January 18, 1862
The Enemy Discomfited in Braxton
--His Stores at Sutton Burned.
We have information from Braxton county highly gratifying and greatly creditable to a hand of loyal and brave citizens of the country thereabouts. Sometime in the early part of last week the "Moccasin Rangers," whose fame has become wide-spread in the North west, directed their attention to Sutton, the county seat of Braxton, where the enemy had considerable stores guarded by a mail force, yet numbering considerably more than the Rangers. On their way to ration, they encountered a body of the enemy, and, charging upon it, scattered it like sheep, killing and wounding some. The passed on to Sutton, and, after a brief skirmish with the guard. They then set fire to the enemy's stores and burned them all except some eighty bags of coffee, which they carried off.
In this bold and successful exploit the Rangers lost but one man; but that man was, unfortunately, their shroud and energetic jester, Peter Connolly. They called him their chief. He was a brave and noble leader, who had kept up constant war on the enemy. He had killed with his own hands, during the struggle, thirty-eight of the enemy. His loss was greatly deplored by his brave comrades; but in such a band there must be one at least, to take his place.
It is to give countenance and encouragement to such bands as this that there is needed in the Northwest at least a small army of well-disciplined troops, under an accomplished and energetic leader-not one of your do-nothing, camp-bound officers, whose men are all the time cultivating pares. It would furnish the nucleus around which the one met of the Northwest would gather, and co-operating with which they would so worry and terrify the enemy that he would find the country too hot for him.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: January 1862