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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
March 28-30, 1863


Wheeling Intelligencer
March 31, 1863

A SUDDEN REBEL RAID INTO KANAWHA VALLEY – POINT PLEASANT TAKEN AND RETAKEN

Attack on Two Steamers

Gallipolis, March 29

Governor Pierpont:
Yesterday two steamboats – the Victor No. 2 and the General Meigs – were attacked about 35 miles below Charleston by about 400 Rebels. The boats escaped, losing two men and two horses.

All praise is due Captains Ford and Summers for their coolness and bravery.

Communication is cut off between here and Charleston.

E.P. Fitch,
Captain and A.Q.M.

The Fighting at Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant, via Gallipolis, 4 P.M.

Governor Pierpont: We are fighting and trying to retake Point Pleasant. We are driving them.

E.P. Fitch,
Captain and A.Q.M.

Point Pleasant Retaken:

Gallipolis, March 30th 1863

Gov. Pierpont:
Sir:-- I have the honor to report to you that we now hold Point Pleasant. We have retaken it.

Gen. Jenkins was in command of the Rebel Forces 700 strong.

All praise is due to Capt. Carter, also to the Trumbull Guards.

We have taken 14 prisoners, and killed 12 Rebels. We lost 1 man killed 1 Lieutenant wounded.

E.P. Fitch, Capt. & A.Q.M.


Wheeling Intelligencer
March 31, 1863

Rebel Raid on the Kanawha –

Gov.Peirpont yesterday received in a dispatch from Capt. Fitch, A.Q.M, dated Gallipolis, stating that he had just arrived at that place from Charleston, Kanawha with the steamers Victor No. 2 and Gen. Meigs. The boats were fired into (We suppose on Sunday) by hour hundred Rebel Cavalry at Hall’s Landing thirty miles below Charleston. Two men and two horses were killed on the boats, but the boats and balance of the crew were saved. Communication between Gallipolis and Charleston is cut off. All praises is awarded to Capts. Ford and Summers of the steamboats for their coolness.

P.S. – The following dispatch was received last night Capt. Fitch:

“Gallipolis, March 30”

We are fighting the Rebels and endeavoring to retake Point Pleasant. We are Driving them.”

We judge from the above that the rebels rapidly followed up their attack upon the steamers and captured Point Pleasant.

We have no particulars.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 2, 1863

The Rebel Attack Upon The Steamers Victor No. 2 And Gen. Meigs. – Major Cowan, paymaster, arrived in the city yesterday from the Kanawha river. He was a passenger on the Victor No. 2 when attacked by Jenkins, on Saturday evening last, at Hall’s Landing. The officers of the Victor were warned some considerable distance above the landing by some negroes, but as such warnings had been very frequent, no attention was paid to it. The party that attacked the boat came out of Hall’s house, which stands near the landing. They opened a heavy fire, which, fortunately, at first did little or no damage. It was then observed that the rascals were deployed along the river for a distance of two miles, and had evidently made extensive preparations to capture the boats. There were quite a number of passengers on the boat, including women and children, and as there were no muskets aboard the passengers screened themselves as well as possible behind the bulkheads and other shelter. One man was killed and another mortally wounded. Both the killed and the wounded man were citizens. The man who was killed was standing on the far side of the boat from the rebels, but the ball passed entirely through the cabin and entered the back of his head. A horse was killed about the same time. The heroic conduct of Captain Ford, of the Victor, is deserving of much praise. He went up on the hurricane deck, where his person was much exposed, and where he stood encouraging the pilot to stand to his post. The pilot also acted a most noble part. It is said that thirty-six balls passed through the pilot house, and six balls struck the wheel, and still the brave pilot never thought of abandoning the post of duty.

The steamer Gen. Meigs, Capt. Summers, was some distance behind the Victor, but her officers being advised of what had happened to the other boat put her passengers all down in the hold, and though she received attention at the hands of the rebels she ran the gauntlet without any loss of life.

