July 27, 1863
The Gunboat Expedition. – The Wm. H. Harrison, under command of Col. Darr and Capt. Moore, left the wharf Saturday afternoon, having on board two pieces of cannon and a couple hundred militia, including the members of the legislature, all well armed. They went up to cut off Morgan’s apprehended attempt to cross at the mouth of Short creek, but hearing of his change of track they moved up four miles above Steubenville. The expedition returned last evening.
July 25, 1863
John Morgan. – Since Thursday evening there has been the most intense excitement in the city in consequence of the near approach of John Morgan, the famous rebel soldier. All the military force at this place, consisting chiefly of new recruits, was at once armed and properly disposed. The order of Gen. Wheat calling out the militia was responded to yesterday morning by a considerable portion of the able bodied who met at the Court House for inspection. The bells of the city were rung in order more thoroughly to arouse the people. The fact that information had been received of the burning of a bridge at Campbell’s Station on the Central Ohio Railroad, and that Morgan was making for Senecaville, a little town situated a few miles south of the road in Guernsey county, tended to increase the excitement, and a general determination was manifested that the rebels should not cross the Ohio at this point. Both branches of the Legislature, as will be seen by the proceedings elsewhere, adjourned and at once formed themselves into an infantry company and reported for duty. About 12 o’clock information was received that the section of Carlin’s battery and two companies of infantry had arrived safely at Captina, and was properly posted so as to give John a warm reception should he attempt to cross at that point.
When the militia were dismissed at noon, commandants of companies were instructed to compel the attendance, in the afternoon, of every able bodied man subject to military duty.
The Legislative company was organized by electing Gen. Le Roy Kramer as Captain, Col. Crawford, 1st Lieutenant and Mr. McCann, 2d Lieutenant. They were armed with Minnie rifles and were ordered to report at Moundsville.
Various speculations were indulged as to the course Morgan would be likely to take in order to cross the river. Some seemed to think he would attempt to cross here and this opinion was strengthened by a rumor that he was on the National road east of Washington, Ohio. The map was carefully scanned and as the day advanced the general opinion was that he was making south from the Central road with the intention of crossing at some point below here.
LATER. – Mr. McCurdy and Mr. Lawrence arrived here yesterday afternoon from Washington, Ohio, bringing with them the monies and papers of the branch bank at that place. They report that Morgan’s command reached Washington yesterday morning at 6 o’clock, and breakfasted there. Morgan then started down the national road in the direction of Wheeling. It was thought that he would come to Morristown twenty-two miles from this city, and then take the road in the direction of Lewis’ Mills, New Castle and Captina.
The rebels, in addition to burning a bridge at Campbell’s station, destroyed the ware house of Mr. Fordyce and did considerable damage to the railroad track.
Still Later – A dispatch was received last evening, stating that Morgan had taken the road to Cadiz, and was pushing rapidly on towards that point. He was stealing horses and compelling citizens familiar with the country, to act as guides for him.
It was understood that Gen. Brooks, with a considerable force, was coming down from Pittsburg, but if it shall appear that Morgan designs to cross the river at or near Steubenville, Gen. Brooks will, of course, dispose of his command accordingly.
The 4th and 5th regiments of Wheeling militia are now encamped on the Island. Many of the men last evening sought shelter under the bridge over the west channel.
P. S. – From what we could learn last evening in regard to military operations we feel confident of the capture of Morgan and his whole gang, no matter where he may attempt to cross.
July 25, 1863
The expedition to Captina, consisting of two companies of Wheeling militia and two pieces of artillery, under charge of a detachment of Carlin’s battery, returned last night on board the W. H. Harrison. The artillery was taken over on the Island last night and planted in a position for service. Morgan can hear from them this morning if he wants to.
The Legislature Yesterday.
July 25, 1863
The Legislature Yesterday.
The legislature did a handsome thing yesterday. Not in the way of legislation, but in a way more adapted to the spirit of the times. They “shouldered arms and carried arms,” not like the boys who wore the paper caps and “marched up the steep hill side against the western wind,” but like bona fide soldiers. They met and adjourned at the usual hour in the morning, each member repairing to the ordnance department and getting a gun. Gen. Kramer, of Monongalia, was made captain, Col. Crawford, of Hancock, first lieutenant, and T. K. McCann, of Greenbrier, second lieutenant. All together they made up a company of seventy-two men, including the clerks and sergeants-at-arms of the two houses. They paraded in the forenoon and afternoon and held themselves in readiness to move upon the enemy whenever his approach should be signaled. We should not forget to notice that Mr. McWhorter, of Roane county, acted as fifer and Mr. Sheets, of Hampshire, as tenor drummer. We like the sort of vim displayed by the legislature of our New State yesterday. John Morgan would have received a volley of very hearty shots from them had he made his appearance.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1863