Skip
Navigation

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
May 27, 1861


Wheeling Intelligencer
June 5, 1861

The way the Traitors are dealt with in Marshall County.

GLEN EASTON, May 30, 1861.

Editors Intelligencer: - We have had a busy time in our little village for a few days past. On Monday last, a committee of five were appointed for the purpose of having those persons who voted for the Ordinance of Secession, brought in and sworn to support the Constitution of the United States; said committee have one hundred men at their bidding, brave fellows too, who would travel twenty miles to bring in one of these traitors. Believing it not very safe to let these traitors retain their arms, they ask them quietly to deliver them over. Some who had boasted a short time ago of their bravery, are a little reluctant to comply, but the sight of a small article that made "Paddy's neck swell" is argument sufficient. We have also five railroad bridges well guarded every night, and woe betide the rascal who dare molest them. When the "boys" return with a traitor you will see him always flag bearer, and cheering the Stars and Stripes, whether willingly or not, this deponeth sayeth not. Some take the oath willingly, others rather hesitate. With the latter we are wont to add a clause to the oath, which is never to aid or assist any of the so called Secession Confederacy in opposing the Federal Government in the execution of the laws of the United States.

OMEGA


Richmond Daily Dispatch
June 3, 1861

Movements of Federal troops in Western Virginia:

Outrages on our citizens!

Virginians pursued into the woods and fired at.

One man killed and another wounded.

The trip from Wheeling to Mannington Scenes en Route Arrest of citizens the burned bridges, &c.

We find in the Wheeling Intelligencer full accounts of the movements of the Federal troops, under Col. Kelly, from that city to Gration, Va. The Intelligencer is a strong Republican paper, and its statements are by no means free from party blas. It has a letter from a correspondent who describes in glowing style the reception of the troops at every stoppage. We make the following extracts from the letter.

Scenes on the Route.

All the way out through Marshall the utmost enthusiasm was awakened by the appearance of the soldiers. Owing to the alarming reports of the night before, rumors that Southern troops were approaching, we found crowds at every stopping place, who cheered the trains as they passed. At Glen Easton we found a company of 25 or 30 riflemen, and further on passed another company of them, numbering perhaps in all marching towards Cameron, which they heard was to be attacked and burst by State troops. At Cameron we found a crowd assembled of some 300, perhaps, who insisted on standing out in a parting rain and cheering the soldiers nearly all the time they were there. The report of the advance of Southern troops had been received the night before, and a hundred riflemen had been under arms, guarding the town all night afar at this time men with rifles on their shoulders were coming in from all directions, word having been sent out the night before.

Arrival at Mannington.

Our trains reached Mannington a little after noon, and the appearance of the troops there as everywhere else, took the people completely by surprise. They had heard, however, that a train was coming from the West, and as this was unusual since the burning of the bridges, a considerable crowd was at the depot waiting. As the trains rolled in they displayed the American flag amidst the greatest enthusiasm.

Agents of secessionists--one killed and another wounded.

Hardly had the soldiers been there five minutes till they had arrested and under guard many secessionists, namely a tavern-keeper named Wells, Mr. Knox, a merchant; Chas. Matthews, Superintendent of that section of H. & O. R. R. Dr. Grant, defeated secession candidate for the Legislature and one Snodgrass, a constable. These men all seemed to expect nothing short of execution on the spot. They were arraigned before Colonel Kelly, who released Wells, Knotts and Grant, on their taking the oath of hty, but retained Matthews and Snodgrass.

The trains soon after moved on down the first burned bridge, where the men disembarked and paraded in a meadow Col. Kelley then de ed six companies and started for Farmington, some three miles below, from which, it was said, the men who burnt the bridge had come, and where it was reported some fifty armed secession troops were stationed. Meanwhile, the remainder of the troops stacked arms, after throwing out pickets and scouts on the neighboring hills, with orders to bring in any persons they might find. In less than ten minutes after their arrival they brought in six, some of whom, it was positively asserted by some Union men from the country around, were accessory to the destruction of the bridges. Squads of men continued to go out in different directions, and to bring in prisoners until they must have had, at least, a dozen under guard at once. Several of them were released after an examination by the officers, but at least six or eight were retained until the return of Col. Kelley. It was rather exciting to see the scouts, or "Snake Hunters." as they style themselves, on a trail. As certainly as they would spy a man anywhere in sight, a squad of them would seize their guns and start after him on a run, and before very long would bring him the for they were sure of their game if they got eyes on it. The prisoners were all treated with the utmost courtesy, but nevertheless some of them looked terribly frightened.

In the evening the companies returned from Farmington, bringing with them several prisoners, and reporting that their scouts had killed one secessionist and wounded another. When they got to Farmington they found it utmost entirely deserted, the secessionists having got wind of their approach. Finding the town deserted, Col. Kelley ordered his men to scout the woods surrounding it, and it was not long till they had unearthed several of the fugitives, most of whom they captured. The men who were shot were running from their pursuers, who called out to them to surrender. Not heading this, they were told they would be shot unless they did. No attention was paid to the command, and several shots were fired, killing one instantly and wounding another.

I have not learned at this writing what was done with the prisoners. The impression in ce was that they would be tried by a court-in-arms. Against some of them there is very strong positive evidence that they set fire to the bridges.

The Burned Bridges.

