May 2, 1862
Quite a number of the citizens of Upshur county, met at the Court House on Monday, the 21st of April, 1862, (it being court day,) for the purpose of expressing the sentiments of the people against guerrilla raids, &c.
On motion, E. J. Colerider, Esq., was called to the Chair, and N. B. Wamsley appointed Secretary.
On motion of Major D. D. T. Farnsworth, a committee of three from each magisterial district were appointed by the President, to draft resolutions for the action of the meeting.
The following gentlemen were appointed said committee: R. Fretwell, Watson Westfall, N. B. Wamsley, Alva Teter, Jacob Starcher, john Love, D. D. T. Farnsworth, henry F. Westfall, F. Berlin, E. G. Burr, and E. Leonard.
The committee retired, and N. H. Taft, Esq., being called upon, addressed the meeting in an able and eloquent speech upon the crisis of the times. After which the committee reported resolutions for the action of the meeting.
Dr. D. S. Pinnell then moved that the meeting do adjourn to meet on Saturday, the 26th inst.; the object of which was, that, if possible, all persons and parties might be present and take action on the reported resolutions, and all other matters pertaining to the protection of the people. So the meeting adjourned.
Saturday, April 26th.
The people met en masse.. The meeting was called to order by the President, E. J. Colerider.
The object of the meeting was fully and ably explained by Dr. D. S. Pinnell.
The preamble and resolutions were then read:
Whereas, We are now in the midst of an unholy rebellion, inaugurated and prosecuted by those who are known as secessionists, who without the fear of God or love of country, with hearts thirsting for the blood of their neighbors, who stand firm for his country and constitutional liberty—the same country that gave them birth, and to which they once professed to be true, but are now seeking its overthrow, banding themselves together in guerrilla mobs for the purpose of rapine and murder, governed by no law of war, nor by the common decency that should characterize the most degraded of our race. And whereas, we believe that many such as those who fled from their homes without cause, and with malice and cursings in their hearts against those who have stood firm for their country, have banded themselves together, commissioned by that foul traitor who was once Governor of Virginia, and in obedience to his fiendish purposes, are taking the lives and property of the true and loyal citizens: Therefore
Resolved, That those who are acting as guerrillas, regardless of all law, should perish without law.
2nd. That those in our midst who aid or abet, by harboring, counseling, helping them on their way through our country, or who are known to their murderous designs, by keeping their secrets, or in any way conniving at, or acting with such guerrilla bands, will be regarded in the same light and should meet the same fate.
3. That those whose acts and sympathies have been with this unholy rebellion, but who now desire to live in our midst, professing to be true and loyal, and in many cases confirming the same with an oath—of all such their faith must be proved by their works.
4. That it will be required of all who wish to be restored to the confidence of the loyal, that they must in all cases where required, bear arms in defence of the Constitution and flag of our country.
5. That those in our midst who wish to remain neutral, refusing to act in consert [sic] with the friends of law and order, should be judged by that golden rule, that “they who are not for us are against us.”
6. That we regard the supremacy of the Constitution the hope of our country. To it will we cling, and by the laws under it do we desire every wrong to be redressed.
7. That the loyal citizens of Upshur county will hold those who sympathize or act with the rebellion, responsible in person and property for every guerrilla raid made in the county.
8. That the time ahs fully come when the chaff must be separated from the wheat, and in view of the objects of this meeting in the suppression of guerrilla mobs, and the restoration of that peace and order which we must and will have, that a Vigilance Committee of twelve true and loyal men of our county be appointed by this meeting, who, in connection with the civil and military powers, shall use all honorable means for the speedy consummation of our determined purposes, and that we, the citizens of the county of Upshur, pledge ourselves, each to the other, with our lives, our fortunes and sacred honor, that guerrilla raids shall be put down.
After the reading of the preamble and resolutions, spirited and pointed speeches were made by D. D. T. Farnsworth, D. S. Pinnell and others until all fully understood the object of the meeting and resolutions, which were adopted by an overwhelming vote, and on motion of Dr. D. S. Pinnell, they were unanimously adopted. After which D. D. T. Farnsworth offered and supported with appropriate remarks the following resolution which was unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That we appreciate the faithful efforts of Governor Peirpoint in the fearless discharge of his duty in the dark and perilous times through which we have passed.
The meeting then proceeded to appoint the following persons to act as the Vigilance Committee created by the 8th resolution: Aquilla Osburn, N. B. Wamsley, Jas. Keesling, John Love, Alva Teter, Lewis Karachkoff, John J. Reger, Asbel Cutright, Wm. H. Williams, John W. Armstrong, Adolphus Brooks, and Martin Burr.
On motion [of] D. D. T. Farnsworth, the proceedings were ordered to be signed by the President and Secretary, and forwarded to the Wheeling Intelligencer for publication, with the request that all other loyal papers in West Virginia copy.
On motion the meeting adjourned.
E. J. Colerider, President.
N. B. Wamsley, Secretary.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: April 1862