May 31, 1861
CAPTURE OF SECESSION CANNON—A RAID ON SISTERSVILLE.—About two o’clock yesterday morning the “sacred soil” of Sistersville, Va., was “invaded,” and two rifled cannon belonging to the secessionists were captured and brought up to this city. The way of it was this: Mr. J. P. Baggs, a good Union man, has been floating around in that country for some time, and having his eyes open has seen a good many things, and heard a good deal of talk that did not suit him. He discovered that the secessionists had two rifled cannon and a lot of muskets concealed there. He came up to this city and informed Maj. Oakes of the fact, and implored that a small force be sent down to capture them. The Major agreed with Capts. Planke and Gazzim, now recruiting here, that apportion of their respective commands should be detailed for the purpose. Accordingly the steamer Eunice was chartered, and about fifty armed men besides the officers we have named, got aboard and started down the river. They reached Sistersville about two o’clock, landed a short distance above the town and established a guard.—Mr. Baggs indicated the place where the cannon were to be found and some eight or ten men were sent up while the others were placed in a position to protect them. The cannon were concealed in an old barn, and covered with rakes, plows and straw. The barn was broken open, the guns disinterred, and in less that [sic] fifteen minutes they were aboard the boat, together with a lot of valuable ammunition [sic]. The men after getting under way again, fired a volley or two from the muskets, to let the secessionists know they were about, and arrived here at ten o’clock yesterday morning. It was altogether a very pleasant trip, and an orderly quiet proceding, in which a valuable prize was taken and “nobody hurt.” The cannon are now at Camp Carlile, where they are exhibited free of charge.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1861