Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
August 1861

Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 21, 1861

[for the Richmond Dispatch.]

Hessian deviltry at Harper's Ferry, Va.

If ever an army was characterized by a total disregard of the rules of civilized warfare, and the reultilatinuos violations of the rights of humanity, that army is the tyrant Lincoln's Whether as an unit or sectionalized into divisions or brigades, it is the same; but one purpose, one hell-sanctioned spirit of deviltry, animates the soldiers and officers : It matters not whether the spot should be held sacred from the polluting footsteps of invaders, or the section made classical in history from the glory of its associations and its immortal renown. Temples of Divine worship; graveyards, where the sheeted dead should be left to slumber on in their repose; the homes of the widows; the houses of the soldiers of the glorious South, who are away in defence of the old State; the soil of their nativity : all find no respect at the hired of these Northern vandals No Goth of Vandal borde that ever swept over the sunny plains of Italy in the days of semi-barbarism ever developed more signal traits of human debasement and utter moral prostitution than do these brigades of lincoln Myrmidons No home so pure, but subject to their infernal visitations; no spot too sacred for their desecration; and if there be one complexion on this "hell of ugly devils" more us than the rest, it is that Treason that marks the place, that directs the step, and urges be the invader to the indulgence of his sectional hate, to the commission of his violence, his barbarism, his inhumanity, and his crime.

In Harper's Ferry, Va, where the division of Patterson were encamped, numerous instances of these depredations were committed. Apart from the natural bent of Northern proclivities, these minions of a be start President were stimulated and hounded on by certain citizens of that place in the destruction of their neighbor's property and invasion of their homes and the capture of their own townsmen. A widow lady by the name of House, the proprietress of a hotel, was ordered out of her establishment, which was entered at the instigation of resident traitors by a band of Patterson's robbers; her furniture broken into fragments; part cast into the street (What hell of Abiquiu so deep but a consignment to its depths of a traitor that would thus designate a widow lady as an object of hatred and revenge because she was Southern in her sentiment) Another widow lady, whose two sons are at Fayetteville A senal, in the employ of the Southern Confederacy, was the subject of their threated insults, because the mother refused to yield up to them the correspondence of her sons. The private letters from the South were demanded, and fearful threats were made of the destruction of her house and home if the demand was not complied with. True to her sons, and strong in her devotion to the South, she bid them defence, and wrote to her youngest son immediately to join the army of the South, and aid in driving back the accused invaders from Virginia's soil. How marked the difference, how loyal the distinction, in the demeanor of this old lady and mother, that urged the youngest and to go forth to battle for Southern independence, and the action of two other females of the same place, who presented a splendid flag to a regiment of vandal Massachusetts cobblers, under the command of Patterson : the one an evidence of loyalty and devotion; the others a demonstration of pride and a miserable exhibition of treason.

The dwelling of Captain George Chambers (now at Manassas) was invaded, his household effects destroyed, his china ware cast on the floor, and the silver ware carried away by these Hessian burglar. Two Indies, whose husbands are at Fayetteville, were ordered out of town peremptorily, and their residences threatened with fire, because they had spoke on behalf of the South. One old gentleman received notice to quit the place, because he had been employed in removing machinery from the Raffle factory to Richmond and Fayetteville. The farmers, of Southern sentiment, have been told, and villainous threats have been made against their persons and property, by some of these crayen-hearted miscreants, for voting for the Ordinance of Secession; whilst a large number of the residents of Harper's Ferry have been necessitated to leave all their property, real and personal, for the protection and security of their persons, and actuated by a [ devcil ] to the South in the institution of factories or armories in the Southern Confederacy--Another portion of the citizens (Federal) have been employed in reporting all disloyalty persons to the Federal officers, and piloting the Yankee buccaneers in the road for the destruction of their neighbors' property : Would it not be well for the Southern Government to have an eye on the property of those traitors who are engaged in this pusillanimous work? Several have real estate to the amount of thousands of dollars, and are, at the hour of writing this, daily receiving rations from the Hessian army. Why slumbers the thunderbolts of Southern justice : Let summary punishment fall on the traitor, and confiscation be the verdict for his property. No loyal son of the South, and former resident of that place, dare exhibit his presence while the Hessians have command of that section, without instant intelligence being communicated of his visit, and a file or posse of Federal troops sent for his arrest. If he essays to avoid arrest by any means, he is either hunted down as a wild beast of the neighboring hills, or escapes by a rapid flight from the village of his birth. It is a truth, that a number of those traitors escaped punishment from the Confederate soldiers, for the use of obnoxious, treasonable language, by the intercession of men who now suffer in their persons and property, while the Confederate army lay at Harper's Ferry. Two of those traitors have been signally efficacious in preventing the transmission of machinery southward; in sending Federal cavalry to apprehend a physician on his way to Manassas, in the cause of humanity, in enrolling citizens' names that were local to the South; and generally aiding in work of hostility to the Southern Confederacy, and giving information to the hirelings of an arbitrary Government of the North. The traitors be love the Southern Government an imbecile : aye, an abortion, too feeble to punish their traitors; and the forbearance of its policy is by them understood to be a nullity of its power. Let the gis of Southern justice be lifted up and hydra-headed treason in her midst be cloven down. Armorer

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

West Virginia Archives and History