August 19, 1863
The usually quiet little town of Webster was all astir on Thursday evening, and many persons of both sexes assembled at the camp of company C, 4th regiment, West Virginia volunteer cavalry, to witness the presentation of a flag to the company by the ladies of the vicinity.
The company has been recruited by Capt. R. C. Arbuckle, of Webster, and number ninety-two members, all of whom reside in the immediate neighborhood and will forthwith join the regiment now being organized at Parkersburg by Col. Paxton under the six months call.
Notwithstanding the unpropitious state of the weather – the rain falling in torrents the fore part of the evening, to the discomfiture of visitors from a distance – the muster of fair equestrians was considerable, and plainly testified to the interest taken in the proceedings.
About 7 o’clock the troop was formed in order of parade, and presently an ambulance approached with a deputation of young ladies, consisting of Misses Fannie A. Holden, Vic. Burdett, Sue Burdett and Jennie Kemble, bearing the flag. The ladies were courteously received, and at once proceeded with the ceremony, Miss Holden presenting the flag with a neat and appropriate speech; and here an amusing incident occurred. The animal which Capt. Arbuckle bestrode, having strong secession proclivities, it is presumed, positively refused to advance one step toward the object of his dislike, the banner of beauty and glory, and manifested a strong desire to fall back without orders. After many abortive, though energetic attempts to check the backward movement of his horse, the gallant Captain was fain to dismount and accept the present on foot.
On receiving the flag, Capt. Arbuckle adverted feelingly to the cause in which they were engaged, and in the course of his remarks pledged himself and his men to stand by their flag through all forthcoming struggles and preserve its honor as pure and untarnished as they received it. Turning to his men he called upon them to endorse this pledge, which they did so emphatically as to fully insure the fair donors that their gift was not misplaced.
The proceedings were abreviated by indications of a storm and the spectators dispersed in groups to the various dwelling houses and hotels in the town.
The Captain and his immediate friends including the ladies and several gentlemen connected with the Post Quarter Master’s Department, adjourned to the house of Mr. G. E. Jarvis, where the evening was agreeably closed with music and social converse.
We would say with regard to Capt. Arbuckle’s company, that a finer body of men cannot be found in the ranks of the Union army. The officers are intelligent and efficient, and under the leadership of a man of Col. Paxton’s known ability and pluck they will certainly render a good account of themselves.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1863