May 12, 1862
The Reported Capture of Major Trimble and His Men.—If the report of the capture of Major Trimble and one hundred of the 11th Virginia Regiment at Arnoldsburg in Calhoun county be true, the secesh have done a bold and brilliant thing which is almost equal to the Guyandotte affair. Lieut. Bell, of this city, Quartermaster of the 11th, left Arnoldsburg on Sunday night last. Just before Lieut. Bell’s departure, some people from the country had come into Arnoldsburg and reported that there were three hundred rebels up at the mouth of the Birch river. Major Trimble immediately started in the direction of the enemy with one hundred men, intending to march all night. The capture is said to have taken place some time on Tuesday last, and at the first fire five of Trimble’s men were killed. According to the reports, it would seem that the rebels, after capturing our men, came down and seized the Government stores at Arnoldsburg, at which point there was a large quantity of fixed ammunition. The rebels were in command of the notorious Perry Hays, and one Captain Kiger of Roane county.
Since writing the above we have received the Parkersburg Gazette, of Saturday, which announces the safety of Major Trimble and tells a somewhat different story. It appears that on Wednesday last, a gang numbering about 300, made a descent upon the town of Arnoldsburg, the county seat of Calhoun county, and succeeded in surprising and capturing the federal forces there, consisting of one company of Col. Rathbone’s 11th Virginia Regiment, under Lieut. Parrott, together with a large amount of ammunition, stores, &c. They then proceeded to Spencer, Roane county, it is reported, and took that place. Capt. Bakey’s company of the 11th Va. Was stationed there. Its fate is not yet known. The bushwhackers were commanded by Hays, Downs, and Silcott. Lieut. Parrott lost four men. On Thursday, Major Trimble, with 200 men, came into Arnoldsburg, retook the place and all who had been taken by the rebels, and moved on and retook Spencer, with all that was valuable. We learn that 18 rebels were killed and several wounded, with some prisoners.
On Friday morning the scouts from the 6th Va. Came in and reported Hays with 300 men marching down the west fork of Little Kanawha, toward Burning Spring.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1862