Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
July 24, 1863

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
July 30, 1863

Guerrillas Arrested in their Horse Operations.

Pruntytown, W. Va., July 27

Editors Intelligencer

On Thursday last, July 23d, it was satisfactorily learned that a squad of horse thieves were prowling about in the neighborhood of Boothsville, in the upper end of Marion county. Capt. N. Alltop, the vigilant and ever watchful commander of the Boothsville Home Guards, became in possession of these facts, and immediately set himself about the work of meeting these scamps, and checking their thieving operations. It was dark before the Captain could get a sufficient number of his men together; but about 11 o'clock P. M. he collected 17 of his men. He placed three of his 17 men at the bridge which spans Booth's creek, about 2 miles below Boothsville, and just above the residence of Geo. M. Ryan, and posted the remaining 14 men on either side of the road about 150 yards below the bridge and only about 50 yards from Ryan's house. The company assembled at Capt. Alltop's house, 2 miles above Boothsville, and marched under double quick orders to the points above named, a distance of four miles. They remained at their posts about two hours before any signs of the appearance of the horse thieves was discovered.

As soon as it was ascertained that the marauders were coming the Captain commanded his men to cock their guns and obey orders; and, it being very dark, he took his position in the middle of the road, George Freeman, a private, following him and taking a position immediately on his left side. Capt. Alltop was armed with a carbine in his right hand and a revolver in his left. The thieves advanced within 8 or 10 steps of the Captain without interruption. Capt. Alltop had previously given strict orders to his men. Among these orders, one was not to fire until he fired and not to command "halt" until he commanded. As the thieves got very near the Captain, who, with young Freeman, was in the road, gave the word "halt" in a voice so loud and distinct that every one of his faithful squad heard and instantly repeated, "halt." The marauders still advanced with arms in hand. At this point Capt. Alltop fired a carbine and the foremost of the gang, T. B. Stevens fell, badly wounded in the right thigh. Stevens' gang then returned the fire. At this moment Captain Alltop commanded his men to "fire," and a general skirmish then ensued. The thieves were soon discomfited, and all of them except three who were on horseback, jumped over the fence and took "leg bail." The three on horses - most likely stolen ones - took the back track and have not been heard of since. As far as can be ascertained there were seventeen or eighteen of the marauders.

Stevens was taken prisoner. He is now lying at George M. Ryan's, and will be sent to Wheeling or Grafton as soon as he can be removed. He had in his possession four hundred and ten dollars in Confederate money and twenty cents in silver. He was heavily armed, as were also his men. He had seven letters from persons living in and about Farmington, Marion county, to their friends in Dixie. It is fully ascertained that Granville Shafer, son of Jacob Shafer, of Marion, was in the gang. Thos. Bender, a boy about 16 years old, son of Henry T. Bender, of Marion county, W. V., was also captured with Stevens. Bender said he was forced by Shafer, his uncle, to join the squad. He was afterwards secreted by some rebel sympathizers, despite the vigilance of his guard, and has not since been found. The boy said they had a number of extra bridles. Bent Stevens, the prisoner, refuses to tell who the balance were, only they were all from Dixie.

Yours, &c.,

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

West Virginia Archives and History