Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
October 25, 1864

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
October 25, 1864

Gen. Kelley will meet with the Central Union Club this evening at 7 o'clock, and has consented to have a short talk in a plain and familiar way with his old friends, neighbors and acquaintances, touching the duties of all American citizens at this hours of our country's troubles, as he understands them. He would be please to see not only those who agree but those who disagree with his well known views. He does not design making any formal or set speech, but wishes simply and only, and in a plain and soldier-like way to talk to the friends of other days about things in which he and they have one common and indivisible interest.

We expect and hope to see the Club room filled at an early hour.

The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
October 26, 1864

Meeting at the Court House Last Night ? Speaking in German and English ? Speech of Gen. Kelley.

Quite a large and enthusiastic Union meeting was held at the Court House last evening. A large proportion of those in attendance were Germans. Brief addresses were made by Mr. Habermehl, of this city, and J. L. Keethen and H. P. Mouller, of Pittsburgh.

Brevet Major General Kelley, who was present, was loudly called upon for a speech. The General made his appearance and was loudly applauded. He said he had left his command for the purpose only of paying his respects to the remains of the gallant dead whom the people of this city had today committed to the tomb. He had been more gratified to-day than he had been for many a year. In doing honor to the memory of these gallant spirits you have you have expressed your devotion to the cause for which they died. He said he would bear back to his troops the glad tidings that the people of Wheeling and West Virginia owe them for the sacrifices and appreciate their gallantry in the field. ?It was my pleasure,? said the General, ?to know Col. Thoburn better, perhaps, than any of you. He marched with me and the gallant old First Virginia, (applause,) and was by my side when I fell, wounded, at Phillippi. To him, more than any other human being, I owe my life. He set by me and nursed me through the long watches of the night. No woman could have been more tender or kind hearted. In listening to the eloquent address to-day in the Church, I confess, though it may have been a weakness, that I wept like a child. He was as brave and good a man and as noble and gallant a soldier as ever sacrificed his life upon the alter of his country.

Gen. Kelley in this connections, spoke also of Captain Bier. He found the deceased a sergeant in the army, and soon discovered that he was a young man of remarkable ability. As a soldier and as an officer, he was always faithful, gallant and true.

In reference to the Presidential candidates the General said he had nothing to say against the character of either. They were the representatives, however, of two great parties, and great principles were involved in the coming contest. He religiously believed that upon the result of the coming election depended the life or death of the nation. Mr. Lincoln is the representative of a party that is in favor of maintaining the integrity of the Union at all hazards. Gen. McClellan was the standard bearer of those who want to stop this war, and if their policy prevails it will result in a permanent dismemberment of the Union. One had only to read the Chicago platform to come to this conclusion, and he did not see how any man could doubt it. General McClellan had been compelled to write a letter in favor of maintaining the Union but his managers declare that if they elect him they will make him walk the chalk. ?I have had the fortune,? said Gen. Kelly, ?to know Gen. McClellan. He has been my friend. I respect him and love him, but I cannot and will not vote for him. He is in bad company. He is a good man, but he is not a strong one, and in the hands of Vallandigham and Company, he would be easily moulded.?

Gen. Kelly after a few additional remarks, said he had just ten minutes time in which to reach the cars and therefore begged to be excused. As he left the house three cheers were given to Gen. Kelly.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: October 1864

West Virginia Archives and History