March 31, 1864
Notwithstanding the inclement weather, this may truly be denominated one of Moundsville’s “gay and festive” days, and as such will doubtless long be remembered by many of the citizens.
Without the usual publicity attending such proceedings, the good people of the town and neighboring townships, as late as last Thursday, in a quiet and well attended meeting, determined to prepare a dinner for the soldiers, and fearful that expiring furloughs would deprive many of the braves from participating at a later date, they fixed upon to-day for the entertainment.
From early dawn until late in the afternoon furloughed soldiers and citizens poured into town. At half past twelve the steamer Express with a large representation of the 7th and 4th W. Va. Infantry under immediate charge of Capt. Fisher, of the 7th touched the wharf.
The soldiers were formed in line by Col. Lockwood and marched to the front of the Latrobe House, where, by request of the Committee of Arrangements, they were addressed by R. C. Holliday, Esq.
Mr. Holliday referred to the past, and said that the origin of the war, which now and for three years had spread death and desolation over the land, was attributable to the pernicious doctrines and teachings of the South Carolina and Virginia State rights politicians; that the cause of the war was slavery, and the proof was, that wherever there was slavery there was war, and wherever there was no slavery there was no war; that every rebel and rebel sympathizer, North and South, was a friend to slavery, and that the grand and terrible events passing in such awful procession before the nation, proclaimed the doom and downfall and speedy extinction of this institution.
He adverted to the future, and announced for a political chart:
1st. That the war should be rigorously prosecuted with all the energies and resources of the government, until the last rebel in arms should be forced to submission, and the authority of the Federal Constitution and its Laws should be recognized and respected over all the land.
2d. That the Federal Constitution should be so amended as to prohibit slavery from every foot of is soil and to consecrate it to freedom and free labor forever.
3d. That it was the interest and duty of the people to re-elect to the Presidency the honest patriot and honest man, Abraham Lincoln.
In conclusion, the soldiers present were, on behalf of the ladies, the committee, and the community, welcomed to the entertainment provided for them.
Col. Lockwood, in behalf of the soldiers, tendered their acknowledgement for the hospitalities extended to them, when they marched into the dining room, and lost no time in partially relieving the seemingly groaning tables. After probably twelve hundred soldiers and civilians had gratified their delicate (?) cravings, a procession was formed and marched to the Court House, which it filled to overflowing. – Here, after a series of earnest and patriotic cheers and thrilling music by the martial band of the 7th, Col. Wm. Alexander introduced Auditor Crane, who delivered a very entertaining speech, urging the importance of sustaining the war against the rebellion, by the use of every available means – on the part of the people at home – in filling up the depleted ranks of our veteran regiments. He defended the Administration, pictured a warning against the result of idle confidence in unexerted power, and declared that the preservation of the Union was consideration paramount to all others.
R. C. Holliday, Esq., followed in a very earnest unconditional Union and administration speech, the only defect in which was its brevity. Col. J. H. Lockwood closed the oratorical part of the entertainment in a genuine, practical, and warlike discussion, such as peculiarly becomes so thorough a hero and patriot. The warm and zealous Union sentiment which pervaded the speeches, was most vehemently applauded. Forsooth the entire day, from the festivities at the dinner tables, to the closing exercises at the Court House was to any Union man present, most cheeringly and laudably spent.
Much praise and many thanks are due to Col. Wm. Alexander, Messrs. George Edwards, Samuel Riggs, S. Dorsey, Jr., Robert G. St. Clair, and many others – ladies and gentlemen – for their energy in providing so bountifully for the entertainment.
Now, Messrs. Editors, though a comparative stranger to this section of the State, I do not hesitate to add, from what I have just witnessed, that Marshall county will never be a debtor to Uncle Sam in either men or money, so long as there is left a man or a dollar within her borders to balance accounts with.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1864