February 23, 1863
At a meeting of the officers of the 116th Regiment, O. V. I. held on the evening of the 10th inst., at Romney, Va., the following officers were appointed a committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the officers and men of said regiment, viz: Lieut. Col. Thos. F. Wildes, Capt. John Varley, Capt. William Myers, and Lieut. Hamilton Karr. The committee reported on the evening of the 12th inst., the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted by every officer on duty with the regiment.
On the following day they were read to the regiment while on battalion drill, when not one man dissented, but all adopted them with a deafening AYE!
Whereas, We the officers and soldiers of the 116th Regiment O. V. I. firmly believing in the justice and holiness of the cause in which we are engaged, and solemnly avowing our purpose of fighting its battles till the last rebel in arms is laid low at the foot of our glorious banner of light and liberty, do therefore
Resolve 1st. That nothing but an unconditional surrender will answer the demands of the true soldier and patriot.
2d. That we, with the men of the 116th, who are no less patriotic than ourselves, are still actuated by the same motives that induced us to first lift our arms against the rebellion; that we are mindful, and believe, that service rendered to our country is service rendered to God whose boon it is, and we will continue to war against treason with a devotion unfelt and unknown by any but the truly loyal.
3d. That we will hail with feelings of delight the dawnings of peace; but we can think of no peace worth having short of crushing out the rebellion, and the complete restoration of the authority of the Government over every foot of her soil, East, West, North and South.
4th. That we as a loyal people acknowledge the Administration the medium through which the destruction of this rebellion is to be made effectual, and that we owe it to all we hold sacred in our blood bought free institutions, to give it such support as will enable us to hand down to generations to come, intact, this glorious Union of ours.
5th. That any party or set of men who, by factious opposition to the Administration or the Government, injure our noble cause, will meet with overwhelming popular indignation from the soldiery both here and hereafter.
6th. That we herewith regret, though with hearts full of condemnation and repudiation, the murmurings and insane and disloyal conduct of the copperheads – so-called by the soldiers of our loyal and gallant State.
7th. That we regard the efforts of those copperheads of Ohio, to demoralize the army by writing treasonable letters to the soldiers in the field, by men to desert their flag, by misrepresenting the Administration and the objects of the war, and by all the means conceived only by traitors, as unworthy American citizens, and more dangerous and heinous than the efforts of armed rebels who meet us in deadly conflict on the battle-field.
8th. That we regard any attempts to injure or depreciate the value of the currency of the Government, in which the soldier is paid, as a direct blow at the soldier and his family, and a stab at the very vitals of the Government itself, conduct of which, no one friendly to the perpetuation of our free institutions and the restoration of the Union of the States would be guilty.
9th. That we regard the prospects of a speedy termination of the war resulting in the utter discomfiture and dismay of traitors, and the consequent overthrow of the rebellion, as bright and encouraging – all the boasts of rebels, and the sneers and jeers of copperheads to the contrary notwithstanding.
10th. That we will cause to be remembered those cowardly grumblers and traitors, craven spirits who, instead of aiding us in our noble purpose by their presence in the ranks, at at home aiding and abetting rebels by keeping up a fire in our rear.
11th. That we will always endeavor to make their children loyal by continually holding up to the derision and scorn of the world the bad faith and treason of their fathers.
12th. That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the editors of the Wheeling Intelligencer for publication.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1863