August 6, 1861
NEWS FROM THE KANAWHA.
Wise’s Retreat – His Destruction of Property – The “Young and Talented Editor” along with a Major’s Commission in his Pocket – Two other Wheeling Seces[s]ionists in the Vicinity.
Gov. Pierpoint yesterday received a letter from Mason county, which contained the following good news from the Kanawha region. We extract as follows:
My accounts from the Kanwha convince me that the people, as a mass, are heartily sick of secession. Immediately on Gen. Cox’s arrival in Charleston the country people came in in great numbers with their rifles and threatened to burn the town, and it is said that Gen. Cox had to use his influence and power to prevent it. Several of the rabid secessionists have asked protection of Gen. Cox, and the General has placed guards about their houses. Cox offers protection indiscriminately. It is said that when Wise started on his retreat at least five hundred men refused to go with him, declaring that they would not leave their homes. Wise, finding that demoralization existed in his army made a virtue of necessity and permitted all to remain at home who wished.
With the remainder he pushed pushed [sic] on to Gauley Bridge and Lewisburg, Cox’s men in close pursuit. Our troops upon arriving at Gauley found the bridge burned. They encamped on this side. A detachment, however, obtained a skiff, crossed over and a short distance beyond found some 1,300 muskets that the enemy had left. They had also left a large quantity of bacon, which Gen. Cox distributed to the poor of the neighborhood. It appears also that many of his (Wise’s) men, whilst on the retreat deserted and took to the mountains and they are coming in hourly and surrendering themselves into the hands of our troops. It is said that at no time has Gen. Wise had over 3,700 troops in Charleston – most of which are from the Southern States. He met with poor success in Kanawha county. You may put her down in future as on our side and she will act with us, and there never will be any more secession troops in the valley unless brought there from the South. The Kanawha Sharp Shooters, as well as the Kanawha Riflemen, have disbanded and but few of them have followed Wise.
Yours, &c., L.
Since the above letter was in type we have received through a gentleman of this city another and later letter, containing the following advices:
KANAWHA RIVER, August 1, 1861.
Messrs. Editors – I am just returning from a trip to Charleston. I have on board Col Morton’s 21st Ohio regiment, three months men, now on their return home. – The Eunice has more people on her than ever before – at least 900 with equipage.
Gen. Cox has encamped at the mouth of Gawley and New river. Wise has gone about thirty miles further. His men have deserted in great numbers. Our troops got over 1,200 stand of arms that were left along the road, and a great deal of ammunition. He is leaving in double quick time, doing all the destruction he can.
Phillip Henry Moore was along. He came from Richmond with a commission as Major. They would not receive him. – They gave him a good cursing and let him slide. His military experience would not suit. Dr. Chaplin, John Knote, and a few others of our valuable citizens are not far from Gen. Cox. I think they will take the hint, and go farther South.
Mr. Ruffner had got home, and was in good spirits. Charleston has some strong Union men.
Quarrier, the Clerk of the Superior and also of the County Court, had received notice from Gov. Peirpoint about taking the oath. But, I am told, he will not take it. I think the Governor should give but little time for him to make up his mind. He is a secessor strong, but if the Government wins and Western Virginia successful, he will be satisfied to continue. So I think the sooner we get rid of such kind the better.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861