June 8, 1861
Pole Raising at Fairview, Marshall County, Va.
I had the pleasure of attending, on yesterday, at the above named place, one of the most enthusiastic meetings ever held in our county since the commencement of our present national difficulties. The people of this part of the county are almost to a man firm and loyal to the Government of the United States. And a more patriotic, Union-loving set of men than these cannot be found in any section. The object of the gathering was for the purpose of raising a flag pole in front of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Old gray-headed fathers and mothers were present to have the pleasure once more of seeing the proud flag of our country unfurled to the breeze. Young men in the prime of life, who are ready at any hour, if necessary, to take up arms in defence of their country, and to aid in enforcing its laws! Beautiful young ladies, wearing the three colors of our glorious star spangled banner, red, white and blue, who are not only willing to encourage by their prayers and simles, but to do as the young women did in the early history of our country, mould bullets and form cartridges to kill and disperse our country's rebels.
The meeting was organized by calling Samuel Dorsey, sr., to the Chair, and appointing James Whittingham secretary.
The proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Samuel Jones. A large and beautiful flag was then run up amidst the enthusiastic cheers of the multitude.
Mr. R. C. Holliday being called upon came forward and addressed the meeting in a patriotic and soul-stirring speech. He commenced by saying that "there is no use to attempt to disguise the fact that we are in the midst of war. Thirty millions of people, in the short space of sixty days, are all aroused and made alive with the war spirit, and are using their energies and means to aid in this great conflict. The prologue of the great drama is past, but the tragical scenes are behind. The end no living man can tell. Troops are daily and almost hourly passing through our midst to the scene of action, to defend our country and maintain its laws." The speaker frequently alluded to the banner that floated over him. Cheer after cheer was sent up by the crowd assembled whenever allusion was made to the flag of our country. Mr. Holliday was followed by Mr. William Alexander, and, being direct from Phillippi [sic], his remarks were listened to with eager interest. The action which took place at the rebel camp was minutely described. In speaking of the attempted assassination of the brave and gallant Col. Kelley, the speaker could hardly control his emotions.
A few appropriate remarks were made by Mr. Adams Helms, and also by the Rev. Samuel Jones, who directed the children, of whom a large number were present, to look upon the flag that floated over them and remember that as long as that flag continued to wave their religious liberties wer[e] safe, but when it was torn down by ruthless hands with it went our religious liberties.
A motion was passed that the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the President and Secretary, and be forwarded to the Wheeling Intelligencer, with a request to publish.
Samuel Dorsey, Pres.
James Whittingham, Sec'y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: June 1861