A Voice from the Second Virginia Infantry.
March 26, 1863
A Voice from the Second Virginia Infantry.
Camp Of 2d Va. Vol. Inf.
Beverly, Va., March 17.
At a meeting of the officers of the 2nd Virginia Infantry, convened at the Quartermaster’s office on the evening of March 16th, 1863, Capt. D. D. Barclay was called to the Chair, and Lieut. A. J. Pentecost, A. Q. M., was appointed Secretary.
The meeting was called to express our appreciation of the gallant services of our late commanding General, R. H. Milroy, and to congratulate him upon the accession to the rank of Major General.
On motion of Lieut. Billingsly, Capt. N. W. Truxal, Lieut. J. C. French and Lieut. West were appointed a committee to prepare business for the meeting.
The committee after retiring a short time, returned and made the following report:
Resolved, That we have learned with unfeigned joy, of the promotion of our esteemed friend General Robert H. Milroy, and we heartily congratulate him upon his accession to the rank of Major General. We look upon this act of the President as a well deserved compliment to true patriotism and indomitable valor. Having been associated with him for many months – at the battles on the Allegheny Mountain, McDowell, Cross Keys, Kelley’s Ford, Waterloo Bridge, Sulphur Springs and Bull Run – witnessing his almost paternal care for the comfort and safety of his command on long and exhausting marches, sharing with us alike heat and cold, storm and calm, hunger and plenty – always giving a word of encouragement to the desponding, and of condolence to the suffering – we rejoice that he has been assigned to a sphere in which his great and noble heart can inspire his fellow-countrymen with a greater zeal for the restoration of our distracted country. The 2nd Virginia will long remember the marches, battles, victories and retreats of the “Independent Brigade,” under the guidance of Brigadier now Major Gen. Milroy.
Whereas, We are in the midst of a rebellion which has threatened to strike down our liberties, and destroy every vestige of human liberty and republican Government; and Whereas, it is the imperative duty of all loyal persons to give their money, their influence and, if need be, their lives for the maintenance of the Government and the punishment of traitors, therefore
Resolved, That cost what it may, the rebellion must be suppressed, human liberty and republican Government MUST be maintained, the glorious flag of our fathers must float triumphantly over every State Capitol, and traitors must be brought to justice.
Resolved, That we have no more sympathy for traitors in the North than for armed traitors in the South; the former, through fear of punishment and the odium which must forever attach to traitors and treason, seek a cloak for their villainy in partisan politics, while the latter are exasperated by falsehoods or dragged into the fields of battle by a conscription more terrible than any that has ever marked the history of any tyrant.
Resolved, That “Gray Backs” in the rebel army and “Butternuts” in the North, are alike the enemies of human progress; the one class being in open rebellion, and the other “aiding and abetting.”
Resolved, That we look upon the effort of a certain class of politicians in the North to embarrass the administration, depreciate the National currency and drive us into the humiliating alternative of asking for an armistice or offering terms of compromise with armed rebels, as an insult to the brave men of our army, and an indignity to the ashes of the great, good men who have offered their blood as an oblation on the altar of their country.
Resolved, That there is but one condition on which we hope for peace, and that is, the unconditional conquest and subjugation of the South, the repossession by the National government of all its property and the universal acknowledgment of its rightful authority, and if peace were offered on any other terms we would spurn it.
Resolved, That we fully endorse the war policy of the President, the vigorous prosecution of the war, the emancipation of the slaves of rebels, and the exercise of every means within his grasp for the speedy suppression of the rebellion. Rebels have no rights that we are bound to respect except the right to die as felons and murderers.
Resolved, That while we are exposing our lives to the perils of the army, we hold all men as enemies who, by word or deed, aid or abet the rebels in arms: and after we have silenced the last battery in the South, we hope to return and consign the “butternuts” and “copperheads” of the North to the tomb of the Capulets.
On motion of Lieutenant-Colonel Scott the report of the committee was unanimously adopted.
On motion, resolved that the Wheeling Intelligencer, Cincinnati Commercial, Pittsburg Gazette, Chronicle and Dispatch, and Washington (Pa.) Reporter and Tribune, be requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting.
D. D. Barclay, Capt., Pres.
A. J. Pentecost, Lieut., Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1863