March 17, 1862
The Rockingham Register has some further particulars of the raid of two hundred Hessians and Virginia traitors into Pendleton county, Virginia, on the 1st of March. The letter, a portion of which we copy, is dated March 7th:
They took a portion of Captain Lance's company prisoners, and captured about 15 private citizens. They also took off 75 head of horses, and destroyed a considerable amount of other personal property. Had the fiends of hell been let loose, and permitted to visit the county, they could not have done worse than these devils incarnate have done. The infamous robber, Georges R. Latham, with his company of Taylor county marauders and horse-thieves, was along; and old John Snider, with his Swamp Dragoons, was also along, and the rest were Ohioans.
Major George Jackson, commandant or this post, with about thirty of the Charlotte Cavalry, promptly went to meet the invaders, but did but little in consequence of their superior numbers. About twenty-five of the "Dixie Boys" met in the mountains and fired a few rounds, but with what effect we have not learned. The gallant "Tom Powers," their leader, was killed; also a young man by the name of Bland.
They threaten next time to come and burn Franklin.
On the evening of the 4th instant, the 31st Virginia Regiment, and a part of the 44th, left Camp Alleghany under command of Col. Wm. L. Jackson, and reached Franklin on the following evening, a distance of 40 miles in twenty four hours! but the blackhearted scoundrels had left. All the men of the gallant 31st were anxious to meet the enemy. They returned this morning to their own camp,--both officers and men seemingly greatly dissatisfied in having to leave without inflicting summary punishment upon the infamous, contemptible vandals of modern times.
The Charlotte Cavalry are a brave and chivalrous body of men, but a large number have re- enlisted and gone home on furloughs. The gallant boys of the 31st will all re-enlist of the war.
It gives us pleasure to state that the women of the border counties are almost universally true and loyal to the South in the present struggle, and will do their duty like patriots whenever opportunity offers. The Rockingham Register has the following illustration of the fact:
The late Yankee raid into the neighboring county of Pendleton elicited some of the pluck and spirit of the ladies over there. They attempted to enter the residence of Solomon Hederick, Esq., at the mouth of Seneca, when Mrs. Hederick and her daughter, a young woman, drove them back, with no other weapons but an axe and a pitchfork! Mrs. H. used the axe with effect upon the skull of a Hessian, and the daughter ran the pitchfork into an eye of one of the cowardly scamps.--After this cordial greeting on the part of the gentle-women of the house, the rascals left, and after getting reinforcements, returned and valorously knocked down the doors and broke out the windows with their bayonets. Brave fellows! A dozen good women from the "State of Pendleton" would whip a regiment of such cowardly villains.
The reception of the Yankee invaders and thieves by the male population of the county was also very spirited and determined. Gray haired men, boys, and even negroes, who had no arms but rocks and brickbats, promptly rallied to the defence of the people of the North Fork, declaring that no Yankee should set and keep his foot on the soil of Pendleton county. No wonder that with such a cordial reception on the part of the people of Pendleton the vandals were suddenly seized with a desire to retire!
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1862