May 23, 1861
The State Troops There Give up Their Arms.
The County alarmed—The Union Men swarming into Town—Cannon sent for—The Confeds permitted to go home—Union Men in high spirits—Two Companies coming to Wheeling—Reported Secession force at Grafton.
[Correspondence of the Intelligencer]
Clarksburg, May 21, 1861.
Eds. Intelligencer: Our town was all excitement last night, caused by the sudden appearance of sixty or seventy State troops, recruits from the country for the rebel army.
About four o’clock in the evening a company came in from Romine’s Mills. They marched upstreet armed with rifles. In a short time another company came in from another portion of the county. The Romine company went out to meet the other, and they all marched down street together under command of W.M. Turner, Norval Lewis, Hugh H. Lee, and W. P. Cooper.—Our citizens became much incenses about it, and about six o’clock the Court House bell rang the alarm, and in a few minutes our two Union militia companies, under command of Capt. A. C. Moore and Capt. J. C. Vance, were formed in line, drum beating and the stars and stripes flying, ready for action with what arms they could procure. This display frightened the Confeds terribly, and in a few minutes a proposition was received from them that if we would not attack them, they would surrender their arms to us. Our boys were not all willing for that they wanted to whip the Confeds and take their arms from them.
Messengers were sent to the country to bring in the Union men, and our cannon, which was a few miles from town, was also sent for.
About eight o’clock at night our men agreed that if the Confeds would stack their arms immediately, and leave in the morning, they would not be attacked. Accordingly the arms were given up, and our companies, after appointing a guard for the town, dispersed.
Tuesday Morning.—The town is alive this morning with Union men from the country ready to defend their homes from the invaders, and protect the flag of their country.
Captain Morris’ and Captain Vance’s companies will probably leave for Wheeling on Friday, to muster into the service. Arms is what we want; we can defend ourselves if the arms were placed in our hands.
There are eight hundred Confederate troops at Grafton.
Whilst writing this, rebel troops are preparing to leave our place.
The Unionists are in fine spirits. Our people are loyal to the Government, and ready to fight for its maintenance.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1861