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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
August 1861


August 1

August 2

August 3
Having been appointed to command of Confederate forces in western Virginia, General Robert E. Lee arrived at Huttonsville on August 3. He remained in the western Virginia regions until the end of October.

August 4

August 5
Three secessionist judges were removed from office in Marion County after attempting to hold court.

August 6
As stipulated at the close of its previous session in June, the Second Wheeling Convention re-convened on August 6, 1861.

Also on that day, a Union meeting was held in Ritchie County, and Confederate generals Henry A. Wise and John B. Floyd met at White Sulphur Springs.

August 7
At the meeting of the Second Wheeling Convention, a committee on the division of the state was appointed.

Confederate soldiers from Floyd's Brigade passed through Lewisburg and encamped four miles outside of town.

August 8
At the meeting of the Second Wheeling Convention, John Carlile of Harrison County spoke at length on his resolutions to create a separate state. Chapman J. Stewart, also of Harrison, spoke as well, stating "I think hasty or premature action at this time would embarrass the General Government in putting down this rebellion, and place us in a worse attitude even than we are in at present."

August 9
The Second Wheeling Convention declared all proceedings of the Virginia Secession Convention to be null and void.

August 10
A group of secessionists at St. Mary’s were disarmed by unionist troops.

The Second Wheeling Convention refused to admit Jonathan Roberts of Fairfax County to a seat at the convention.

August 11
General Floyd assumed command in the Kanawha Valley.

August 12
Charles J. Faulkner of Martinsburg, who served as minister to France under President James Buchanan, was arrested in Washington, charged with negotiating arms sales for the Confederacy while in France. Faulkner was not released until December, when he was exchanged for a New York congressman captured by Confederates.

The Second Wheeling Convention considered ordinances on collection of public revenue and punishment of certain offenses.

August 13
A skirmish reportedly took place near Grafton.

Also on August 13, an ordinance for division of the State of Virginia was presented to the Second Wheeling Convention by the Committee on a Division of the State.

August 14
Joseph A. J. Lightburn of Lewis County was appointed colonel of the 4th (West) Virginia Infantry.

The Second Wheeling Convention considered substitutes to the report of the Committee on a Division of the State.

August 15
The Second Wheeling Convention continued discussion of the proposed division of the state.

August 16
John S. Carlile addressed the Second Wheeling Convention on the division of the state.

Also on the 16th, secessionists surrounded Spencer, forcing Union men into the courthouse. A union man was killed while in the cupola.

August 17
At the Second Wheeling Convention, members considered various amendments to the ordinance on the division of the state.

August 18
Colonel Turner Ashby arrived at Bolivar with 200 troops and clashed with a Union detachment.

Federal soldiers crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown and destroyed a mill owned by Alexander R. Boteler.

August 19
A Compromise Committee was chosen at the Second Wheeling Convention to address issues on the ordinance on the division of the state.

August 20
By a vote of 48 to 27, the Second Wheeling Convention adopted the ordinance to form the new State of Kanawha subject to the vote of qualified voters in the new state’s proposed boundaries.

Also on August 20, Federal troops on a scouting expedition near Beverly were fired on by a force of rebels.

Federal and Confederate forces skirmished at Hawk’s Nest and Laurel Fork Creek in Fayette County.

August 21
Captain John W. Sprague of the 7th Ohio was captured by Confederates near Sutton.

The Second Wheeling Convention adjourned after hearing the closing remarks of Arthur Boreman.

August 22
John W. Overman was taken prisoner by the Rockbridge Cavalry in Hardy County, accused of being a Union spy. Overman denied that he was a Union man.

August 23

August 24

August 25
A skirmish took place near Piggot’s Mill in Fayette County that resulted in the routing of Confederate cavalry troops led by Col. Albert Gallatin Jenkins.

Federal troops from Ceredo took Wayne Court House and arrested several rebels.

August 26
Seventh Ohio Regiment troops under Col. Erastus B. Tyler were badly defeated at Kesler’s Cross Lanes by Confederates under Gen. John B. Floyd in an action also known as the Battle of the Knives and Forks.

Union and rebel forces skirmished near Wayne Court House.

August 27
Rebels attempted to retake Wayne Court House but were repulsed by Federals who took several prisoners.

By Proclamation on August 27, Restored Governor Francis Pierpont declared vacant the positions of office holders who refused to take the oath of office for the reorganization of the state. An election for those positions was scheduled for September 27, 1861.

August 28
The First (West) Virginia Regiment was mustered out in Wheeling.

August 29

August 30
Jacob Swietzer, John Goshorn, Eugene Zane, and three other secessionists were arrested in Wheeling.

August 31
General Floyd sent messages to General Wise informing him that the enemy had abandoned Gauley Bridge and were advancing on him.

The Federal Court in Clarksburg met on August 31, and during the session 114 secessionists were indicted. Following the session the court moved on to Wheeling for a session scheduled on September 6.

Undated Events, August 1861


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood

West Virginia Archives and History