August 7, 1863
Difficulty Of Preserving Order. – With show folks of all sorts the people of Wheeling have the reputation of being the most boisterous and disorderly at public exhibitions, of any people in the country. Every exhibition, no matter of what character, is sure to be greeted by shouts and whistles and rude demonstrations of disorder. Since the theatre opened at Washington Hall the management has been terribly annoyed by a class of persons who appear to attend the performances on purpose to create a tumult and annoy the performers and the better portion of the audiences.
Late on Wednesday evening a crowd of young men were yelling and shouting, when Mr. John Downs, a special policeman on duty at the hall, undertook to eject a person from the parquette. He was followed to the door by a numerous crowd and was several times knocked down and was severely beaten about the head and face. A very large crowd soon collected and the prospects were that a general fight would take place. Capts. Moore and Thorpe, however, happening to be present, ordered a guard of soldiers to sieze the more prominent rioters and taken them to the Atheneum. This order was immediately executed and the excitement subsided.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1863