Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
August 7, 1861

Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 18, 1861

From Western Virginia.

[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]

Lewisburg, Va., Aug. 8, 1861.

Gen. Floyd's Brigade passed through this place yesterday morning. The present encampment is four miles beyond Lewisburg, where he will remain for the present. A portion of the mercenary forces are now encamped near Ganley Bridge, and the people are anxious to see them driven from our soil.--In order to assure you of the fact that the people here do not intend to tamely submit to invasion, without, at least, an effort to resist it, I will state that when it was ascertained that Gen. Wise had been ordered to fall back east of this place, the militia of the counties of Greenbrier and Monroe were at once called out, for the purpose of defending our mountain passes, and you may depend upon it every inch of ground would have been disputed with the Hessians by our brave mountain boys had an attempt been made to advance into this country. The turn-out on the part of the militia was quite creditable to them.

During the present war, your correspondent has seen various divisions of the Confederate army, and has seen a number of the best regiments in the service; but he has yet to see any that can surpass General Floyd's Brigade. It is composed of the best material : large and able bodied men, well-drilled and disciplined, and admirably equipped for service : especially the cavalry.

In speaking of the conduct of Colonel Gordon's Regiment, in the capture of Sherman's battery, in my last letter, it was stated in the caption as the 21st. It should have been printed the 27th Regiment. Since writing my last, one of the members of Captain Dennis' company, Joseph Gilkeson, who was wounded in the engagement, has died. In speaking of his conduct on the field of battle, Captain Dennis, in a letter, says:

"All who were in the fight acted manly and bravely. Never did men show truer courage. For two hours our regiment lay behind a battery, to support and protect it; during this time the shell, cannon, rifle, and musket balls fell around us thick and fast : shell burst in the air over us. In this position, several were killed. Finally, the command was given to charge upon the enemy, and we rushed forward most gallantly. In the charge our regiment behaved most gallantly. Perhaps it would not be proper for me to speak of my own command, but the public must pardon me for saying that in every sense they did their duty : charging up to the cannon's month, and aiding in capturing six pieces, which are said to be a part of Sherman's famous battery. I must say that Corporal Joseph W. Gilkeson in this charge won for himself laurels that can never perish. When the flag-bearer of the regiment had been shot, Joe seized the flag, rushed forward in front of the regiment and planted it upon the enemy's cannon, and called upon the men to rally around it. In a few moments he fell, shot in three places, one ball breaking his leg. Lying on the ground on his back, with his broken limb, he still waved the flag over his head, and encouraged on the men."

The weather has been oppressively warm here for more than a week past : the thermometer ranging as high as 95 degrees, which is unusual for this climate.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1861

West Virginia Archives and History