June 24, 1862
Guerrilla Raids into Randolph County—Two Men Killed and Others Wounded at a Militia Muster.—Highway Robberies.—Guerrilla parties have recently been perpetrating all sorts of outrages in Tucker, Randolph and adjoining counties. Last Saturday week, a number of loyal men met on Leading Creek, in Randolph county, to organize the militia under the restored government. Whilst thus engaged a mounted guerrilla party under command of one Bill Harbour, a notorious desperado rode down upon them suddenly and fired into the crowd. A good Union man named Whitman Ward was instantly killed, as was also a secessionist named Dr. Henshaw who happened to be present. Two or three others whose names we could not learn were wounded. The militiamen scattered and most of them escaped to the woods. Harbour and his cut-throats proceeded on down the creek, where they captured a prominent Union man named Benj. Farris. They then turned about and went through the mountains toward Pendleton county, taking with them about a dozen of the best horses in the neighborhood belonging to Union men. They took Farris with them for a dozen or more miles, when, after taking his horse, watch and money and abusing him pretty considerably they turned him loose and told him to find his way home.
On the Monday following, another party under Zeke Harbour, a brother of Bill’s, came down from the direction of the Dry Fork country, on a thieving expedition. Zeke stole a few horses and a lot of good and money from different parties, and then followed the mountain path taken by his illustrious brother.
About a week before the occurrences above noted, these two Harbours, who at that time had their forces united, made a raid into Randolph and Tucker counties and robbed the stores of a Mr. Mc[?]ain and a Mr. Hart, of a large lot of valuable goods and about $500 dollars in money. After this outrage, quite a number of secessionists in Randolph and Tucker, who were supposed to be giving aid and information to the guerrillas, were brought to this city and committed to the Atheneum.
A few weeks ago, as it is well known, the Federal soldiers, who have been stationed in the neighborhood of where these outrages were perpetrated, were removed, and the guerrilla parties took advantage of the absence of the troops to commit their raids. The Harbours are supposed to have a rendezvous up in the Dry Fork country, from which they operate in all directions, and in which, owing to the position of the Federal forces, they are comparatively secure. We learned yesterday, however, at the State Department that a portion of the Tenth Virginia Regiment, Colonel Harris, has been sent into Randolph and Tucker Counties and the men have been so disposed of to prevent the recurrence of any more raids.
June 25, 1862
The Guerrillas in Tucker County.--As an evidence of the terrible condition of things in Tucker County, we are permitted to publish the following letter received yesterday by Auditor Crane, from the Sheriff of that county:
June 21, 1862.
Mr. Samuel Crane, Auditor:
Enclosed you will find $110. I send it to you as fast as I can collect it, but I am sorry to say that I cannot collect any more unless I am protected by the military.--Our County is full of robbers who go by the name of secesh Guerrillas, from a party of which, I made my escape yesterday and am now at Rowlesburg. They are murdering our citizens and stealing our horses.--We do not know what to do. I hope you will release me for a while from collecting. On yesterday they took Washington G. Corrick and John Turner prisoners. They also took three horses. We will have to live in Rowlesburg for protection. We hope you will not forget us in this hour of peril. Show this to the Governor if you please and tell him to do something for us, and not let us perish by the hands of blood-thirsty secesh. They killed Whitman Ward last Saturday and wounded three others while engaged in mustering. Bill Harper is their Captain.
A. D. Moore.
If relief can possible be afforded to these people there should be as little delay as possible. There is no doubt but that the condition of things is quite as bad as represented.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: June 1862