February 8, 1861
The Flag presentation at the Court House, on Saturday last, was a decided success. Notwithstanding the very inclement weather, the Court House was fairly crammed with enthusiastic Union-savers of both male and female persuasion from town and country and had it been a pleasant day, the building would not have held them. The large Union Flag, 16 x 3 1/2 feet made by the committee of thirty-four ladies, was presented, very appropriately, and accompanied by a spirited little address, by Miss Angeline Harding, as below, which was neatly responded to be James I. Kuhn on behalf of the Club. Some two or three other flags were presented by the working men and boys, and appropriately received. The performances were interspersed with patriotic music, enlivened with waving banners, and responded to with tumultuous and enthusiastic cheers. Some of the participators were actually moved to tears, and the effect was decidedly advantageous to the Union cause.
Union Men of Brooke:
Owing to the evils which now threaten our beloved country, we as American women, believe it to be our duty to exert all the influence in our power to encourage you to perform you duty. What that duty is, we need not remind you, for we are well aware that there are as many true, patriotic hearts and willing hands, this afternoon, as there were in the infant days of the Republic when our forefathers mutually “pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor,” to support their country’s independence.
Now, after eighty years of peace and prosperity, can you look calmly on and see the Union for which so many noble lives were lost, dissolved by treacherous hands? Will you submit to have one star torn from our Union flag? Or would you see another banner usurp the place of the “Stars and Stripes.”
Knowing so well the patriotism of the sons of “Old Brooke” we feel that such will never be the case; and as a token of our faith in you, we in behalf of the ladies of Wellsburg, present you this Union Flag.—Respect is as your forefathers did—protect it from insult and so long as the breeze will unfold to you this Star Spangled Banner, stand by it and never surrender.
Ladies:--God bless you!
We accept from you, in behalf of the Union Party of Brooke county, the insignia of our country, with feelings of patriotic pride. You, by the instincts of nature, have this day captured the ultra citadel of our admiration, in the heroinic presentation of the “Stars and Stripes “ to the Constitutional Union party—the rightful heirs of the banner of liberty bequeathed by the illustrious ancestry of 1776. In this, the most eventful period of our lives, accept the assurance of our plighted honor that we will defend, if need be, the liberties you now enjoy, and when you shall see the gorgeous ensign of the Republic trampled in the duty—there you will see our lifeless bodies; and so long as God shall warm our muscles with manly blood, so long will we preserve the present Union, over which shall wave the proud emblem of American greatness. Its victories shall be our victories, its conquests shall be our inheritance, and where it floats, there we’ll abide.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1861