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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
November 7, 1864


Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
November 10, 1864

A Noted Rebel In Town. – The notorious bushwhacker, Henry Williams, who, it will be remembered, did so much damage in Missouri, was seen in Wheeling a few days ago, and left on Monday night on horseback for parts unknown. He is well known all over Calhoun county, and should he get a band together he will do as much damage in this State as he did in Missouri. Shortly after the battle of Wilson’s Creek, Sterling Price gave him command of 100 mounted cut throats. His first act, after Gen. Pope evacuated Springfield and had crossed the Osage river, was to steal in the night time into Warsaw, and burn the town, shooting men as they escaped from the burning houses. He broke into the Bank, took all the money and escaped across the pontoon bridge which Fremont had built, and set it on fire.

We next hear of him in Sedalia, Tipton and California, where he made many raids. He next turns up at Commerce in company with Jeff Thompson and Major Prentice, (son of George D. Prentice of Louisville,) where Williams and Thompson had a grand fight. Williams shot Thompson’s brother-in-law, who was his Lieutenant, for disobeying his orders. Shots were afterwards exchanged between Thompson and Williams. Gen. Grant subsequently captured Williams and thirty of his men and paroled them. He has been north some two years. He is a native of South Western Virginia, but has spent most of his life at sea. We would not be surprised to hear of him on the lakes before long as he is a desperate character.

Many years ago, the Williams boys made themselves well known in this city and they were regarded as dangerous characters. Harry, or as he was then better known, Wash Williams, shot a negro some years ago for some trivial offe[n]ce near the McLure House, and soon afterwards went to sea.


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

West Virginia Archives and History