June 4, 1861
[Correspondence of the Richmond Enquirer]
Harper’s Ferry, May 30.—I notice in many Northern papers the most absurd stories in relation to the forces quartered at and near this place. According to the “eye witnesses,” the number varies from 2,500 to 10,000 men, and these, it seems, are but half fed, clothed, and equipped. A correspondence from Valley Spirit, ____, Pa, states that he entered the lines of the military encampment on the Virginia side of the Potomac opposite Williamsport, Md., last week, and had a conversation with Col. Allen, the Commandant of the post, who freely communicated all his plans and purposes. It is by this sort of downright lying that the newspapers of the North and their correspondents hope to bolster up Northern courage. In the same paper which contains this letter, it is stated that an entire camp of Pennsylvania volunteers, numbering 500 men had disbanded at Chambersburg, and returned to their homes. “Straw show which way the wind blows.” These patriotic “Dutch” couldn’t stand “hard crackers and rotten pork,” albeit the most of them volunteered to serve the “baboon” to prevent starvation.
The “Augusta Guards” were sent to Morgan county yesterday to look up the arms that were distributed among the Morganites during the Brown raid. They recovered about 1,200 musket. The people of that county, like these of Barkeley, disgraced themselves by voting against the ordinance of secession. If the other portions of the State, that voted the same way, were as valueless as Morgan, it would not matter much if the whole were moved into the heart of Yankeedom. There are, owever, a few good and true ment amongthe hills of that county, who should be supported with the strong arm of the State, against the evils of their treacherous neighbors. It would be a severe punishment, were it possible that all dough-faced Virginians could be made to feel the tender mercies of the “rail splitter,” and if the scorn and contempt of one hundred thousand of their fellow citizens will not drive them from the soil poluted by their presence, they should be drafted into service and commanded to do the scavenger duties of ____.
Our ____ will not be long before ____ ____ posts will be completed that will bid defiance to the abolition “cut throats.” These posts will serve, also, as a base of operations, when the time comes to “carry the war into Africa.” I have no idea that it is the intention of President Davis to stand merely on the defensive, but on the contrary, he will make the enemy feel the horrors of war at their own hearthstones.
The ladies of Jefferson county, (Heaven bless them,) are busy making tents, haversacks, shirts, & c., for the volunteers. They have already completed quite a number of these indispensables and dispatched them to the various camps in the neighborhood.
Another volunteer company is being rapidly organized at Charlestown. It will go into service immediately. This will make the ninth company in the field from this county. Captain J. W. Gray, formerly delegate from Berkeley county, in the General Assembly, and a “true blue” Virginian, presented to Captain William Sherrard’s company, the “Old Dominion Grays,” the sum of $50, to aid in furnishing the company new uniforms. This sum was increased considerably by a _____ from Col. Robert Lucas, of this county. The “Old Dominion Grays” are made up of the best material of Berkeley county, and will give a good account of themselves when opportunity occurs.
The volunteer force here, and at the different posts in the neighborhood, are in fine health and spirits. They have all the substantials and many of the luxuries of life. All that is wanting is system in the Commissariat, and this, I hope, will be established, when competence will be the rule of all appointments of the service.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: May 1861