June 4, 1861
[Correspondence of the Richmond Enquirer]
Harper’s Ferry, May 24, 1861.
Messrs. Editors:--The election yesterday passed off very quietly. Jefferson county gave a larger vote for secession than I anticipated; but it is enough to mantle with shame the cheeks of her sons, that there should be any among us to lost to all principles of manhood as to desire a continuance of the relation heretofore existing between the State and the old Union. As they have, by their vote against the ordinance of secession, unquestionably demonstrated their affection for and affiliation with our enemies, it would be the best thing they can now do, to take up their residence North of Mason and Dixon’s line. They can be very well spared from the Stated, and I hope they will be made to feel it unmistakably.
Our sister county, Berkeley, has covered herself with disgrace—she being the only county of the Valley that has given a majority against the Ordinance. The true men of that county will, in due time, however, wipe out the nest of traitors who have brought the name of their county into contempt. To the employees of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road, most of them from Baltimore, led on by a few cowardly and unprincipled part tricksters, is this states of affairs to be attributed.
A rencontre occurred here last Friday between Quarter Master Harman and Col. Duncan, of the Kentucky volunteers. It seems that Col. D. had borrowed Harman’s horse to ride over to his encampment, promising to return it in a couple of hours. Col. D., after leaving Harman, was ordered by Col. Jackson, the Commandant here, to perform a special duty. He informed Col. Jackson that he was on a borrowed horse, which he had promised to return that evening. The Commandant ordered him to keep the horse as long as necessary. Col. Duncan did not, therefore, return the horse till the next day. He informed Harman of the reason of the detention, but it seems that this did not satisfy Harman. He told Col. Duncan that “he was not a man of his word,” whereupon Col. D. spat in his face. Harman had a stick or whip in his hand, with which he struck Col. D., who drew a Bowie-knife. At sight of this, Harman exclaimed that he was unarmed. Col.D. told him he did not mean to harm his person, but he whacked away upon Harman’s uniform, cutting it into “gibblits.” Col. Harman, but the challenge was declined. Private Chapman, of Capt. Wm. Sherrard’s company, died very suddenly on Monday last. The opinion of the Surgeons in attendance was that his death resulted from imprudence.
Most of the Regiments have gone into camp on the heights of Bolivar, near the Ferry. The encampment presents a very neat appearance. Perfect order is observed.
General Johnson, Quarter Master in the United States service, who resigned his post in the Federal Army, has arrived and assumed command here. We are sorry to lose Col. Jackson, as he has proved himself a true soldier.
The ladies of Jefferson county are now busily engaged at the Court House in making tents for the Jefferson regiment. The companies composing this regiment have been without tents since mustered into the service. Although they have been mostly camped out, they have performed every duty imposed upon them without a murmur.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: May 1861