September 24, 1861
THE NOTORIOUS ZACH COCHRAN KILLED. – On Saturday last a company of men, under Lieut.-Col. Kelley, went out from Grafton to the house of Zach. Cochran, in Taylor county, for the purpose of arresting him. Cochran’s house was surrounded by the soldiers, observing which he attempted to escape by running out at the back door, when he was shot down and instantly killed. It will be remembered that Cochran was the Secession Sheriff out there and has been attempting to collect taxes for the Richmond government, and trying to intimidate the people, forcibly taking guns from Union men and carrying on generally.
We learn that on Saturday last about fifty Secessionists were captured in the vicinity of Boothsville, Marion county, and taken to Grafton.
September 26, 1861
More About the Killing of Cochran.
Grafton, Va. – Sept. 24, 1861.
Editors Intelligencer – The vicinity of Boothsville was the scene of quite an interesting affair last Saturday afternoon. Zach Cochran, with his Guerrilla band, had been threatening the lives of the Union men thereabouts, whereupon Lieutenant- Colonel Kelley was ordered to proceed to Boothsville with one company of infantry and one of cavalry, for the purpose of cleaning out the desperadoes that have infested the neighborhood for some time.
He arrived at Boothsville, with Captain Snider’s company of the Seventh Virginia, about two o’clock Saturday morning, and surrounded the town, preventing the egress of any person by which old Zach might learn the condition of things. About ten o’clock, A. M., Capt. Snider and Lieut. Elliott, in command of separate detachments, started in different directions for Cochran’s house. They surrounded it and closed in gradually. Cochran, upon discovering the net that was forming for his especial benefit, tried the stampede movement, and disregarding the summons to halt, was fired upon by two men and instantly killed. Two prisoners were taken at his house with arms.
Cochran had in his possession when he fell a Yager rifle, such as the Mississippi rebels are armed with, thus affording strong presumptive evidence of his having been in the rebel army; also a large bowie knife, a barbarous weapon, peculiar to the South.
Capt. J. L. McGee’s cavalry joined the force at Boothsville on Sunday morning.
Six prisoners were brought in by Lieut. Col. Kelley who returned last night.
Capt. Snider is still at Boothsville, and will stay there several days.
It is now believed that quiet will reign in that neighborhood, as the secessionists came in by squads yesterday and took the oath of allegiance. They seem to be willing to attest their devotion to the Union that their lives may be safe; the death of Cochran apparently satisfying them that the Union troops had come to the conclusion that there is a point beyond which forbearance is not a virtue.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1861