The boats passed out at the mouth of the Kanawha and proceeded to Gallipolis. The passengers were not present at the Point Pleasant affair which occurred next day.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 4, 1863

The Jenkins Raid upon Point Pleasant. – A letter was received in this city yesterday, from Point Pleasant, which gives more particulars of the late rebel raid into that town. Jenkins was fully advised to the exact location of what few Union troops were in the vicinity of Point Pleasant, most of which had gone up to Hurricane Bridge, a day or two before the raid. The rebels hitched their horses a short distance out of town and marched in on foot. The few Union soldiers who were stationed in the town, at once took refuge in the Court House, from which they fought the greatly superior force of rebels for five hours. In the meantime the news had reached Gallipolis, and a boat load of soldiers and citizens soon arrived from that point, soon after which the rebels retreated, having first destroyed all the government stores, and done considerable damage to private property. The letter states that “the rebels in Point Pleasant hailed the arrival of Jenkins with joy. – They fed the rebel soldiers, and directed them to the houses and stores of Union men, where they might plunder and destroy.”


The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry Etc.
Frank Moore, ed. Vol. 6. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1863.

Doc. 153.

Raid upon Point Pleasant, Va.

Cincinnati “Commercial” Account.

Point Pleasant, Va., April 2.

General dissatisfaction is expressed at the distorted account of the late attack upon this “point.” The facts are these:

Jenkins, with four hundred and eighty-one men, with others in reserve, came down the Kanawha on flatboats from Buffalo, to within a mile of this place, landed his men, and attacked, at ten A. M., the Point from three directions simultaneously, and so suddenly that his advance was within effective range of the court-house, situated in the centre of the town, before the alarm was given. Captain Carter, of company E, Thirteenth Virginia volunteer infantry, commanded the post, and instantly rallied his fifty men from their camp to the court-house, where for more than four hours he successfully thwarted every essay to capture them. When summoned to surrender, he replied: “Go to ----! Take me if you can!” They then, by threats of burning the town, induced some secession women to convey a flag of truce, and try to prevail upon Captain C. to surrender, but to no purpose.

Between two and three P. M., the enemy commenced to retreat, and the discharge of some howitzers from the hurricane-deck of the government transport Victor No. Two caused a panic, when many threw away their plunder, swam the creek, and hastened up the Kanawha, pursued for a short distance by the “Cheese-heads” of Gallipolis, Ohio.

Casualties on the Union—one lieutenant badly wounded, one private killed, one mortally wounded, and thirteen captured and paroled; also, one citizen slightly wounded. The rebels lost twenty killed, twenty-five wounded, and twenty-seven captured, including one lieutenant-colonel, two captains, and two lieutenants.

Two cribs of corn were burned and a quantity of government and private property taken, about one hundred and seventy dollars’ worth of which has been recovered. They took about forty horses. They have acknowledged a signal defeat.

In justice to the brave participants in the unequal contest, please give this a place in your valued paper, and oblige the citizens of Point Pleasant. E. M. Fitzgerald.

P. S.—A few convalescent soldiers, in connection with the citizens who could find guns to use, fought the ragamuffins “on their own hook.”

E. M. F.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 6, 1863

Rebel Prisoners From Point Pleasant – More Particulars Of The Raid Of Jenkins. – Thirteen rebel prisoners, captured at Point Pleasant during the late raid upon that town, were brought up to the city on Saturday morning and committed to the Atheneum, where they still remain. Their names are as follows: First Lieutenant Alex. H. Samuels, C. W. Timms, George W. Holderby, Jacob T. Black, Henry A. Newman, Thaddeus Thompson, John A. Bousman, John Harvey, DeKalb Hughes, Wm. H. Davis, Washington Lake, Jacob Shock and Henry Goldfish.

These men were captured on the retreat of the rebels from Point Pleasant. From a gentleman who was a witness of the late raid we have the following additional particulars: The rebels before leaving the town supplied themselves abundantly with clothing and hats and shoes from the stores of Union men, and retiring a short distance took off their old clothes and put on the new. The most brutal act of which the rebels were guilty was the killing of Major Waggoner, an old citizen in the eighty-second year of his age. Major Waggoner, who lives within a short distance of Point Pleasant, heard of the approach of the rebels and got upon his horse and came to town. As he was returning he met a squad of rebels upon the road, one of whom caught his horse by the head. Major Waggoner at once drew his cane and struck at the fellow when the rebel drew up his carbine and shot the old man dead.

Some persons say that the rebels were commanded by Lieut. Samuels, but others assert that Jenkins was there in person and conducted the raid. The rebels accomplished nothing but the destruction of a comparatively small amount of government and private property, and the capture of a few citizens, most of whom were released. The raid was a most decided failure. The design was to capture the steamers Victor and Gen. Meigs, but in this they failed and their success in Point Pleasant was not much better. There are few good horses in the country through which they passed and very little forage of any description.

