July 3, 1861
An Expedition To Weston – Twenty-Seven Thousand Dollars In Gold Captured – Capt. John List returned to this city last evening, having in charge twenty-seven thousand dollars in gold, taken from the bank at Weston, Va., where it had been placed to the credit of the Western Lunatic Asylum, by the State authorities. Capt. List was commissioned by Gov. Peirpoint to go and take charge of this money, the work on the Asylum having been stopped, and there being reasonable apprehension that the gold might fall into the hands of Letcher’s government. The Captain proceeded to Grafton, and upon making known his object to General McClellan, in less than twenty-four hours a regiment of men under Col. Tyler were on the march. The expedition left Clarksburg on Sunday evening, and marching all night, reached Weston on Sunday morning about 5 o’clock. The people were all asleep, but the fine band which accompanied the expedition aroused the drowsy population by playing the Star Spangled Banner. Col. Tyler took possession of the place, and Capt. List went down and demanded the money in the name of the State of Virginia. No resistance was made, and the money was soon forked over. Some of the bank men thought the amount ought to have been taken in currency, but Capt. List said he didn’t think so, and that was all of it. The troops captured some twenty odd prisoners, all of whom were released upon examination, except the following who were brought up to Grafton and placed under guard; Jas. T. Jackson, Geo. J. Butcher, W. E. Lively, John Kearns, Jr., and J. Summitt. Against these there are special charges. A guard of six men accompanied the money to this city, and last night it was safely deposited in the Northwestern Bank, and will be used by those to whom it truly belongs – the true State government.
July 4, 1861
The Expedition to Weston.
WESTON, July 1, 1861.
Editors Intelligencer: Your correspondent accompanied the Ohio 7th Regiment, under command of Col. Tyler, on its march from Clarksburg to Weston, and witnessed its occupancy of the latter place on Sunday morning last.
The Seventh, (which has been encamped at Camp Dennison for six weeks past) is from the interior of the State. Upon receipt of the President’s second proclamation, all the companies who had volunteered for three months were immediately enlisted for the three years service. Your correspondent has visited most of the regiments which have been at Grafton, Camp Dennison and many of the Pennsylvania regiments, and is confident that the Ohio Seventh cannot be surpassed in the efficiency of its officers, the soldierly bearing and general good conduct of the men, as well as the thorough system which pervades its Commissary and Quartermaster’s department. The regiment left Camp Dennison on Wednesday last, and coming through by rail, without delay, reached Clarksburg on Friday evening. They were ordered to prepare for march immediately and on Saturday afternoon commenced their march to Weston, which place is 23 miles directly South of Clarksburg.
The time previous to marching was industriously employed in unloading horses, wagons, tents and provisions. A march of twenty-three miles to young soldiers, even under the most favorable circumstances, is no trivial matter; but when it was performed by men whose stomachs were empty, and who had just arrived from a journey of 400 miles in freight cars, losing two nights sleep, it is an undertaking of no little difficulty. The brave fellows went through it without a murmur. The horses were new, many of them never having been harnessed before. Many of the teamsters were inexperienced, and the road must have been that “Jordan” which has been immortalized in song. Every few minutes some horse would obstinately refuse to proceed. Coaxing, whipping, and even swearing were in vain. The boys, with Col. Tyler at their head, would then take hold of the wagon wheels and literally pull them up the hills. I never saw such an indefatigable worker as the Colonel. He participated in all the work and performed the march on foot, having kindly loaned his horse to a sick officer. He is unremitting in his attention to the men. He realizes fully his duty as an officer by procuring every comfort in his power, and never takes care of himself until his men are first comfortable.
Your readers will, no doubt, feel an interest in knowing what kind of reception the people of our “sacred soil” gave these “hordes of abolition cut throats,” (I speak in the polished language of our Eastern Virginia gentlemen.) Oh, how Gov. Wise would have mourned over the degeneracy of Virginia chivalry, had he witnessed the enthusiastic reception of the Government troops. Although our march was long after nightfall, yet at nearly every farm house there was some demonstration of welcome. Some of the good people would bring out buckets of cold water; others, milk and what cold provisions they had, while others insisted that the troops must wait for hot coffee and corn dodgers – which, I assure you, were done ample justice to by our hungry troopers, who will not soon forget the true hospitality of our loyal Virginians.
