this hotel. It is an old adage that appearances often deceive, which was happily verified in this instance. Within the romantic "Mountain House" as it was denominated in badly-painted letters on a piece of board mounted to a long pole, we found a comfortable wood fire, a bar provided with some two or three kinds of passable whiskey, and a couple of blooming "mountain girls" of about sixteen or twenty summers or rather mountain winters which made it altogether a desirable stopping place for the weary and thirsty soldier. Our breakfast consisted of bread, good coffee with cream in it, and fried chicken. I did it justice and never enjoyed it better. Our number now increased one, and the jolly trio, myself, my friend, and another bottle of whiskey proceeded on our journey.
We took the stage road and passed by the "Lebanon White Sulphur Springs" a large name, by the way, for a small place. This is a hotel, a store, and I believe a blacksmith shop. The former proprietor of this place possessed Yankee proclivities, and when the present war broke out he left Dixie-land, and I believe that the property has been confiscated.
We made Stribbling Springs, and it being hard by two [o'clock] we concluded to take dinner, which the kind dame whose husband was proprietor of the spring gave us though they were not keeping a hotel at that time. I had money to pay off several soldiers who were in the hospital which i did while i was waiting for dinner. There is a good hotel and some thirty cabins the latter rather irregularly scattered through the wood for the accomodation [sic] of summer visitors. The proprietor has a cozy little residence on an elevated point hard by. The buildings are now used for a hospital for the N. W. Va. army, and what was once a resort for the gay and fashionable in the summer months is now the cheerless abode of the invalid soldier.
About four miles from this place my friend Mr. Bonifield left me, and I pursued my journey on to Staunton alone, where I arrived about eight o'clock at night. Stopping at the Virginia Hotel I found Mr. Pride and Col. Arnett who had not yet started to Richmond. E. L. Kerr and my brother were also here. Having to start to Richmond early in the morning, I started out to buy a lot of clothing; for after spending six months in the army a volunteer soldier in exile my wardrobe was rather scanty than otherwise. After buying a cap, a vest, a white shirt, an over-coat, and a pair of boots, and putting them all on at once, I imagined I again looked like the genus Homo. I was never so near an altered man in my life. I stayed all night with my brother Will at his boarding house. I met Major Camden and other acquaintances.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1861 I went to the train quite soon after breakfast, and was just in time not to be left behind. I met Col. Heck, Mr. Mortimer Johnson, Henry Mahoney, Capt. Stofer, and others at the train, but was so soon
"Wafted away in steam's mighty pinion
To the capital town of the proud Old Dominion"
that I just got to shake hands with them. I found Col. Arnett on the train, but Mr. Pride had decided to stay in Staunton for a few days. Nothing of interest occurred on our ride to Gordonsville save that we passed the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and had a distant view of Monticello the home of Jefferson hard by the same town.
There was a man in our car from about Green Bank on Greenbrier River who had fallen victim to "red eye", and getting into the hands of a shrewd Marylander a member of a Baltimore dry goods house now in the regular C. S. Army he was used to interest the passengers all the way to Gordonsville. At the last named place Dr. Kidwell, who had missed the train the day before and was left over, joined us, and went on to Richmond.
This is the junction of the road leading to Manassas and our cars were filled up with soldiers from the Army of the Potomac. It was noon, but the place did not afford an eating house, but the platform was irregularly interspersed with niggers bearing waiters on their heads with snacks cold ham, hard-bolied eggs, egg nogs, pies, mint julips, cakes, apples, et cetera. But being what some persons might call a big eater, it suited me better to eat by the meal than the piece. I bought, however, one dollar's worth of "snacks" and three mint julips extra, and tumbled them into my lap on a newspaper and proceeded to take my dinner. I am told that twenty-five cents will buy a dinner of this kind, but I found that a dollar was little enough for me. On we drove to our journey's end, where we arrived just before sundown, and took a "bus" for the "Monument Hotel". Col. Arnett and I took room no. 34 and Dr. Kidwell 31 with a mutual agreement to kind of occupy them jointly, as ours was without a fire. After supper and a chat around a coal fire the first I had seen for six months we went to Broad St. M. E. South [Church] where we had the pleasure of getting to sit with a lady who favored us with her hymnbook, but we did not sing.
RICHMOND NOVEMBER 18, 1861, MONDAY Spent the day strolling about the city and seeing about getting into the convention. Attended the convention for a short time in the morning, but the body went into secret session and outsiders having to leave, Col. Arnett and I went to the Confederate States Armory to see Edd and W. F. Drinkard. At night Edd, Taylor, and some other N. W. Va.'s called to see us at the Monument.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH, 1861 In the convention. A. F. Haymond in the committee on elections brought in a report providing for the admission to seats of the persons elected to fill the vacancies from the North Western counties. After an elaborate discussion the report was adopted ayes 79, noes 20. The report provided for the admission of Joseph H. Pendleton from the Co. of Ohio, Joseph D. Pickett of the Co. of Brook, Jefferson F. Martin of the Co. of Marshall, Stephen A. Morgan of the Co. of Marion, Jonathan M. Heck of the Co. of Monongalia, Robt. E. Cowan and C. J. P. Cresap of the Co. of Preston, John A. Robinson of the Co. of Wood, and Jacob W. Marshall for the Co. of Randolph and Tucker. Jeremiah Morton resigned his seat in the convention.