When the rebels entered Point Pleasant many citizens crossed the river in skiffs, when shower of bullets were sent after them, but strange to say not a single person was struck with a bullet.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
April 8, 1863

The Capture of Point Pleasant, Va., by Confederate Cavalry.

A dispatch from Cincinnati, dated the 2d inst., says:

On Monday last (March 30th,) Jenkins's rebel cavalry dashed into Point Pleasant, Va., at the mouth of the Kanawha, gained possession of the Court House, fired seven houses, plundered others, and burned several thousand bushels of Government corn.

Volunteer aid arrived from Gallipolis, Ohio, and the rebel were driven off with the loss of five killed and thirteen prisoners, who were refused parole and taken to Gallipolis.

Telegraphic communication is cut off along the Kanawha from Charleston to Point Pleasant.

The Government shipsteamer Victor No. 2 was fired into at Hall’s Landing, forty miles above Buffalo, on the Kanawha. One man was killed. The boat was completely riddled by musketry fire.

The Victor No. 2 and General Meigs finally succeeded in reaching Gallipolis. The Victor and B. C Levi are still up the Kanawha, and it is rumored that they are captured by the rebels.

Cincinnati,April 2.--The late attack on Point Pleasant, Va., was made by 250 of Jenkins's cavalry. They ransacked several houses and stores, and burned 7,000 bushels of corn belonging to the Government, and were finally driven out, after a conflict which lasted several hours.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 9, 1863

The Battles of Hurricane Bridge and Point Pleasant – A True Account.

Point Pleasant, April 2, 1863.

Hon. F. H. Peirpoint:

In the Wheeling Intelligencer of the 31st of March we find four dispatches to you from a gentleman in Gallipolis. These dispatches do great injustice to the gallant officers and men of the 13th Regiment Va. Volunteers. We propose as an act of justice to this gallant regiment to give you the facts as well in connection with the battle of Point Pleasant as that of Hurricane Bridge.

About the 25th of March, we were told by captured rebels that Gen. Jenkins was advancing with his brigade on our force at Hurricane Bridge, and that he had declared that he intended to serve the 13th as he had the 11th only worse. As the 13th were all Virginians he intended to capture or kill them all. On the 27th he sent a demand to the forces at Hurricane for an unconditional surrender. Col. Brown who was in command of that post had been necessarily called off on business, leaving Capt. Johnson (seconded by Captains Stewart and Williams) in command, Capt. Johnson replied he would fight first. Jenkins’ force consisted of 850 men, and Johnson’s less than 200. The fight lasted some four or five hours. The General with his forces being severely punished, withdrew. Our loss was three killed, and Lieut. Bridgman, a most valuable young officer, mortally wounded; and three others slightly. Our men fought under cover of temporary fortifications. The loss on the rebel side, is thought to be very heavy.

It is not our purpose to speak of the gallantry of our officers and men. Jenkins did enough of that before leaving the neighborhood of Point Pleasant. He said that he never would send another flag to the 13th; that they were the games set of fellows he ever met.

Immediately after the battle of Hurricane Bridge, Lieut. Col. Hall, together with all the available force at this place, except Capt. Carter’s company, was ordered to reinforce the position at Hurricane and moved immediately. The distance from Point Pleasant is 46 miles.

The rebels left immediately by a wholly different route, from that taken by the reinforcements, and fired on the boats as set forth in the despatches; after which, procuring flat boats in the night, they floated down and concealed themselves in the immediate vicinity of Point Pleasant, captured our scouts and pickets, and were nearly into town before being discovered. But we deny that it was a complete surprise. Capt. Carter having previously got his ammunition into the Court House, and other preparations made; drew his men into the Court House about the right time, and commenced the fight in fine spirits.

Jenkins’ force here consisted of about 700 men. Carter had only 60 men in the Court House. The fighting was severe for some time until Gen. Jenkins sent in a flag demanding a surrender of the place, to which the gallant commandant replied that he entered the service to fight and not to surrender, and to take him if he could; after which Gen. Jenkins sent some rebel ladies with a flag and to beg Captain Carter to surrender, and to say to him if he would do so private property would be respected, otherwise he would burn “the d__n town.” Failing again in obtaining a surrender he then meanly commenced threatening Union ladies and their property, and begging them to plead with Carter for a surrender. In this too he failed, for some of the ladies instead of asking for a surrender went to the Court House, amidst a shower of bullets, and told Capt. Carter they didn’t want him to surrender if their property was burned.

