Frank Moore, ed. Vol. 3. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1862
ATTACK ON SECESSIONISTS,
AT WAYNE COURT HOUSE, VA., AUGUST, 1861.
Perhaps nowhere in Western Virginia has there been a viler nest of secessionists than at Wayne Court House, the county town of the county, lying on the Kentucky line. Their leader, Ferguson, was some six weeks ago taken by Colonel Zeigler, of Camp Pierpont, and sent to Columbus, Ohio. This, however, did not abate in the least their acts of tyranny and oppression. We are glad now to report that the gang has been broken up and their leaders taken prisoners. On Saturday last, 24th of August, Captain Smith was detailed with fifty-three men from Camp Pierpont, which is at Ceredo, in Wayne County, now under command of Colonel Zeigler. Captain Smith and his men reached the Court House, a distance of twenty miles, about daylight on Sunday morning, and took possession of the place. Some of the troops went to the Court House and rang the bell, which appeared to be the signal for the rebels to rally. Eight of them answered to the call, running immediately to the Court House, when they were taken prisoners—among them Hurston Spurlock, their chief, also Jesse Spurlock, and Stephen Strother, who are leaders among the rebels. Captain Smith despatched a messenger for reinforcements on Sunday. Major Ralph Ormstead, with Captain McFadden’s company, and a part of Captain Kirk’s, with a portion of the cavalry, numbering in all ninety-eight men, went up as a reinforcement, arriving on Monday. Scouts were then sent out, and encountered the rebels about a mile from the Court House. Our cavalry heard the firing, and went to their assistance. When the rebels saw the cavalry they made a quick retreat. In the skirmish which took place our troops received no injury. Four rebels are supposed to be killed; wounded not known. On Tuesday morning the rebels renewed the attack, and kept it up until five o’clock in the evening, when they endeavored to retake the town. Our boys, however, returned their fire so thick and fast that they were repulsed, and glad to retreat. In their retreat they encountered Lieutenant-Colonel Calvin, who was advancing with supplies from Camp Pierpont, and were again repulsed. Rev. John C. Johnson was one of the prisoners taken, and we here remark that he has been one of the most violent in his efforts to incite this rebellion in our region, forgetting altogether that if he is a follower of his meek and lowly Master, his mission is one of peace. The officer who was in charge, having himself a high sense of the obligation which not only a gentleman, but especially one who professes to be a minister of the Gospel, should entertain, gave Johnson his liberty, on his parole of honor, the conditions of which were that he should not leave the town. He, however, regardless of his honor or his professed religion, left the place, and is, no doubt, now, with a violated oath, endeavoring to incite others to rebellion. Johnson’s horse, which is represented to be a very fine one, was, however, taken, and we trust it will be used by those who are not only true to their country, but true to their word and honor. Two other horses were taken, several guns, two drums, a set of gunsmith tools, &c. There being no particular advantage in holding the place, our troops returned to camp on Wednesday, with the loss of not one man or one wounded. There were eight prisoners brought into camp, three of whom were sent to Columbus; the remainder will be kept until Colonel Zeigler returns. He is now at Wheeling.
Castleburg (Ky.) Advocate, August 28.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1861