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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
July 21, 1863


Wheeling Intelligencer
July 22, 1863

Charged With Abusing A Female Prisoner – Examination Of Jailor Jones. – Yesterday Capt. W. C. Thorpe, commander of this post, swore out a warrant, charging Lewis Jones, the jailor, with wantonly maltreating a United States prisoner named Maggie Reed. The examination took place before Alderman Dulty at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon, when the following facts were elicited:

Miss Reed, who is rather a sprightly young woman, and looks as if she could take care of herself under most circumstances, was arrested in Buckhannon, Upsher county, a couple of months ago, for manufacturing and assisting to fling to the breeze a rebel flag, and was sent here by order of Gen. Averill, and has since been confined in the county jail.

Miss Reed testified that on Monday evening a drunken woman was put in the same cell with her; the drunken woman made several humorous speeches at which the witness laughed. Mrs. Jones, the jailor’s wife, and the jailor’s daughter came to her and told her that she had been making a noise and must prepare to go to a cell, witness being at the time, confined in the debtor’s room. Witness refused, when Mr. J. came himself. Witness picked up a piece of a board and made as if to assault Jones, when Jones snapped a pistol at her three times, hit her, kicked her and took her by the hair of the head and dragged her down to a cell, when he sent for a cowhide and struck her several times on the back.

Capt. Fordyce and his wife, who were inmates of the jail at the time, corroborated, in part, the evidence of Miss Reed.

Capt. Thorpe testified that he was sent for on Monday evening and upon repairing to the jail, in company with Capt. Moore, found Miss Reed in a cell very much exhausted and evidently suffering from the severe treatment she had received. He found a contusion upon her head which she said had been produced by a blow from the butt end of Mr. Jones’ pistol. Captain Thorpe sent for Dr. Frissell who came and examined the stripes upon Miss Reed’s back and also the wound upon her head.

Capt. Moore Quartermaster at this point, who accompanied Capt. Thorpe to the jail, corroborated the testimony of the latter gentleman.

Dr. Frissell testified that he examined Miss Reed and found a contusion upon her head and three stripes upon her back. Miss Reed also complained of a wound up on her side.

Miss Maggie Jones, the jailor’s daughter, and Amanda Winesburgh, both testified that they had repeatedly heard Miss Reed using abusive language to the jailor and his wife – language too gross to be repeated by a lady even upon a witness stand. That she had been treated better than any of the rest of the prisoner’s and was never satisfied. On the evening in question and upon other occasions she yelled for Jeff Davis, and sang rebel songs from which she refused to desist.

Ald. Dulty said that the jailor had a right to use a sufficient amount of severity to preserve order in the jail, but in this case he thought that undue punishment had been administered. He would therefore hold Mr. Jones to bail in the sum of two hundred dollars to answer an indictment before the next term of the Circuit Court.

Wheeling Intelligencer
July 24, 1863

Maggie Reed. – We are informed by a member of the Senate, who is familiar with the history of the young woman who was cowhided the other day by jailor Jones, that she is a most determined little rebel. At the time of her arrest she was charged with giving information to a band of rebels, who, through her, were enabled to attack and capture the town of Buckhannon. In order to give said information she waded Buckhannon river up to her arm pits. While confined in the hotel at Buck[h]anon she spit down upon the officers as they passed along the side walk below.


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

West Virginia Archives and History