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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
May 23, 1861


Greenbrier Weekly Era
May 25, 1861

Departure of the Cavalry

Capt. Rob. B. Moorman’s fine Cavalry corps left Lewis burg on Tursday morning last, en route for Staunton. They are a noble looking, finely mounted and gallant hearted band, and we doubt not, should an opportunity be afforded them, will bear themselves in a manner, worthy of our renowned old Commonwealth, and of the sacred cause, which animates the hearts and nerves the arms of her brave and patriot sons.

On the morning of their departure, they were presented with a beautiful and appropriate banner, wrought by the fair hands of some of Lewisburg’s lovely and patriotic daughters. Upon the occasion of its presentation, eloquent and soul-thrilling addresses were delivered by Lieut. H. M. Mathews, of the provisional army, on behalf of the ladies, and Capt. Moorman on behalf of his corps.

The parting scene was one of deep distress—for many, many hears have thus offered, on the alter [sic] of their country, the objects of their most cherished affections. But, thank God, great as is the sacrifice, which our people are thus called on to make, we are sustained and supported by our implicit trust in the justice of our cause, and the sanction and approval of our God.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 30, 1861

Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.

Affairs in Greenbrier.

Dry Creek Hotel, May 23, 1861.

To-day has been quite an exciting one here. The vote on the Ordinance of Secession drew the voters of the precinct of this place and the White Sulphur Springs, where the vote was taken. The friends of the Ordinance were irritated by the presence of some twenty or thirty men who were known to be opposed to it, and who, it was thought, would cast their votes against it. Their party was small indeed, but Greenbrier men thought there ought to be no Union men in a county depending so much on Southern generosity and affluence for prosperity.

The excitement and interest of the day were enhanced by the arrival of the Greenbrier Cavalry, Capt. Moorman. A beautiful flag, made by Miss Mary Eagle, was presented to the Company on behalf of herself and the ladies of Dry Creek, by Dr. Lake, whose appropriate and stirring address was responded to in an eloquent and happy manner by the Captain.

During this ceremony it was reported that the little knot of Union men had raised a U. S. national flag near the polls, whereupon a number of the Cavalry and other citizens repaired to the spot and took possession of it and tore it into shreds, and sharing the pieces amongst themselves as trophies. As this was about to be done, one of the troopers was hit on the head with a rock, which inflicted a severe, but not a dangerous wound. He went with his company, but was compelled to stop a mile or two from this place and consult a physician.

The Home Guard, Capt. Sproule, paraded to-day and received the Cavalry. In the afternoon their ranks were not as full as in the morning, the members refusing to muster with the voters against the Ordinance. It is to be hoped now [ that that ] act has been approved, these Union men will be true to their fealty to the State and the Southern Confederacy. If they are not, they will have trouble in this part of the world. What might be endured before this, will after it be considered treason.

At this precinct, of some one hundred and thirty or forty voters the submissionists polled some thirty.

A body of men have gone in pursuit of the man who threw the rock at the trooper, as he was seen to throw it by some of the bystanders. There is danger of some rough handling of him if they catch him.

The Home Guard also had a present of a flag, with appropriate speeches. I think Greenbrier has given a powerful vote for the Ordinance. C.


Richmond Enquirer
May 30, 1861

From Greenbrier County

[Correspondence of the Richmond Enquirer]

Lewisburg, VA, May 24th

Messrs. Editors:--In looking over your correspondence, I see none from old “Greenbrier,” and I must speak of her, for she has acted nobly in the present emergency. Her brave sons have bared their breasts to the coming storm, and willingly, enthusiastically enrolled themselves under the “Red, White, and Blue” of the Old Dominion.

Yesterday morning the “Greenbrier Cavalry,” Captain Moorman, started for their rendezvous at Staunton. A finer company of men and horses cannot be found in the State. Before starting, Lieut. H. M. Mathews, in behalf of the ladies, presented them, in a neat and soul inspiring address, one of the most beautiful flags I have ever seen. It was responded to in a hearty cavalier style, by Captain Moorman, in which he exhorted the mothers, wives, and sisters to bear bravely the absence of their loved ones, and should they fall in their defence, and the defence of their country, the consoling thought would be theirs, that they died in the most glorious, noblest, holiest cause in which man could die. Hearty cheers greeted each patriotic sentence, and who though the eyes of every one were suffused with tears, and though sobs choked the utterance of the heartfelt “God bless you,” each heart of the bystanders swelled with pride at the sacrifice the flower of our county were offering upon the altar of Virginia’s liberty.

At half past nine o’clock, A. M., the noble band took up the line of march; and prayers from a thousand hearts ascended to God for their protection.

Our election passed off more quietly than any one we have had for many a day. Indeed we had no cause to quarrel, for all were upon the same side of the question of the ratification of the ordinance of secession. Not one single vote was given against it. We are indeed a unit. The paper bullets were fired thick and fast at the head of despotism, abolitionism, free loveism and all balance of the miserable isms of the fanatical North.

This was the day for our general muster, and, in numbers, our turn-out was quite respectable. A few very appropriate speeches were made by some of our citizens. A call was made for volunteers, and immediately thirty-seven stalwart men stepped from the ranks to offer their lives for Virginia’s honor.

The company will be made up and ready to start in a few days, which will be four companies for our county, and, if needed, we can and will raise more. We need but call, and our mountain fastnesses will pour forth their ready hundreds, each one of whom will teach the Yankee invader the art of handling the rifle, and piercing the eye of a deer at one hundred and fifty yards.

Yours, ALPHA.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1861

West Virginia Archives and History