At Jane Lew, a neat and flourishing village, which we passed during the night, a grand demonstration was made. Nearly every house in the place was brilliantly illuminated, as was the large bridge at this place. Men, women and children crowded the doors and windows, to greet the soldiers with shouts of welcome. They were answered by three times three. The splendid military band, belonging to the regiment, performed in grand style the national airs, which the deep, rich voices of the men thundered the chords of the Star Spangled Banner.
As we approached Weston, a report reached the wagon guards that the advance had been fired into by a party of secessionists, who had destroyed the bridge and would resist the passage of the troops. No one could doubt the anxiety of the boys for a fight. Many a poor fellow who a moment before had been trudging along with blistered feet and tired limbs now rushed forward on the double-quick with cheers and shouts. The report proved to be false, much to the chagrin of the boys, but it hastened the march at least half an hour.
Col. Tyler now having his forces in complete ordered, marched into Weston at daylight, with colors flying and the bands playing Yankee Doodle. The citizens were completed surprised, and the loyal portion overcome with joy. One gentleman said that the music of the Scottish bagpipes at the relief of Lucknow could not have sounded half so sweet as did the strong strains of glorious old Yankee Doodle, the slogan of loyal Americans.
In less than fifteen minutes Col. Tyler’s picket guards extended throughout the streets, and occupied the principal buildings, including Bailey’s Hotel, the Courthouse and Bank. Now commenced the bringing in of seceshers, and in half an hour the large public room at Bailey’s was filled with prominent prisoners – the Haymonds, Masons and Kidwells of this district of country. Many of the low grade of rebels, such as bark when the big dogs growl, were arrested and immediately released after a stern reprimand from the Colonel. It was very remarkable how suddenly the tide turned; nobody talked secesh now. One gentleman remarked that the Union element had increased about 200 since the arrival of the troops. Had I not drawn so much on your space already I could relate many amusing incidents in connection with the arrests that were made. One fellow finding his retreat cut off by land, took to the river like a duck, but our boys were not made of sugar or salt, and plunged in after him, bringing him up “dripping and drowned.” Five of the most prominent prisoners, after a primary examination by the Colonel, were sent to Grafton to-day under a guard to await the action of Gen. McClellan.
The movements of troops to this point is one of as much importance as has yet been made in Western Virginia. Lewis county gave a majority of 400 in favor of Union at the last election, yet the minority is exceedingly active and troublesome, receiving aid and comfort from the rebels of the approximate rank secession counties of Gilmer and Braxton. In these latter counties nearly all of the Union men have been driven out. A few regiments, well equipped, will create a reaction and exert a great moral force in this county. It assures the Union men of the power and protection of the Government, and at the same time gives the lie to the slanderous assertion that the U. S. troops are invading the State for the purpose of rapine and plunder.
No happier selection of troops for this section could have been made, than the command of Col. Tyler. He has been engaged in business in this part of the country for twenty years, and is universally acquainted and esteemed. His knowledge of the geography of the country is thorough, and he is intimately acquainted with the wants and manners of the people, while at the same time he possesses all the requisites of a good officer – a gentlemanly bearing, united with prudence, firmness and good judgment. I heartily wish there were many regiments like the Ohio 7th, under commanders like Col. Tyler.
Yours, A. C.
THAT TWENTY-SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS – It will be remembered that the Virginia rebel Convention recently ordered the stoppage of the work on the Weston Lunatic Asylum, at Weston. They did this in hopes of saving the twenty-seven thousand dollars deposited at Weston, to the credit of the proposed institution – The loyal Government through Gen. McClellan and Capt. List, put a stop to that arrangement by going down there and taking the money. We think this end of the State has made a pretty good thing out of it. We need money almost as badly as they do down at Richmond, and are in no particular need of a Lunatic Asylum. - They can have all the Lunatic Asylum they want, if they will give us the money. Just now coin is infinitely preferable to crazy people.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: June 1861