December 17, 1862
Clarksburg, Dec. 13, 1862.
It would have gladdened your heart to have been here last night. The windows were splendidly illuminated, and the heavens were lit up by the grand display of fire works sent through the sky from all parts of the town, besides the brilliant lights from the hundreds of torches, made the scene beautiful and sublime. The procession moved through the principal streets, keeping step to delightful strains of soul-stirring martial music, displaying, as they went along, brilliant transparencies, having appropriate mottoes and devices, among which was “Beautiful Star, West Virginia,” and many other equal in beauty and significance. After they had paraded through the different illuminated streets, they returned to the Court House, where a stand was prepared for the orators, each of whom were loudly called for by the crowd. Adjutant Fish was the first gentleman to take the stand, who acquitted himself very well. Thomas L. Moore, Esq., was next called for, who made one of his characteristic speeches; he was followed by Thomas W. Harrison, Esq., who suffering from bronchal [sic] affection, excused himself and retired from the stand. The next call was made for Maris Taylor, Esq., who is no doubt one of the most popular speakers of our county, and while he was making one of his most happy hits at the enemies of the new State, confusion was caused, and Mr. Taylor left the stand. Capt. Moore was called, but owing to hoarseness was excused: whereupon a deafening call was made upon Capt. Lot Bowen, of the Harrison county cavalry. Capt. Bowen took the stand and commenced his remarks in a calm and dispassionate manner. He showed himself to be the consistent and earnest advocate of human liberty, and the unflinching, and unconditional friend of the infant State of West Virginia. It is to such men as Captain Bowen that gratitude is due. He knows his rights, and knowing in what they consist he has the manhood to maintain them, fearless of consequences; he boldly asserts his principles and opinions, and he starts out to meet all kind of perils and dangers with a conviction of heart and conscience that he is doing his duty to this country and his God. His speech was instructive and listened to with marked attention. He was followed by Lieut. Fogg, of the Upshur county battery, who made a short speech, owing to the lateness of the hour, and then retired again to join the procession. The soldiers then commenced singing some excellent songs, and soon after returned to their respective camps. To say the least, it was the grandest torch-light procession ever witnessed in Clarksburg.
Clarksburg, Dec. 15.
With your permission I will give your thousand and one readers of the Intelligencer a faint idea of the multitudinous rejoicings had in the venerable old metropolis of Clarksburg, on the flattering prospects of our new State.
On Thursday after the most welcome intelligence reached us of the passage of the bill by Congress granting us the long hoped and prayed for boon of a new State, the six bull dogs belonging to Capt. C. Moore’s battery, opened in deep-mouthed roar, making the very hills quake with gladness at the joyful event. Thirty-five times they echoed far up and down the valley of the West Fork and Elk the glad tidings that another star must be added to the galaxy of our Union. On Friday night things had settled down into something like order, when old Clarksburg went into it strong I assure you, but somewhat methodically. First to order after dark was the grand illumination, which if not done up brown was done up very bright. Our magnificent court-house front was all aglow from a long dense row of burning candles extending the entire length of the iron railing. The hotels, or nearly all of them, were bright with numberless lights; also many places of business, together with a great number of private residences. I observed, however, here and there the dark frowning residences of secessionists and their sympathizers, together with the followers of John S. Carlile, all emblematical of the dark and dissatisfied spirits of those within. The torch light procession soon made it appearance, welcomed with the deafening chorus of the immense crowds congregated upon the pave; and let me tell you this torchlight procession, preceeded by three companies of military, artillery, infantry and cavalry, bearing various transparencies and significant mottoes, extended quite the length of Main street. Then commenced the exhibition of various fire-works, fire balls, &c., &c., amid which, far up in the clouds, shot the blazing, fiery tailed rockets, bursting in their height and adding beauty to the scene.
After the procession had marched through the principal streets of our City, the dense mass of citizens and soldiers gathered in front of the Court House and along Main street, and when the rejoicing of the people was somewhat abated, we had some half dozen stirring, spirited, whole-souled patriotic speeches, from gentlemen present; during the delivery of which, from time to time, as something par excellence fell from the lips of the speaker, old Clarksburg would fairly jingle with the vociferous cheering. I was almost malicious enough to wish that our worthy mis-representatives in Congress and the State Legislature, together with the patriotic editor of the Wheeling Press, could have been present to have seen how heartily they were endorsed by the people. There were certainly no groans there for W. T. Willey by things pinned to the coat tail of Mr. Carlile.
In regard to the addresses permit me to quote from the introduction of Loyd Moore, Esq., speech, “I congratulate you, my fellow-citizens, that in the District of Columbia a child is born and is christened West Virginia. I congratulate you that a bright, aspiring, living being is at last disencumbered of a dead putrid body that has hung like an incubus upon it,” &c. Further on, in Mr. M.’s speech, a rocket from some cause, turned aside from its aerial flight and struck a secesh’s store in view of the speaker, making the boards rattle and sending the sparks in every direction. Mr. Moore paused a moment and remarked, “that’s the way this thing will strike old Virginia” my ears! but was not the sentiment responded to? During this time the biggest kind of a bonfire was doing its work upon some empty tar barrels, and judging from the flame, the owners in view of our soon getting possession of the tar State of North Carolina could not have scraped them very clean. To add variety to the jollification several volleys were fired by the Infantry and Cavalry and was echoed by the booming cannon from Camp Hews. The old court house bell as if it had a hand wagged his tongue with most uprorious [sic] sound, and last though not least patriotic songs from a couple of glee clubs belonging to the military. Between 10 and 11 o’clock the jolification [sic] came to a close and all hands quietly wanded their way home with a firm belief that staid old Clarksburg had seldom witnessed such uprorious [sic] doings, at least such was the opinion of
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: December 1862