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 20TH, 1861 Pendleton, Martin, Heck, Cooper, Cowan, McGuire, Marshall, and myself appeared and took our seats in the convention. Two resolutions were passed and first section of III article was taken up. Messers. Tredway, Wysor, and Blakely offered amendments to the section, all of which were rejected.
THURSDAY, NOV. 21ST 1861 Spent the day in convention. Art. III of the constitution being the order of the day. Nothing of interest occurred.
RICHMOND, NOVEMBER 23RD, 1861 Was in convention. __________ called to see me. I received an invitation to go to "Clover Hill" with Col. Cox, a member of the convention from Chesterfield, to stay until Sunday evening. Messrs. Robt. Johnson, Saml. McD. Moore, A. A. Grey, W T. Cooper, Gen. P. C. Johnson, Capt. W. H. Dulaney, Col. __________, and the Col. himself made up the party, and at 3 o'clock P. M. we were on the way to "Clover Hill" on a special train provided by Col. Cox for the occasion. We arrived at the Col.'s residence a while after dark where we were introduced to his beautiful and accomplished daughters and the other members of his family. The evening was spent at a game of "Bluff", one of "Whist", an occasional sip at the goblet, which reminded me of that goblet of which Byron speaks in his drinking song, and a chat with the "fair ones".
CLOVER HILL, NOV. 24TH, 1861
RICHMOND, NOVEMBER 25TH, 1861 Mr. Haymond presented a report "in relation to vacancies in the General Assembly". The loyalty of Judge Pitts was under consideration, and a committee of five appointed for its consideration. Sect. 2 Art. V of the amendment [constitution?] was under consideration. Capt. Robinson arrived in Richmond.
THURSDAY NOV. 28TH, 1861 Mr Barbour presented a letter in convention from Gen. Thomas S. Haymond vindicating his course while Gen. of the Third Division of Va. and also while he was a member of the Advisory Council of the Executive.
WEDNESDAY 27TH, 1861 In the convention. Mr. Morris reported from the committee to inquire into the loyalty of Judge Pitts. Capt. John A. Robinson took his seat in the convention.
THURSDAY, NOV. 28TH 1861 In the convention. A note was read from A. B. Boteler acknowledging his appointment as a member of the Provisional Congress.
RICHMOND, VA., NOV. 29TH, 1861 From the above date up to the 18th of December inclusive I spent in Richmond attending the convention until its adjournment, and then in the capacity, so common in Richmond, of loafer. On the 29th Nov. Capt. Robinson moved our boarding house from the Monument Hotel to Mrs. Shield's on the Corner of 1st and Marshall where we got good boarding for $25 per month instead of $2 per day, and with the advantage of being in a refined place. When I started back to camp I left Capt. Robinson at Mrs. Shields too unwell to return to camp. During our stay I spent the day reading newspapers, attending the Gen. Assembly, and the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. Strolling over the city at night I occasionally strolled into the theater and tried to enjoy the poor performances or to see the fair face of Miss Ella Wren an actress.
RICHMOND, SATURDAY, DEC. 19TH, 1861 I had spent over a month in the great capital of the Confederate States and the State of Virginia. I had seen about all that was to be seen in this present focus of the rebellion of '61 and '62. I had visited the halls of the Provincial Congress repeatedly; I had "done up" the armory until I was perfectly conversant with it; I had visited the sementaries [sic] and the fortifications surrounding the city; I had exhausted the theater; I had patrolled the pavements until I had more corns than toes, and was ready to say that this month was longer than either of the six that I had previously spent in the army.
My friend Col. Arnett and myself had spent the few days previous in preparing ourselves to return to camp, and on the 18th (yesterday) procured our passports from the War Department and made arrangements to leave Saturday morning. We took an early breakfast and met at the depot of the Va. Central R. R. We checked our baggage, and with difficulty from the usual "slam jam", we procured our tickets and took our seats in the same car but in different seats, and in a few minutes were driving away from the "Capitol town of the proud Old Dominion". We drove on to Gordonsville where the train connects with the Manassas R. R., and here we procured a "snack" dinner and a little "egg nog". The day was pleasant and as the train drove over the undulating country we had many interesting views from the car window, among which was the famed Monticello and the University of Virginia.
This road passes through the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Louisa, Albermarle, and Augusta, and among the best portions of Virginia. After a pleasant day's ride we arrived in Staunton just before sundown, and put up at the Virginia House (room no. 18). We met many acquaintances at this place, among whom were Col. Heck, Capts. A. F. Richards, L. A. Bradford, H. Sturms, D. Chenieworth, Eli Chenieworth, Geo. H. Eyster, Mrs. Abbie Kerr, and Mollie McLeod the three latter on their way to Strawsburg. Gen. Loring was stopping at the "Virginia House". E. C. Kerr was also in Staunton.
