Morgantown Weekly Post and Monongalia and Preston County Gazette
May 27, 1865
A meeting of soldiers (citizens of Preston county, West Va., ) members of company F, 17th W. V. V. Inft., was held at Bulltown, W. Va., on the 8th day of May, 1865.
On motion Capt. Morris M. Snider was called to the Chair, and Lt. Hosea Matheny appointed Sec’y.
The foilowing [sic] address and resolutions were submitted and adopted, as an expression of the sentiments of the meeting: To our Fellow-citizens of Preston County, West Virginia. We congratulate you as well as ourselves in the fact of the preservation and complete establishment of our exalted nationality. Our republican government has been from its first organization, the subject of scorn and derision, on the part of proud and jealous aristocrats. It was often termed a “mushroon [sic] nation,” and tauntingly “the great republic.” Oft indeed had it been exclaimed with prophetic sneer by hereditary nobility “soon the bauble nation will vanish. It is idle to suppose that a Democratic government shall preserve order and guard the welfare of the people.” Yea, in the combination of all European despotisms, it has been enjoined as their happiest hopes that our nation must die of the disease of popular liberty, and finally when our dark and trying hour came, when the spirit of aristocracy upon our own soil had culminated into an organized rebellion, when our national legislative halls were being forsaken and scorned by the enemy of popular government, when armed military forces were being trained upon our own soil for the demolition of our republican institutions, and the establishment of an organized aristocracy, when the inauguration of a regularly chosen president was being scorned and sneered at by the assembled ministers of foreign power, then in the hour of our nation’s extremity the London Times, the chief organ of the English throne, shouted in the tone of exultation which betrayed its malignant satisfaction—“the great republic is no more.” But fellow-citizens, though the ribs and cords of our great ship of state were greatly strained, almost breaking, and tho’ she was then upon an angry sea, rough and boisterous, threatening her wreck and ruin, yet she was not sunken nor lost; for Providence has in that dark hour placed at her helm an efficient and keen-eyed pilot, our great and good chief magistrate—Abraham Lincoln—who has looked neither upon the right or left, nor to the rear, with fear faltering; but his eyes upon the binnacle, he has steered us o’er the waving storms of four years’ struggle, gathering strength from every wave until the storm was being stayed, and the bosom of the troubled sea was setting in a broad scene of peace and hope of future national prosperity.
We repeat our congratulations in view of the grand and elevating results arising from the eminent wisdom and prudence of our great Lincoln. But oh! alas, this memory is to be gloomed with sadness. How suddenly our day of rejoicing has been darkened with a night of woe. We mourn and weep now as we never mourned and wept before. How strange and inscrutable is Providence in which so great and good a man is stricken down by the hand of a wicked assassin, as the agent of infernal malice. How unequal is the exhibited retribution upon the assassins compared with our country’s loss.—We have lost our chief magistrate, and as a retribution a craven, cowardly assassin has been shot because he refused to surrender. Our consolation, however, is, that this assassination will meet with the just indignation of an incensed nation.
Fellow-citizens, a great man has fallen, but our government survives, and our enemies are subdued. Like Moses, our former leader was only permitted to see the land of promise; but as in yore, another Joshua has arisen to lead us to an actual possession. Andrew Johnson has already proven himself equal to the responsibilities of his position, and has the hearts of the people and the prayers of the good.
His sentiments thus far expressed, especially as to the crime of treason and the punishment of that cr5ime, are perfectly in consonance with our views and feelings. Let all feel treason to be the worst of crimes. We have studied with painful anxiety to know what is to be the future status of those rebels who have joined their fortunes with the traitor’s cause, and we have hailed with pleasure and full approval the exposition by Attorney-General Speed, the stipulations between Gens. Grant and Lee upon the surrender of the latter.—This exposition as coming from a wise mind, authoritatively, will doubtless be received as an opportune document, and adopted as the guide in every loyal community; and finally, we wish to say to home friends, in view of the above sentiment, that it is with no ordinary degree of pleasure that we read in the Wheeling “Intelligencer” of the 4th inst. of a meeting of the voters of Kingwood township, looking to the return of those who voluntarily joined themselves to the rebellion.—Therefore,
Resolved, That we hereby heartily approve of the said action.
Resolved, That we recommend a similar action on the part of each township in our county.
Resolved, That if we are permitted to return home, we will heartily and practically co-operate with you in carrying out your wise and just conclusion.
Resolved, That we do not think that the presence of traitors in loyal communities should be tolerated;--that when they rebelled against the government, they gave up all claims to citizenship with us.
Resolved, That we will not extend the hand of fellowship, in in any way countenance any one who deserted us in the hour of trial and took up arms against us.
Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings be sent to the Wheeling Intelligencer for publication.
M. M. Snider, Pres’t.
Hosea Metheny, Sec’y.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1865