Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Series I, Vol. 46, Part 3, p. 1231
Headquarters Department of West Virginia,
Cumberland, Md., May 28, 1865.
Brevet Major-General Carlin,
Commanding First Infantry Division:
General: Information having been received from headquarters Middle Military Division that in certain portions of the interior of the State of West Virginia there are stored and concealed large quantities of arms and other public property of the so-called Confederate States, the general commanding directs that you send a mounted force to the interior to seize and bring in all such stores as may be found, and turn them over to the proper authorities. The commanding officer will also be instructed to capture rebel officers and men who fail to surrender, and to parole those who desire to surrender, and who have been prevented from coming in for that purpose. The troops will be taken from the Eighth Ohio Cavalry, and if no objection intervenes Colonel Owens will command the expedition. The strength of the detachment is left to your discretion, with, however, this general direction, that the number should be sufficient to impress the people with the idea that the Government is able and willing to bring the necessary military force to bear to preserve order and enforce the laws. The route will also be determined mainly by you, except that it is desired that the detachment proceed as far, if practicable, as Huntersville, in Pocahontas County. Private property will be respected, and should it become necessary to draw upon the country for supplies the commanding officer will be directed to give proper vouchers therefor, without reference to the loyalty of the party from whom they are procured. This by direction of the general commanding.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hdqrs. First Division, [Dept. of] West Virginia,
May 29, 1865.
An authentic copy of this letter to be furnished Col. W. Owens, Eighth Ohio Cavalry, through commander of First Brigade, First Division, [Department of] West Virginia. Colonel Owens will forthwith proceed to execute these instructions with all the available force of his regiment. He will endeavor also to capture ex-Governor William Smith of Virginia, and other prominent men in the service of the late Confederate States. Colonel Owens will use his own judgment in selecting the route to be pursued, but his general direction will be toward Huntersville. He will endeavor to return on a different road from the one he takes in going southward. The quartermaster’s and subsistence departments will fill all requisitions of Colonel Owens to enable him to set our promptly on this expedition. Every effort will be made by Colonel Owens to discover the arms, &c., referred to in this paper.
By order of Brevet major-General Carlin:
[Henry J. Johnson,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1865