August 23, 1862
Rowlesburg, Aug. 22d, 1862.
Your paper of yesterday contains a notice of a small but spirited meeting held in St. George on Monday. The same evening information was received through a young lady from Pendleton county, that a large force of rebels were on their way to Tucker. The story was scarcely credited, but Capt. Wm. Hall, commanding a small force at the forks of Cheat river, to prevent being surprised and flanked, moved four miles toward St. George, and encamped on the left bank of the river.
This occurred on Wednesday evening.óThe following morning a detachment of rebel cavalry made its appearance about a half mile distant. Their evident purpose was to dally and excite attention. This smelt strongly of a movement in the rear. About sixty shots were fired at them from Camp, and Sergeants Gallion and Call had the audacity to ride across the river and near enough to give them a pistol shot apiece. Capt. Hall commenced and executed a deliberate retreat, reaching Rowlesburg, thirty miles distant, at noon of Thursday.
[unreadable] men of Tucker were obliged to flee from their homes. Some are in Rowlesburg, some [unreadable] other directions, and some, it is feared [unreadable] killed or made prisoners. Yesterday 20 [readable] 25 cavalry, with three pieces of artillery came into St. George, stole the records from the county clerkís office, stripped Dr. Parsonís store of everything valuable and decamped up the river. The rebel camp is understood now to be the one first occupied by Capt. Hall, at the forks of Cheat River.
Capt. John Snider, the celebrated Union scout, is now in this place. Yesterday he went to St. George, and was deliberately eating his dinner when the rebel advance came in. They called for him to halt and fired several shots, but he told them to go to h__l and rode on. The shots all missed. It was Capt. Sniderís daughter who came from Pendleton to bring the news of the advance of the rebels and their strength. She is a brave girl and deserves to be crowned a heroine.
There [unreadable] in this place a strong force of infantry, with two pieces of rifled cannon, and a man by the name of Credulous supposes it possible and even probably that sometime during the next six weeks the federal forces may advance up the river to attack furiously ďthe place where the rebels used to war.Ē The latter, plus county records, hundreds of dollars worth of dry goods, groceries, &c. and thousands of dollars worth of horses and cattle, erstwhile removing to their stronghold in the mountains, to await the approach of their lackadaisical enemies, the Yankees.
F. W. P.
August 29, 1862
Rowlesburg, August 26, 1861.
Messrs. Editors: Having seen in the Wheeling papers several imperfect accounts of Imbodenís recent raid into Tucker county, I will, for the information of your numerous readers, endeavor to give you the facts as gathered from reliable sources as well as personal observation.
For about two months past Capt. Hall and 60 of his men, of this place have been stationed at Abraham Parsonís on Cheat river, 10 miles about St. George.
On Monday evening the 18th inst. A young lady, 19 years of age by the name of Mary Jane Snyder (daughter of John Snyder) got the information that Imboden, with 300 guerillas, had camped the night before above her fatherís. She that night made up her mind to start the next morning and give the information to Captain Hall. Early in the morning she caught a horse, and alone, through the wilderness, where she had never gone before, traveled twenty-five miles to Captain Hallís Camp. Capt. Hall, after a conversation with his men, deemed it advisable to fall back to Job Parsonís (two miles), and at 7 oíclock, P. M. struck his tents and moved down, and four hours afterwards his deserted camp was surrounded by these 300 cutthroats, with three small pieces of cannon. The next morning from 10 to 20 of them on horseback presented themselves to the view of Capt. Hall and men at his new camp on the opposite side of the river, and about 700 yards distant. Capt. Hall formed his men in line and fired a volley upon this band who immediately fled behind some old houses. Capt. Hall immediately dispatched a message to Rowlesburg to telegraph Gen. Kelley for reinforcements, and fell back to Adam H. Bowmanís that night, and supposing the 300 guerrillas were following him, he fell back to this place, where he arrived about noon on Thursday the 21st, and in the afternoon 400 soldiers arrived from New Creek, with two pieces of brass 6 pounders; and on the next day Gen. Kelley with 400 more men, two caissons, baggage wagons, &c., arrived in our village, and the same evening all took up the line of march for Tucker county. The night was dark, the roads bad and muddy, and they were only able to go eight miles that night, and considering the roads, &c. done wonders at that. Early the next morning they again took up the line of march for St. George. The same morning your humble servant accompanied by Mr. John Hickman, of this place, proceeded to follow, and arrived at St. George just as Gen. Kelley and his forces had arrived.óAnd, Messrs. Editors, I know you would have felt sorry to see the grief depicted in the countenance of the brave General, his officers and men when they were informed that their birds had flown.
It turned out that on Thursday they followed Capt. Hall and his men as far as St. George, and by some means learned that 1000 troops were to be there that night. A part of them stopped at Dr. Parsons to rob him, and the balance (from 150 to 200) came to St. George, where they only remained about an hour and a half, during which time they broke into the Clerkís office and stole and carried away the order book of the County Court, and left everything else there undisturbed. They then went to Enoch Masonís, who keeps the Post-office, and took everything appertaining to it. Then went through the tavern house of Adam Tate, (he was at Rowlesburg) searched it, and only took away a small satchel, declaring it contraband. Mrs. Tate, who is a good loyal lady, and a very shrewd woman, when she heard of their coming, gathered up her most valuable articles and deposited them at her nearest neighbors (who is not regarded as loyal) for safe keeping, and thus saved those articles, for her neighborís house was not searched, and, although the neighbor keeps a store nothing was disturbed. While these things were going on in St. George, the rascally band at Dr. Parsons were engaged in packing up all of the Dr.ís good and medicines in the Dr.ís wagon, to which they hitched an old horse of his, and one borrowed (supposed) of the St. George merchant, (for it was returned), and late in the afternoon all took the back track and camped some ten miles up the river. The next morning they unloaded the Dr.ís goods, packed them and came on, on horses, and left for parts unknown.
On Saturday evening Gen. Kelley and his men again took up the line of march, and went up the river some ten miles, where they left Capt. Hall and his company and the General and his men continued the pursuit. I never saw so much determination as seemed to be manifested by Gen. Kelley to overhaul and annihilate these guerrillas.
I forgot to say that after the unloading of Dr. Parsonís goods from his wagon, they burned it and turned his old horse loose, which, I am informed, got home. I also learned that when the guerrillas were coming down the river, Dr. Parsons was very unwell, and was prevailed upon the leave home and conceal himself in the mountains until they left. John Snyder and one of the Parsons came very near being captured at St. George, and were fired at several times but escaped unhurt.
Among the guerrillas were the notorious Bill Harper, Jake Harper and Tom Lamb, of Tucker, Garrett Johnson, Sam and Bill Elliott, Sturms, and others whose names I forget, from Barbour.
But for this heroic young lady, Miss Snyder, whose name and heroic deed should be remembered and rewarded, Capt. Hall and his men would, in all probability, have been destroyed. Yours truly.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1862