The two bridges burned were over Buffalo Creek and were common open railroad pier bridges, all iron except the sills and the cross ties of the track, both of which were consumed. The upper one is about four miles below Mannington, and the other some quarter of a mile below it. It is feared that others are destroyed between there and Grafton. The anxiety about the splendid iron bridge over the Monongahela is especially very great It was said in Mannington that the Union men of Fairmont were guarding it. Sundaynight, several bridges between Mannington and Glover's Gap were guarded by the citizens of the former place.

Return to Mannington.

The Ohio Regiment reached Mannington on Mondayevening, just at dark, having felt their way over the road, examining all the bridges to see that they had not been injured. The whole town assembled to receive them. They paraded in the street in front of Hough's Hotel, while their band played the Star Spangled Banner, and other airs. At the conclusion the crowd gave three cheers for Ohio, which compliment was returned by the Ohio, then, who gave three for the citizens of Mannington. The citizens then proffered their houses for quarters for the soldiers. Some were put in the church, some in the Odd Fellows' Hall, other at the hotel, others in private houses, until they were all provided for.

Further Incidents.

During the night, owing to the breaking down of the wires at Glover's Gap, one hundred men were sent up to take possession of the place, and guard the road and telegraph. This morning the Ohio men will go down to the camp at the burnt bridge. It is expected that all hands will go to work rebuilding the bridges, so that the trains will be enabled to go in a day or two. There are now more than men at Mannington and the camp below. There is no doubt that they will push through to Grafton as soon as practicable. Col. Kelley was heard to say yesterday that he was desirous of paying his respects to that place and in Fetterman at as early a day as possible.--An experienced telegrapher accompanies the troops to repair the fines and keep up communication with Wheeling.

At Cameron, yesterday, they hauled up some secessionists and made them swear to support the Constitution of the United States. Today that place was full of men, armed.--Squads of them were going out to bring in some more of the same stripe, intending to make them take the same oath also.

How the Secessionists took Grafton.

Mr. Fred. Duval and Mr. Joseph Fulton, engineers on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, arrived in Wheeling on Tuesday. They left that place shortly after the secessionists took possession of the town, and about the time the bridges were burned between Mannington and Farmington. When the secessionists marched in and commenced taking control of things, they ordered Mr. Duval to remove an engine which was in the way, and in order to do so, it was necessary to get up steam. This Duval proceeded to do, and after removing it, to the place requested, got it upon the main track, with its head towards Newburg, eighteen miles distant, and before the secessionists know what they were doing, Mr. Duval, Mr. Fulton and others mounted the iron-horse, and started with the speed of a fast passenger locomotive towards Newburg. Leaving that place they went to Morgantown, from Morgantown to Uniontown, Pa., and thence to Pittsburg, and down the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad to Wheeling.

[Here, the Intelligencer says the secessionists drove the people out of their houses on Sundaymorning, and occupied them with their own troops. They had, it is alleged, duty 1,200 men, with only one company of cavalry. On Monday, however, the secession troops evacuated the place, and the federal forces took quiet possession of it.]

Excitement at Cameron.

A report same to Cameron, in Marshall county, on Monday morning, that the secessionists were coming down from Farmington to burn the bridges. Messengers were sent in all directions to alarm the Union men, who continued to pour into the village all day, armed with all sorts of weapons, until they numbered six or seven hundred. The sudden appearance, however, of the troops from Wheeling reassured the citizens, and all sorts of demonstrations of joy were manifested.

In the evening a party well armed went to the house of John Martin, a brother of the U. S. Marshal, and brought him into town, and made him take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.

Distances Bridges, &c.

The distance from Wheeling to Grafton is 100 miles. From Wheeling to Mannington the distance is 60 miles. Farmington is 7 miles beyond and fifteen miles from Grafton. Parkersburg is one hundred miles from Grafton, and Marietta is only 12 miles above Parkersburg. A gentleman from Parkersburg reports that a thousand Union troops left that place on Mondaymorning for Grafton, over the North western Virginia road. It is said the bridges are also destroyed on this road, so that these troops, like those at Mannington, will be detained.

More troops for Grafton.

A dispatch from Bellaire, May 28, says four hundred more Ohio troops have just left here for Mannington, to join the troops of Col. Kelley's command. The 15th Ohio regiment, Col. Andrews, has just arrived on the other side, and will cross over and leave here at 5 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Gen. McCLELLAN'S Proclamation.

The proclamation of Gen. McClellan, issued on crossing the Ohio into Virginia, sets forth that the troops came as friends; that the homes, families and property of the Virginians were safe under their protection; that no interference would be made with their slaves; but, on the contrary any attempt at insurrection would be crusted with an iron hand --The General's proclamation to his soldiers says, you are ordered to cross the frontier and enter upon the soil of Virginia. Your mission is to restore peace and continence, to protect the majesty of the law, and resene our brethren from the grasp of traitors. I place under the safeguard of your honor the persons and property of the Virginians. I know you will respect their feelings and all their rights, preserve the strictest discipline; remember that each one of you holds in his keeping the honor of Ohio and of the Union. If you are called upon to overcome armed opposition, I know your courage is equal to the task; remember that your only foes are armed traitors, and show mercy even to them when in your power, for many of them are misguided. When, under your protection, the loyal men of Western Virginia have been enabled to organize and arm, they can protect themselves, and you can then return to your homes with the proud satisfaction of having preserved a gallant people from destruction.


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

West Virginia Archives and History