October 1, 1864
Serenade to Gen. Milroy. – Gen. Milroy was serenaded last evening at the McLure House. The band played the Star Spangled Banner and a spirited march, after which, loud calls were heard for “Gen. Milroy” and “Old Grey Eagle.” Gov. Peirpoint then stepped forward and introduced the General.
General Milroy said he was nothing but a plain Western Hoosier. He would almost as soon attempt to storm a battery as to make a speech. He had received the credit of acting very promptly but would never, acquire any honor as a talker. He said he considered it an honor to command the Virginia troops of which his brigade was entirely composed. They were fighting boys. They had left home and friends to engage in the sacred cause and nobody but a soldier could ever appreciate the hardships and privations they had undergone. They had endured all patiently and willingly. We marched through Virginia once. We have come back to go over the same ground again. We have an unfaltering trust in the justice of our cause and its ultimate success.
In speaking of the late Bull Run Battle, he said that not half of Gen. Pope’s army was engaged. The affair was badly managed somewhere or other. The rebels and the Federals both commenced running at about the same time in different directions. The rebels discovered this fact before we did. They came back the next day. We didn’t, and they claimed a victory.
Gen. Milroy said he believed that slavery was the cause of this war. The cause of contention ought to be removed, and he was glad that the signs of the times looked to the accomplishment of this great object.
The recent invasion of Maryland, was the cause of this war. The cause of contention, ought to be removed, and he was glad that the signs of the times looked to the accomplishment of this great object.
The recent invasion of Maryland was a spasmodic and desperate enterprise on the part of the rebels. The would be driven back into the dens in which their treason was hatched. He had the utmost faith in the success of the Union arms and had never dispared for a moment.
Gen. Milroy spoke rapidly and nervously. He has a slight impediment in his speech, but he nevertheless speaks as he acts, promptly and decisively. He looks and he talks like a soldier, and his men are entirely devoted to him. He was loudly and enthusiastically applauded.
At the conclusion of the General’s speech loud calls were made for Governor Peirpont, but the Governor did not appear, and the crowd gradually dispersed.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1864