A short time after this a retreat of the rebels was ordered, and their advance was at least two miles above town before the Ohio troops were across the river, although there was still a good many in town engaged in plunder when they did cross.

Capt. Carter hadn’t a sufficient force to march out and attack them, but they were completely whipped before the reinforcements arrived. It is not true then that the town was taken and retaken, and the man who dispatched you that statement knew that our boys were still waving the stars and stripes out of the window when the Ohio troops left the Ohio side of the river for Point Pleasant.

The truth is sir, there never was a more gallant fight made, than was made by your little band of Virginia troops. Lieut. Hawkins and others are now suffering from the effects of most painful wounds. We hold in utter contempt the man who could have the heart to do injustice to such noble fellows, and it gives us pleasure to say, that the Ohio soldiers and the officers that came here showed much anxiety to get here long before they could get permission to do so, and when they did get here, showed an energy and courage in the pursuit of the retreating foe, which would do credit to any officer or soldier. But there were others higher in authority, who showed much less sympathy for us and courage to defend us. We begged of the authorities at Gallipolis the morning before the fight, and offered the most ample security for a few guns to defend ourselves, but were told that red tape would not allow.

The casualties on our side considering the duration of the fight were remarkably small, viz: Lieut. Hawkins severely wounded, two killed, 13 principally from the hospital taken prisoners and paroled; rebel loss said to be 25 killed, 25 wounded, 27 prisoners, among which are Lieut. Col. Samuels, 2 Captains, 2 Lieutenants and one Surgeon. We have thus given you what we regard to be a fair statement of these battles.

Respectfully Yours,
B. J. Redmond.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 9, 1863

Letter from Capt. Carter about the Point Pleasant Fight.

Point Pleasant, April 2, 1863.

Editors Intelligencer:

I see in your issue of March 30th, a dispatch from E. P. Fitch, saying that Point Pleasant was taken and retaken.

This is (through your paper) intended to correct, (I will call it by as soft a name as I can,) that mistake. Point Pleasant was not taken, and consequently could not be retaken, as the man Fitch intimated in his dispatch.

The enemy attacked me at 11 o’clock, A. M., with from 500 to 800 men. My force amounted to 60 men. We fought them until 3:30 P. M., when the enemy retreated.

About 4 o’clock the Trumbull Guards, Lieut. Gilmer, arrived, and heartily engaged the rear of the retreating foe. They would have arrived in time to have taken part in the general engagement, had it not been that the man who controlled the steamer would not ferry them across the river; and any one who understands army matters, knows who controls Government steamers when a Quartermaster is present.

The stars and stripes waved over Point Pleasant all that day, and still does. I, so far as I am individually concerned, care but little for such misrepresentations, but on account of the handful of brave men that were with me, I deem it my duty as commander of this post to disabuse the public mind, and I think I have a better chance to know the facts than your informant Fitch, from the fact that I was on the Virginia side of the river during the fight.

Respectfully,

John D. Carter,
Capt. Co. E, 13th Va. Vol. Inf’y.
Commanding Post.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 6, 1863

Point Pleasant, April 2d, 1863.

Editors Intelligencer:

Gentlemen: - Please rectify the errors that unaccountably have obtained currency in relation to the battle of Point Pleasant. Capt. Carter, of company E, commanding Post, with but 50 men, took a position in our Court House and repulsed the enemy several times, and they finding it impossible to capture the place and the gallant Captain treating their repeated summons to surrender with contempt, they, after four hours fighting, beat a retreat, which, by the arrival of reinforcements from Gallipolis, O., was changed into a disgraceful flight, each ragged vagabond for himself, throwing away much of his encumbering plunder, swimming the creek and running for life. The results of the fight were: Union loss one Lieutenant badly wounded, one private killed and one mortally wounded, thirteen captured and paroled and one citizen wounded in arm. Rebel loss 20 killed, 25 wounded and 27 taken prisoners, including a Lieutenant Colonel, two Captains and two Lieutenants. The property lost was some six thousand bushels of corn cribbed a little back from town and two stores partly plundered, also some horses.

‘Tis true this Point was surprised, but it was never captured, and therefore could not have been recaptured.

