May 7, 1861
On Saturday the 4th May, was held at Clifton, a large and very enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of upper Kanawha; the object of which was the formation of a “Home Guard,” for the protection of our valley.
On motion, J. S. T. Smith was called to the Chair; who then appointed Wm H. Tompkins Secretary. The Secretary then read and offered the following resolutions:
Whereas, We think, the present militia system inefficient for the complete training of men for active service; and since the militia are not furnished with arms until called into action; and since we are convinced that the present condition of our County demands such equipment and training as will enable us to respond promptly to an immediate call; therefore
Resolved 1st, That we form ourselves into a home guard, to be called the Clifton Rangers, for the protection of our valley against invasion or servile insurrection.
Resolved, 2nd, That we are Virginians will resist unto death any attempt at coercion or subjugation.
Resolved, 3rd, That we will be promptly present at such places as the Captain may specify, for the purpose of drilling, which we shall do at least once per week.
Resolved, 4th, That a committee of one be despatched to Richmond to procure arms of the most improved style. And that the expenses of said committee be defrayed by a tax levied upon the company.
Resolved, 5th, That we each pledge our honor to give an immediate response to our Captain’s call in the hour of danger.
Resolved, 6th, that we do not consider our connection with this volunteer guard to absolve us from, or interfere with our Militia duties.
These resolutions being unanimously adopted, a full corps of officers were elected.
On motion of F. G. Hansford, jr., Wm. H. Tompkins was appointed a messenger to procure arms at Richmond.
On motion of B. B. Blair, Mr. Hansford was appointed alternate.
On motion of F. G. Hansford, jr., a committee was appointed to procure speakers to address the company at some of it[s] future gatherings.
On motion it was resolved to publish the proceedings in the “Kanawha Valley Star,”
On motion, the meeting adjourned Sine die.
S. F. Smith, President
Wm. H. Tompkins, Secretary.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1861