Meeting in Malden
June 19, 1862
Meeting in Malden
At an adjourned meeting of a portion of the citizens of the Kanawha county, held at Malden, on the 7th of June, 1862, for the purpose of taking into consideration the means most effectual to secure their interests and safety, and to promote the Union cause in Kanawha county it was:
Resolved, That the war, which is now desolating our country was not inaugurated by those engaged in the rebellion, on account of the withholding by the General Government from any section of the country any Legitimate of Constitutional right to which such section was entitled.
But that it was the result of the machinations of a set of unprincipled and selfish politicians, who sought to break down and destroy our Government, for the purpose of promoting their own selfish and wicked ends. Therefore, we hold as the sense of this meeting, and the Union sentiment of Kanawha county, that, however much we may deplore the state of war that is now upon us, and however much we may desire the blessings of peace.
That any compromise or settlement of our difficulties founded upon any other basis than an unconditional surrender on the part of those engaged in the rebellion, and an unqualified acknowledgment of the supremacy of the Constitution of the United States, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, would be disgraceful and humiliating, and that no proposition on the part of the insurgents, short of such acknowledgement, should be entertained by either the civil or military authorities of the United States.
Resolved 2. That we have the entire confidence in the power of the efficiency of the reorganized and restored Government of Virginia, as vindicated and restored by the convention that assembled at Wheeling, on the 11th day of June, 1862, for the establishment of law and order throughout the Commonwealth, and pledge ourselves to give it, as well as the loyal officers and agents appointed, our most cordial and hearty support.
Resolved 3. That we most heartily indorse[sic], so far as has come within our knowledge, the official course of our worthy Executive, F.H. Pierpoint, Esq., of the county of Marion particularly the sentiments contained in his Address to the people of Virginia, of the 12th of May 1862. We believe that he is the right man in the right place:
Resolved 4. That, believing as we do, that very many deluded persons who have been seduced and persuaded by the false representations of their leaders to join in the rebellion, and many others who have been forced to do so, would be glad of the opportunity to lay down their arms and become loyal citizens – acknowledging their error, and give security for future good conduct. Such persons we are at all time willing to receive among us, upon indubitable evidence of the sincerity of their professions; and will give them such protection, in all their rights, as citizens as may be at our command upon their taking the oath of fidelity to the Constitution of the United States, and to the restored government of Virginia, and acting in accordance with such oaths.
Resolved 5. That we find to our regret, that there are persons in our midst who have been active participants in the war against the Government of the United States and against the loyal and peaceful citizens of this valley, who finding their case a hopeless one, availing themselves to the clemency thus extended by the Government, have returned amongst us and retaken the oath of fidelity to the Constitution which they have ineffectually attempted to annihilate and destroy – who seem so far as can be judged by their actions and words, not only entirely to disregard their obligations and oaths to support the Government, but by the manifestations too palpable to be misunderstood, to prove that their hospitality to the Government and to the loyal citizens thereof, has not abated in the smallest degree, and warrant the conclusion that they would again, notwithstanding the oath taken and retaken, give all the aid in their power to the enemies of the country, did a favorable opportunity present itself. To such persons we would say, that their presence among us is not desired, and hope they will find it convenient to find a residence elsewhere; and we may further say to such as may intend to avail themselves of the clemency of our Government and return among us, if you intend, after laying down your arms and taking the oath of allegiance, to retain your hostility, make common cause the enemies of the county, and vilify and traduce Union men, and talk and propagate sentiments of treason in our midst, regardless of the solemn oaths you have taken, we advise and warn you not to come among us.
When you take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, we expect you to keep it. Treason against the Government cannot expect protection at our hands.
Resolved 6. That the barbarous and disgraceful action of the guerilla warfare carried on in this and adjoining counties, the legitimate result of the advice and the recommendation of the rebel pretended Governor of Virginia, at Richmond, is a disgrace to the age in which we live, and should be visited with summary punishment upon all found engaged therein; and believing, as we do, that such a system of barbarity could not be carried on without the aid and convenience of resident sympathizers and abet---(?) the neighborhoods where it is practiced, therefore we are determined, and hereby warning, that the aid of the military authorities and abettors personally responsible for any and all crimes and robberies that may be committed in their neighborhoods by such guerillas bands.
Resolved 7. That we pledge ourselves, as loyal Union men and law abiding citizens, to assist (to the extent and power which God and nature have given us) the legally constituted authorities, both civil and military, in carrying out the principles of the foregoing resolutions.
Resolved, That it is due our worthy friends M.P. Wyatt and Charles Levans, and their families, that every effort in our power be made to secure their release from the loathsome prisons where they have been confined for eight months or more, for their Union sentiments. – Therefore, we recomend[sic] that hostages, suitable to effect the object desired, be taken from among the rebel sympathizers in the neighborhood from where they were taken, and held and confined in prison, until they are released, and that our military authorities respectfully requested to carry out this authorities to carry out this resolution, or take such other measures as may be effectual in securing the object of this resolution.
Resolved, That copies of these resolution be furnished the editors of Kanawha Republican, Weekly Register, and Wheeling papers, with the request to copy them into their respective papers.
THOMAS SCOTT, Chairman.
L.A. Martin Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: June 1862