Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
June 1861

Richmond Daily Dispatch
June 27, 1861

Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch
Affairs in Western Virginia

Mercer Co., Va., June 17, 1861.

We are contiguous to three counties here Mercer, Raleigh and Wyoming--and have made up a company of volunteers, to organize tomorrow, from the three counties, a majority of which are of this county, but all are unanimously in favor of rendezvousing at Charleston. We are not at so much a loos concerning that (as we suppose the Governor would order them to Charleston if they wished to go there,) as to how the company shall be called, each member wishing his county to have credit of his services. There are as many from Mercer as both the other counties, consequently a majority would be in favor of calling it a Mercer company, but for fear of having to rendezvous at Lynchburg; they think there is fighting to do in the west, and they wish to be employed, as all are good riflemen, and can each furnish a rifle. Either county (Mercer or Raleigh) would uniform them if she could have the credit of the company; but either, I suppose, would be unwilling to uniform the citizens of another without it. This is no time for dissention; let us hear from headquarters what we are to do in such a dilemma, and all companies made in different counties.

We live in a back woods, mountainous country, rather thinly inhabited; but the people are alive to the cause of Virginia. They say "they will never forsake their mother in time of trouble." A young man--one of a family of four brothers (two married) and a widowed mother told me, not long, since, he wanted to volunteer, but his elder brother would not allow him. I was afterwards at a call muster of a volunteer company, for the purpose of recruiting, where I saw three of the four enlisted for the defense of their State, including the one that at first opposed his brother, who leaves a wife and three small children; and their old mother was marching in the rear of the company, waving her bonnet over her head, saying she had but one left, and would give him up if necessary. I know others, who voted against the Ordinance of Secession, (and went so far as to say, if they had to fight, they would fight for the North,) who are now the most enthusiastic volunteers we have There were many who voted against the Ordinance of Secession in Western Virginia that did it for want of information, and some of whom I have heard express regrets since. Therefore, let not the East censure their Western brothers, who are nobly coming to the rescue. C.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: June 1861

West Virginia Archives and History