August 24, 1864
Guerrilla Raid into Wirt County. – Heavy Robberies. – We are informed by Mr. Stewart, late Provost Marshal of Wirt county, who has in the city yesterday, that early on Friday morning last, a gang of forty-two guerrillas entered the town of Newark in that county. They robbed the store of Mr. Stewart taking about five hundred dollars worth of dry goods, boots, shoes and notions. They also took from the store of Mr. Foster, formerly a delegate in the legislature from Wirt county, about a thousand dollars worth of goods of all descriptions. They then robbed the post office taking about eight hundred postage stamps and all the letters and paper they could find. They went about the town and got sacks into which they packed the goods and tied them with bed cording upon the backs of their horses. The rebels were commanded by one John Burner, formerly a citizen of Wirt county, and were well armed. Many of them wore blue blouses and were mistaken for Union soldiers. They stole from the neighborhood of Newark eighteen horses, one of which was valued at $1,100. Mr. Stewart says the rebel citizens stood by and laughed while the guerrillas were perpetrating the robberies and that in some instances the goods and horses of Union men were pointed out by the sympathizers. The rebels came from the forks of Hughes’ river and took their plunder in an opposite direction.
Mr. Stewart is particularly obnoxious to the rebels, owing to his having taken a prominent position on the side of the Union at the breaking out of the war, and from the fact that he has been engaged in bushwhacking every since. The first thing the rebels did when they entered the town was to ask for him, but as the inquiry was propounded to that gentleman himself, by someone who did not know him, his whereabouts was not discovered, until after the rebels left, when he emerged from a field of corn in which he had taken refuge as soon as he ascertained that the rebels were after him. Mr. S. yesterday succeeded in getting arms and ammunition from the State authorities, which is to be placed in the hands of the loyal men of the county who have banded together for defense. He says the bitterest feeling prevails against the citizen rebels, and although the Union men are considerably outnumbered, they have determined that one sentiment or the other must be destroyed and its exponents driven from the country. He says it is impossible for the two parties to live together in peace.
August 25, 1864
CORRECTION. – In noticing the late guerilla raid into Newark, county, we stated that the loss of Mr. Foster, whose store was robbed, was about one thousand dollars. Mr. F.’s loss will not fall much short of twenty-five hundred dollars.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1864