August 21, 1861
An Outrageous State of Affairs.—A Mr. Doty, from the town of Spencer, the county seat of Roane county, Virginia, reached the city yesterday for the purpose of soliciting aid in men and arms to help the Union men of that county. Mr. Doty says that people residing in civilized communities can have no conception of the inhuman outrages which the Union men of Roane county have been compelled to suffer. On Friday week the secessionists surrounded the little town of Spencer, and forced the Union men, and about forty in number into the court house with their arms. The rebels approached very cautiously, and although they numbered not less than two hundred, few of them cared about coming within gun shot of the small band of besieged patriots. A young man named Boone, a most estimable person, who was with the Union party, went up in the cupola of the court house to make observations, and whilst doing so was shot and instantly killed by the rebels. Three of the rebels were killed in return, when they retreated into the woods, not, however, until they had stolen everything of a portable nature belonging to the Union men of the town. Mr. Doty, who carries on the business of tanning, lost everything he had. They even hooked his untanned leather up but of the vats in his tan yard and carried it off. In the yard there were several green hides which the scoundrels fortunately could not find. When Mr. D. left for this city some four or five days ago he brought [?] hides with him, and has them to show as the result of thirty or forty years industry. He is going back as soon as he completes his business here, being determined to see the thing through. The Union men have been so persecuted and robbed that they have become perfectly desperate, have generally sent their families away and are determined to prosecute the war to the bitter end.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1861