By request of many citizens this correction is solicited, that justice may be done our brave “soldier boys.”

Respectfully Yours,
E. M. Fitz Gerald.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 13, 1863

Albert G. Jenkins.

Editor’s Intelligencer:

If anything had been wanting to render the name heading this article perfectly odious and disgusting to mankind that lack has been fully supplied by the inhuman and diabolical murder of the venerable and heroic Andrew Waggoner, of Mason county, on Monday last. His friends may urge every apology and extenuation that they can invent, but to no purpose. The horrible fact stands out in bold relief, and future generations remember them with sickening disgust as the murderer of this venerable octogenarian (known throughout the country as “the Hero of Crany Island”) long after the memory of the infamous marauder and horse thief of West Virginia would have faded into oblivion.

It is no palliation or apology to say that there was no malice aforethought—no intention to commit murder – that the sole object of the expedition was to steal and plunder, and not to murder, & c., for every novice in criminal law knows that crime committed while in the perpetration of an unlawful act is no less inexcusable, though there may not have been the malice aforethought; and horse-stealing and robbery are certainly unlawful acts. Neither does it relieve the case of any of its odium to plead that Jenkins and his subordinate thief; Fitzhugh, were, during the entire fight hid behind a rock outside of the town. It only proves that they had not the courage to share the dangers with the miserable dupes whom they had instigated to the perpetration of the horrid crimes that cost many of them their infamous lives. If there were even any palliation to the guilt of those misguided rag-muffins on the score of ignorance, no such excuse can in any way apply to them. Would to heaven that this foul stain upon humanity could be located somewhere else upon this sin-stricken planet than in our own virgin State of West Virginia! But thank heaven a resting place for the sole of the foot of such a miscreat cannot be found upon her soil – a more significant mark than that of Cain will rest upon the forehead of the murderer of Andrew Waggoner to the close of his black and disgraceful career, which believing as we do in the retributive justice of heaven, cannot be long deferred – his last thieving expedition into West Virginia was distinguished by the shooting of an unoffending deaf mute near Racine, the present one by the cool and deliberate murder of Andrew Waggoner, 84 years of age.

The classical little town of Point Pleasant, doomed as some thought, to perpetual dwarfage, on account of the murder of the memorable Cornstalk, has now been made the scene of a parricidal murder compared with which the turpitude, connected with the killing of Cornstalk, dwindles into insignificance.

What will be her fate if she fails to exert her every effort to avenge his death.

Kanawha Valley.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 14, 1863

General Jenkins's Campaign in Western Virginia.

Lynchburg, April 13.

--A special to the Republican, dated Salem, 13th says:

Gen. Jenkins's expedition, with a small portion of his command, in Western Virginia, has been completely successful. The elections and Spring Courts of the bough Government in all the counties West of the Kanawha river, were broken up, and the enemy driven, with loss, into his fortifications at Hurricane Bridge. He proceeded thence to the Kanawha river, and, four miles below Winfield, riddled two Government steamboats which were passing. He embarked at night in flatboats, and floated down the Kanawha, attacking and capturing Point Pleasant the next morning. He killed and captured a number of the enemy, took 150 horses, and destroyed a large amount of stores.--The enemy made most desperate efforts to our off his retreat from the Ohio river; but they were eluded, and the command was extricated in safety.


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 16, 1863

An Incident at Point Pleasant.

From the Kanawha Republican.

A friend from Point Pleasant has related to us a little incident that occurred during the fight there, which we think worthy of recording. A young girl residing near the Court House, took her position in an upper window, and at the top of her voice cheered Capt. Carter and his men, hurrahing for the Union and the Union boys. – Supposing the boys in the Court House would be glad of some refreshment, taking advantage of a slight cessation in the firing, she filled a basket with victuals and bore it off to them. Our friend could not give us the name of this noble little girl, but we intend to have it that it may be known to our readers. The patriotic conduct of this girl is in fine contrast with the woman who bore the flag of truce from Jenkins to Capt. Carter, demanding his surrender, telling him that Gen. Jenkins would patrole him and his men and treat them kindly; but if he declined, Floyd would soon be there with a large army, and would capture them certainly, and would show them no favors. On her third imploring visit under the flag of truce to the Court House, Capt. Carter, it is said, told her not to come again – that if she did, his men would fire on her. And the fight went on.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1863

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