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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
September 1, 1861


Gallipolis Journal
September 12, 1861

DETAILS OF THE BOONE COURT HOUSE FIGHT.—The pilot of the Government steamer Silver Lake furnishes the Steubenville Herald with the following account of the rebel defeat at Boone Court House, Va.:

Col. Guthrie, the commanding officer at Charleston, having heard of a regularly organized band of rebels, numbering from four to six hundred men, whose headquarters were at or near the above named place, sent a detachment under Capt. Wheeler, of the Ohio 26th, for the purpose of routing them. The party consisted of companies B and D, 4th Virginia; company A, 1st Kentucky, and company G of the 26th Ohio regiment.

They left Charleston on Friday evening, and after a fatiguing march of thirty-five miles, over high hills and deep ravines, reached a hill overlooking the village of Boone, on Sunday morning, September 1st.

Here they were joined by the Home Guard, who were being unofficered[sic], the command was assigned to Corporal Nolan, with orders to advance and if possible, draw the enemy’s fire. He was then to fall back on the main body. The first part of the order was obeyed to the letter, but when it came to the falling back, the Virginians would not budge an inch in that direction. They had had so many indignities heaped upon them by the overbearing Secessionists, when they had not the power to resent them, and now, having an opportunity to settle old scores, they were not inclined to let a chance slip. Capt. Wheeler, finding his plan of flanking the enemy frustrated by the obstinacy of the Virginians, sounded the advance, and down the hill like an avalanche charged Company G, with Capt. Rook at their head, to the great astonishment of the Seceshers, who had not supposed there was United States soldier nearer than the banks of the Kanawha. They did not stop to see how many were coming, but at once took their heels, and such tall running as was done by those F.F.V.’s, has never been seen since the race between Gildersleeve and the American Deer.

Thirty five of their number are known to be killed, and five taken prisoners. The loss on our side was none killed and six wounded. Corporal Nolan received a severe but not fatal wound in the breast. A private who was carrying a small Union flag, was fired at from a house as the troops were marching through the town, the ball passing through both legs. This so fired the soldiers that they concluded to fire the town, which was accordingly done, and an hour later the village of Boone was among the things that were, every house in it, including the courthouse and jail, being burned to the ground.

Among the things captured are twenty-two horses and a considerable quantity of arms, consisting of flint-lock muskets, double-barrel shotguns, and rifles.

On the return of the troops they were met at a place called Peytona, twelve miles north of Boone, by a party of ladies, who had formed themselves into a company of Union Home Guards. The boys lent them their muskets, and they were put through the facings by one of the officers, who speaks very highly of their proficiency in drill. The boys, after giving nine hearty cheers for the patriotic ladies of Peytona, took up their line of march for Charleston, and are now on board this boat, together with the prisoners, wounded and contrabands, on their way to camp.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
September 6, 1861

Boone Court-House, Va.

Boone county Court-House, near which the fight occurred on Sunday last, and which was subsequently burned by the Federal troops, was a small village, situated on Little Coal River, two hundred and forty miles, in a direct line west from Richmond. The surrounding country is very sparsely settled. The county of Boone is a new one, or at least formed within a few years past, and is in the Southwest part of Virginia. It is bounded on the Northeast by Coal River, and influent of the Kanawha, and also drained by Little Coal River and Laurel Creek. It was formed out of Logan and Kanawha counties, and named in honor of Daniel Boone, the renowned pioneer of the West.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
September 9, 1861

A skirmish in western Virginia.

The Southwestern Times gives the following account of a skirmish in Boone county, Va., of which the Federalists have published the most exaggerated statements:

On Saturday, the 31st ult., a skirmish between a small Union force and about a dozen Secessionists took place near Boone C. H., in which two of the latter were wounded, and two or three horses were shot. The Secessionists retreated to the Court-House and being very bloody and bearing their wounded with them, produced a very great excitement in the village. The Unionists were reported to be advancing on the town, and the Secessionists expected to retire to an island near by and await reinforcements. Appeals for assistance had been made to the neighboring counties. The object of the Unionists was to retake two Union captains confined at Boone. They were, however, sent to Logan jail, from whence, if they escape the hands of an excited people, they will be sent East.


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

West Virginia Archives and History