April 10, 1862
We publish in another place the proceedings of the meeting of the loyal citizens of the county, held at the Courthouse on Monday last, pursuant to the call published in our columns. Although the weather was unfavorable, the capacious court room was densely crowded with the substantial citizens of our county. In looking over the vast crowd we recognized the familiar features of many of our oldest and most prominent men in the community—men who would give character and weight to the deliberations of any assembly. The business of the meeting was conducted with the utmost decorum and good order, and nothing transpired to interfere in the least, with the harmonious feelings of all present. The resolution breath the light spirit, and though if we had seen their draftsmen, they would have gone a bow-shot farther, perhaps, in condemnation of the miserable milk and water policy that has been pursued by the United States authorities in reference to the treatment of rebels, we are willing to bow in deference to the opinions of our loyal brethren as therein expressed.
In his address to the people on last Monday, Mr. Polsley read from the code of Virginia the following law, to show, that all who aided in the infamous work of secession, in this state, were by plain letters of the law guilty of treason to the state, whether they were guilty of the same crime or not to the United States, and that their indictment in the Federal Court does not exempt them from prosecution and punishment by the Courts of the State, and more especially to show that all who have aided, by writing or speaking in the establishment of the so called Southern Confederacy, or who have encouraged or instigated other to do so, are liable to punishment by fine or imprisonment, and that is the duty of all conservators of peace to bring them to trial:
Treason shall consist only in levying war against the state, or adhereing [sic] to enemies, giving them aid and comfort, or establishing, without authority of the legislature, any government within its limits, separate from the existing government , or holding or executing, in such usurped government, any office, or protesting allegiance or fidelity to it, or resisting the execution of the laws, under color of its authority; and such treason it proved by the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or by confession in court, shall be punished with death.
2. If a free person, knowing of any such treason, shall not, as soon as may be, give information thereof to the governor, or some conservator of the peace, he shall be punished by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by confinement in the penitentiary not less than three nor more than five years.
3. If a free person attempt to establish any such usurped government, and commit any overt act therefor, or, by writing or speaking, endeavor to instigate others to establish such government, he shall be confined in jail not exceeding twelve months, and fined not exceeding one thousand dollars.
He also read from Chapter 201 of the following sections:
11. The county courts of the several counties and corporations of this commonwealth may, if they deem it advisable, after being summoned for that purpose, and a majority concurring therein appoint a special police force, to consist of not less than twelve suitable and discreet persons, who shall serve as such until others are appointed in their place by the court.
12. The court may at time remove any remove any or all of such police, and appointed others, may fill any vacancy that may occur in said police force, or may add to the number therein appointed.
13. The removal from the country in which he was appointed shall vacate the office of such person so appointed, or he may resign or decline the appointment, and thereupon the vacancy shall be filled by the court.
14. The jurisdiction and authorities of said police shall extend no farther than the limits of the country in which they are appointed; and a copy of the order of of appointment, made by the court, shall be in all cases, be received as evidence of their official character.
15. It shall be the duty of said special police so appointed, and they are hereby authorized to apprehend and convey, before a justice of the peace, to be dealt with accordingly to law, all persons whom they may be, by the warrant of a justice, directed to apprehend, or whom they have cause to suspect have violated the laws of the state, or intend so to do.
and advised the appointment of discreet persons as a county police, for the better preservation of the peace of the county.
And concluded by reading the follow-sections of the ordinance of June 19, 1861, authorizing the arrest and imprisonment or expulsion from the state of suspicious seditious persons by the Governor:
1. The Governor may cause to be apprehended and secured, or may compel to depart from this State, al suspicious subjects or citizens of any foreign State or Power at war with the United States
2. And whereas, the Convention at Richmond have declared the Union between the State of Virginia and the others states, under the Constitution of the United States, to be dissolved, and have attempted to transfer the allegiance of the People of this State to an illegal Confederacy of rebellious States, called the Confederate States of America; claiming that the State of Virginia and said Confederate States are rightfully, and in fact foreign States or Powers in reference to the United States: Now, therefore, all persons in the commonwealth adhearing [sic] to and supporting the said Convention at Richmond, or the said Confederate States, or professing to owe allegiance or obedience to the same, shall be deemed, (for the purpose of this Ordinance only,) subjects or citizens of a foreign State or Power at War with the United Satates[sic].
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: April 1862