STAUNTON, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1861 Sunday was a pleasant day. We stayed about the hotel for most of the morning, and about 10:00 o'clock Col. Arnett, Capt. Richards, Eyster, and myself started over to the "Blind Asylum" which has of late been converted into an army hospital, to see some of the members of Company "A" 31st Reg. who had been wounded at the battle of Alleghany. We spent some time with them, and examined some of their wounds. Several persons in the hospital had been shot entirely through the body and yet survived. Among this number was Jacob Tucker of our company. On our return we met Miss Georgianna Dawson of Fairmont coming from church, and engaged to call and see her that afternoon, which we did; and also made the acquaintance of Miss Forest, the daughter with whom Georgie boarded. Abbie Kerr and Mollie Mcleod, Eyster and Eli Chenieworth started to Strawsburg on the stage at three o'clock. At night Capts. Richards, Bradford, and Lt. Chenieworth came up to our room and we had one of those "jolly old times". Mr. Johnson of Barbour County came in from Richmond, and as he was going to camp, we all made arrangements to start on the stage in the morning.
STAUNTON, MONDAY 21ST DECEMBER, 1861 We took breakfast, paid our bill, and after running half over town shopping we found ourselves in a stagecoach for a trip over the mountains to Camp Alleghany. It had rained and snowed the night previous making the roads rather muddy and the weather disagreeable. We numbered nine inside the coach, and some two or three outside. Majs. Johnson and Fleming, Col. Arnett, Lt. Lee of the 44th Regt., Lt. Barrie of Hausbrough's Battalion, and some others who were way passengers and who left us at various points on the road. Our driver was drunk when we started and did not improve while we were on the road. Our passengers (some of them) were in the same pleasant condition, so we were a jolly crowd all around. When we reached Stribbling Springs and after all the passengers had got out of the coach save two, the horses ran off and broke up the rigging so that we could not proceed. But after considerable delay we got started again and went as far as __________ hotel __________half way between Stribbling Springs and Lebanon Springs, where we stayed over night.
DECEMBER 24TH, 1861 After an early breakfast we were again on our way. The ground was frozen and so rough that we walked about a mile before we ventured into the stage. We crossed the Shenandoah Mountains riding up and walking down took our dinners at Wilson's Stage Station, and after a tiresome but jot very eventful day's travel, we arrived in Monterey about 10 o'clock at night. We at length succeeded in finding lodging at some three or four different houses, the Colonel and I getting in with John Lewis of Marion at his far-famed house the St. Nicholas.
HIGHLAND COUNTY, VA. DEC. 25, 1861 After roaming around Monterey for a while, and hearing some Christmas "pops" from some old shot guns, Col. Arnett and myself left the inhospitable and cheerless place, and proceeded on foot to Edgar Campbell's. At Hightown we found Joseph A. Leeper and we all went down to John Campbell's, took dinner, and arrived at E. Campbell's a while before sun down. We found uncle Billy Kerr, John Burns, and Mrs. Campbell's family. We spent the evening in playing "seven up".
DECEMBER 26, 1861 The weather had turned quite cold, but we decided to continue our journey on to Camp Alleghany. Mr. C. engaged to take us up, so between a buggy and an odd horse we three started about 11 o'clock for the mountains where we arrived about four o'clock in the afternoon, and we had the pleasure of again meeting our friends and comrades who fell upon the battlefield on the 13th inst., while bravely charging the enemy. Lt. Louis S. Thompson and Private H. C. Nichols will ever be remembered by the survivors of that little band of noble patriots who first rallied to meet the enemy in N. W. Va.
I took a violent cold on my way up from Staunton and was quite unwell for several days after my arrival in camp. I was confined to my bed for part of the time. I stayed with the company for a week or two acting as Commissary of the company as I was not able to perform any other duty. A. F. Haymond came out from Richmond to act as Commissioned Commissary of our Regiment and as I was to some extent familiar with the business, he had me detailed to assist him in that department, in which capacity I remained until about the 8th of February, when I took such a violent relapse of an old disease (rheumatic neuralgia) that I was constrained to quit duty, and got Matthew Carpenter to take my place; and on the eighteenth of the same month, I left camp on a sick furlough, and have since been boarding at Mr. Edgar Campbell's with Wm. Kerr, John Burns, and Lts. McNemar and John R. Phillips. Nothing of peculiar interest transpired during this interval in which I have not kept a regular journal, but the sad intelligence of the death of my uncle George P. Morgan, who was taken prisoner in the pickett fight at the battle of Greenbrier River, which we received through the Richmond papers of the 4th of February.
Col. Jackson, who had been commissioned a full Colonel some time before, returned and took command of our regiment; but was sent, a few days afterwards, to take command of the post at Huntersville. Sergeant J. F. Arnett was elected senior Second Lieutenant in place of Lt. Thompson, and James Steel was elected Orderly Sergeant to fill his vacancy. Wm. W. Arnett was also elected Captain in place of Captain Thompson resigned. Sergeant Major John S. Hoffman was commissioned Major of the Regiment, and Major Boykin was promoted to Lt. Col. of the same.
West Virginia History Journal