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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
April 15, 1863


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 16, 1863.

FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

The “Kelly Lancers” and the Bushwhackers – Lieutenant N. N. Hoffman and Orderly Sergeant T. H. B. Lemley Wounded – Bushwhackers Dispersed – Colonial Oley and the 8th Virginia Infantry, &c., &c., &c.

Beverly, W. V., April 16, 1863.

Editors Intelligencer:

On Sunday morning, the 12 inst., the 8th Virginia, under Col. Oley, left this place for a scout into Pocahontas and Highland counties; on Monday evening the Kelley Lancers followed under command of Lieut. N. N. Hoffman, and came up with the infantry at Greenbrier river – After throwing ourselves on the outside of our coffee, crackers and flitch, and smoking one of Marsh’s Wheeling regalias, vulgarly called stogies, we laid ourselves out at full length on terra firma, supporting that we were to have the privilege of enjoying a good night’s rest; but not some busybody – not having the love of the Lord nor the fear of the devil in his seared conscience – reported to Col. Oley that there were a few bushwhackers at Green Bank. The Lancers were ordered out at 12 ½ midnight, to ride 13 miles over one of the roads, merely “for the novelty of the thing,” as Corporal Streeter used to say; and when they arrived there, drew with the net – a water haul. Not a rebel – in arms – was to be found.

We “marched up the hill,
And then marched down again.”

The Lancers started for Fort Allegheny, where they met the glorious 8th; then kept ahead till they arrived at Uniontown, just in time to be too late – the rebel cavalry having left in the morning. Colonel Oley then fell back some miles and encamped – the storm of snow, hail and rain penetrating every nook and corner that a soldier could find, so you may judge that we had a rough right of it. A storm on the Alleghenies is no to be sneezed at without a prime article of Scotch snuff. At 6 A.M. on the 15th we made track for home, the rain and snow and wind making it anything else but pleasant on the ridges. By hard marching we made Greenbrier for dinner. After which the 8th Virginia infantry and a section of Ewing’s battery started on, leaving Lieut. Hoffman with fifteen men, as rear guard. After giving the infantry time to cross the other branch of the Greenbrier river, the Lieutenant mounted and started after. He had not advanced more than four hundred yards when he was fired on by forty or fifty concealed murderers, who were secreted in a thick cluster of pines, just on the opposite side of the river not over 25 yards distant. It seemed as though they aimed mainly at the Lieutenant and Orderly Sergeant; the former received one ball in the left leg, which passed through just back of the ankle, and another in the hip, which was check by clothing so that it did not enter more than a quarter of an inch; he also had eight holes through his overcoat. Sergeant Lemley was struck in the left side by a rifle ball, but it was stopped by a rib, and did not injure him seriously; he also had a hole shot in the capt of his overcoat. His horse was hit in five different places. One other man had a hole shot in his coat, and C. F. Conn and Charles Star had their horses shot, but neither were killed, though Conn’s horse is about worthless, being hit on the right knee. The fall of the horse injured the rider somewhat, but he will be OK in a few days.

The Lieutenant and Sergeant were not hurt too bad to ride, so they just kept in the line and came on home, hoping soon to be able to “pick flint and try them again.” The “Lancers” fired about thirty shots into the pines, but did not know whether they did more than make them skedaddle or not. The woods above were full of fleeing cowards in short order, when they brought Colt’s army pistols to bear upon them. The woods were skelled by the Ewing’s battery, and we all moved on in good spirits.

Allow me a little space to speak of Col. Oley and his (8th) regiment. I have seen many troops, but a more gentlemanly Colonel, and a more orderly set of officers and men, it has never been my fortune to be associated with. No disorder – no foul-mouthed profanity – and best of all, this is no pilfering stragglers, but all up to time. May they remain with us “for the war.” The 2nd Virginia Infantry is out on a scout in another direction, and so soon as they return, I will give you what news I can gather from them.

Yours,
West Virginia.

P. S. The snow in the pines on Cheat Mountain is too [sic] feet deep. Good sleighing in the road.


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

West Virginia Archives and History