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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
October 29, 1864


The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
November 5, 1864

The Case of Capt. Wright Kelley and the recent shooting at New Creek.

Cumberland, MD., Nov. 3.

Editors Intelligencer:

In your issue of yesterday appears the following item in regard to Capt. Tappan Wright Kelley:

“Capt. Wright Kelley, son of the General, commanding and independent company of scouts and rangers, shot one of his men in a difficulty at New Creek last Saturday night. We are not informed of the merits of the case.”

In justice to Capt. Kelley, a brave and efficient young officer, permit one acquainted with the facts of the above mentioned case, to submit the following statement to the public through your columns.

Capt. Kelley’s company has been for some time past stationed at New Creek. – A detail from the company, among them the man Jones, who was shot, had been stationed at Bridge no. 21, B. & O. R.R., under command of Lieut. Gould.

On Saturday morning last Jones left his post without permission and went to New Creek. As soon as Capt. Kelley discovered him in camp and ascertained that he was there without permission, he ordered him to return to his post. This he failed to do, became intoxicated, and visited Capt. Kelley’s quarters, behaving in a very disorderly manner. The Captain ordered him to be quiet and again directed him to return to his post. This he refused to do, replying to the Captain in abusive and insulting language, threatening him with violence, finally catching hold of, pushing and striking him.

For the sake of example, to enforce discipline, and in self-defense, Capt. Kelley drew his pistol and shot Jones, causing his death in a few minutes.

Capt. Kelley, although regretting the necessity for such action feels conscious that he did no more than his duty in the premises. He at once asked for a “Court of Inquiry” on the case, which was granted him. The court convened at New Creek this morning, and without anticipating its verdict , (as it has probably are this writing closed its labors) we can indulge the opinion that they will honorably acquit Capt. Kelley of any wrong action in the matter, as all parties who witnessed the scene, concur in saying that Capt. K. was perfectly justifiable. Very respectfully, etc., A.


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

West Virginia Archives and History