February 6, 1862
The Supper at Washington Hall—How it Passed Off.—The supper given last evening, at Washington Hall, by the Citizens of Wheeling to the members of the Legislature and the Constitutional Convention, was a most agreeable affair. Arrangements were made to accommodate about two hundred and fifty persons. In the edible way the variety was great and everything palatable. The guests assembled about half past 9 o’clock. Grace was said by Rev. Gordon Battelle,
When dire was the clang of plates, of knife and fork.
That merciless fell like a tommahawks [sic] to work.
The Union Brass Band was present, and enlivened the entertainment by some excellent music, appropriately intersperced [sic] in the proceedings.
1.The Constitution of the United States. Col. Smith responded. He said nothing could strike his affections more thoroughly than this. Of all the things in this world he loved, the two things he loved most were his wife and Union. He was educated under the constitution. It was infused into his blood and he loved it from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet. It remained for the people of the United States to inaugurate Constitutional Government. It was native born. Like Minerva springing from the head of Jupiter, the Constitution came out almost perfect. For its brevity it was remarkable and for its lucid terms it was equally so. Every single part of it lays down a principle and there is no difficulty in understanding it.
Col. Smith continued at some length, and was was [sic] loudly applauded.
2. The Union it must and shall be preserved.
Major McPhail responded. He could well recollect when his youthful heart first beat responsively to this sentiment, and had never ceased to beat, for it was beating here to-night. “The Union must and shall be preserved.” Why? It should be preserved if for no other reason than it was cemented by the blood of our fathers.
Major Phail made an earnest and eloquent speech which was enthusiastically received.
3. The President of the United States.
Hon. P. G. Van Winkle responded. He said he did not choose to screen himself by assuming that the office and not the man, was toasted. Mr. Lincoln has declared that the Constitution shall be his guide. He has been the President of the whole country. He had such a reverence for the Constitution, that he considered it almost as great a crime to destroy that instrument as to destroy the country. We owe a sacred duty to this President of the United States. We should stand by the President, who stands by us and the country. Mr. Van Winkle believed in prosecuting this war until rebellion is crushed out.
4. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the United States.
Gen. Rosecrans responded. He referred to the responsible position occupied by Gen. McClellan. As a scholar, he was remarkable for the clearness of his conception and the smoothness of his demonstrations. He had lost no confidence in Gen. McClellan. There had been delays, but the delays were more disastrous to the en- [sic] enemy than to us.
6. The Congress of the United States.
Hon. Sherrard Clemans [sic] responded.
He said there was a time when rebellion might have succeeded. That time had gone by forever. The rebels were like a woman who hesitated and was lost. Mr. Clemens proceeded in an eloquent strain making a characteristic response to the toast.
6. The Army and Navy of the United States.
Capt. Charles Lieb responded.
7. The Volunteer Soldiery of the United States.
Gen. Kelly responded.
8. The Memory of Washington.
(Pledged in silence.)
9. The old Flag, and the Heroes of ’76.
Gen. Schenck responded.
10. The Commonwealth of Virginia.
Gov. Pierpoint responded.
11. The Constitutional Convention of Virginia.
Messrs. Hall and Brown responded.
12. The Legislature of Virginia.
Speaker Front responded.
We regret exceedingly that owing to the lateness of the hour at which the party broke up, we are compelled to be provokingly brief.
February 7, 1862
Crumbs from the Late Banquet.—We present this morning a number of the volunteer toasts given and responded to at the Banquet on Wednesday evening. We could not give these toasts yesterday morning for the reason that the festive board ran nearly all night.
Speaker Fast [sic] in concluding his response to the toast: The Legislature of Virginia—gave the following:
Citizens and soldiers—members of the Convention and Legislature—may they ever be united in the spirit of good fellowship as they are upon this occasion.
Auditor Crane responded to this making the soundest Union speech of the evening.
By Major McPhail.
The Pan Handle—the stick which broke Secessions back bone in Virginia.
By Andrew Flesher:
Wheeling, the Loyal City—The only spot in Western Virginia where loyal citizens could meet, when rebellion and war threatened our destruction. There we met and devised means for our safety and the protection of our glorious Union.
By C. D. Hubbard.
West Virginia—“Westward the star of empire takes its say,” and whether her future shall brighten the pathway of an Independent State, or relight the waning glory of the Old Dominion, may her star ever be in the ascendant.
By Dr. J. C. Hupp:
The Army—May its heel speedily crush the rattlesnake’s head, and its arms be strong to muzzle the Lion.
By Dr. A. S. Todd:
To Dead of Our Army.—Honor to the memory of our brave and loyal officers and soldiery who have fallen in defence of our glorious Union; may their names be preserved, their hardships remembered, and their memories cherished by every lover of his country.
To Memory of the Martyrs of the Union—Baker, Ellsworth, Lyons, and others, compatriots that fell battling for the glorious stars and stripes.
By Dr. Watson, of Accomac, a member of the Virginia Senate:
Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall, the direct, and Accomac and Northampton, the reverse Pan Handle of Virginia—Secession has brought the two together in spite of all the chicanery of parties and politics.
By E. R. Hall, Esq.:
The American Flag—Whenever the sword shall be stricken from the hand which lifted it against the Union, the terrors of despotic power will vanish from the land, and grateful eyes will turn in tears to greet the unfortunate banner of the Republic.
By W. F. Peterson:
The Noble State of Kentucky—Her brave men and fair women. God bless them.
By Gen. Rosecrans:
To the Citizens of Wheeling in the person of their loyal Mayor.
Mayor Sweeney, who acted as Chairman, responded to this, alluding to the difficulties through which the city has passed, and how she had come bravely out of them.
By Gov. Peirpoint:
The Merchants of Wheeli[n]g—The first to give a practical earnest of their determination to resist secession, by refusing in April last to pay.
Responded to by Dr. Logan.
By Jas. T. Close, Senator from Alexander:
Here is to Virginia, “Old Virginia,” like woman, with all her faults I love her still.
By G. S. Miner.
“Our Country first, our glory and our pride--
Land of our hope, land where our Fathers died;
When in the right we’ll keep they honor bright
When in the wrong, we’ll die to set thee right.
Mr. Miner then quoted the following from “Lalla Rookh” upon the doom of the traitor.
Oh for a tongue to curse the Slave
Whose treason, like a deadly blight,
Comes o’er the councils of the brave
And blasts them in their hour of might;
May Life’s unblessed cup for him
Be drugged with treacheries to the brim
With hopes that but allure to fly
With joys that vanish while he sips
Like dead sea fruits that tempt the eye
But turn to ashes on the lips!
His countries curse, his children’s shame
Outcast of virtue, peace, and fame
May he, at last, with lips of flame
On the parched desert thirsting die--
While lakes that shone in mockers nigh,
Are fading off, untouched, untasted,
Like the once glorious hopes he boasted
And, when from earth his spirit flies
Just Prophet, let the damn’d one dwell
Full in the sight of Paradise,
Beholding heaven, and feeling hell.
Mr. Miner then compared the Hall where the Western Virginia first Convention met (Washington Hall) to Independence Hall running an appropriate parallet.
It was half past 2 o’clock before the banquet hall was deserted.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1862