August 5, 1862
The noble little county of Hancock is bearing the palm thus far in the enlistment business. Last Saturday a great meeting was held up there at New Manchester, the county seat, at which from 1,500 to 2,000 people were present. It was the largest gathering we ever say, either in Brooke or Hancock, and citizens told us it eclipsed anything they had known for many years. And the number was not the most significant feature of the meeting, either. Its enthusiasm, devotion, unity and resolution exceeded any meeting, we suppose, that has been held thus far in any of our counties, unless, perhaps, it was meeting in Monongalia.
The scene of this patriotic assemblage was in a beautiful little piece of woods near New Manchester, where the committee of arrangements had provided seats, a speakers’ stand, flags, a brass band from Steubenville, and all the trimmings and accoutrements of a large mass meeting.—Carriages, buggies, wagons and vehicles of every description thronged the woods, and the people on horseback and foot come in from along the dusty roads in all directions. The day was a charming one for a meeting, there being quite a breeze afloat.
At two o’clock the large assemblage was called to order by the election of John Atkinson, Esq., as Chairman, and D. S. Nicholson as Secretary. Prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr. Cowell, the Methodist Minister of new Manchester. George McC. Porter, John Gardner, Rev. J. S. Pomeroy and J. H. Cochran were appointed a committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.
After this organization the meeting was successively addressed by Campbell Tarr, (the State Treasurer,) Auditor Crane, A. W. Campbell, and E. M. Norton. The speeches of these gentlemen occupied in all nearly four hours, and of course we can not pretend even to give outlines of them in this connection. Suffice it to say that we never saw a meeting pass off with more zest, fervency and spirit. The enthusiasm of the pepple [sic] was so great that notwithstanding the much speaking that had been done through the afternoon, two meetings, one at New Manchester and one at New Cumberland, were announced for the evening. Only one of them however came off—the one at New Manchester, and it was a very large one, filling the Court House, and was addressed by Auditor Crane and Rev. J. S. Pomeroy.
Several commissioned Second Lieutenants were on hand at the meeting during the afternoon, and they obtained a good number of names, some twenty-four or five in all if we were informed correctly.—This number, in addition to those previously obtained, will about make up Hancock’s quota, and to each man she is to pay $60 on his being mustered in. There is the same difficulty in Hancock as in the other counties, viz.: the question of enlisting in the old and new regiments. Most recruits would prefer to go in the old Virginia regiments, and in this they are sensible, but the trouble is that the bounty is not understood to cover them, nor do such enlistments satisfy the call for two new regiments. It is to be hoped that some understanding will soon be arrived at on this head, for unless there is, there will be serious trouble all through the country. We see that a Committee lately went on from New York to consult with the President about this very matter. The President is reported as saying that 100,000 men enlisted in the old regiments would be worth more than 300,000 in new organizations, and he sent a note to the War Department requesting the Secretary to issue the orders asked for by the Committee, to promote enlistments in the old regiments.
At the closing of the afternoon speaking, Geo. McPorter [sic], Esq., from the committee on Resolutions, submitted the following, which were each and all adopted with a hearty aye, and that one repudiating John S. Carlile, passed with a loud and most especial endorsement. We may say, in passing, that we have never seen so much feeling among the people for or against any man, as there seems to be among the people of Hancock against Senator Carlile.
Whereas, The President of the United States has called for 300,000 men to reinforce our armies and secure our Government from destruction by internal insurrection or foreign intervention, and it is our duty to furnish our proportion of the force required: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is better to expend our whole strength now to preserve the Union, to retain our name and place among the nations of the earth, and to maintain the liberty and glory of the past, than to waste our energies hereafter in the unending strife that would exist between the dishonored fragments of a broken Union.
Resolved, That we will use every effort to raise immediately our quota of volunteers. We approve of the proposition that this county should give to each citizen responding to the call of the President a bounty of sixty dollars, as a substantial endorsement of his patriotism. And w request the commissioners already appointed to provide for the defence of the county to devote the funds in their possession to the payment immediately of the said bounty; and we request the County Court to place in the hands of the Commissioners whatever additional sum may be necessary to carry out the object of this resolution.
Resolved, That the Hon. John S. Carlile no longer represents the sentiments of this loyal people of Virginia, and we request him to resign his seat in the United States Senate.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1862