August 11, 1863
A Terrible Slaughter – Thousands Of Lives Lost. – A fierce engagement took place yesterday morning in front of the Athenum prison, between the Provost Guard and the myriads of vermin of various kinds that have so long infested the bunks and walls of the “Lincoln bastile.” The bunks were brought down into the middle of the street and the guard opened upon the enemy with an “eighty-foot” hose, one end of which was attached to the nearest fire plug, from which the aqueous ammunition was supplied. The enemy was forced to abandon the morices and crevices in which he had so successfully concealed himself, and from which he had made so many nocturnal raids upon the slumbering “prize.” He sought safety in a hasty retreat about which there was much panic and disorder, but he was pursued, captured, slayed and destroyed. The engagement lasted about four hours and resulted in a complete rout of the bed bugs, body lice and other enemies of “nature’s sweet restorer.” It was a battle that ought to have been fought some time ago, but the guard had vainly hoped to defeat the enemy by strategy.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1863