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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
Undated
March 1863


Wheeling Intelligencer
March 13, 1863

Another Copperhead In Tribulation. – We learn that Mr. Fontaine Smythe, the very fantastic and “Frenchy” gentleman who so ably assisted in misrepresenting Marion county in the late Legislature, and who used to furnish entertainment for that body by the elegance of his ground and lofty tumbling, has lately been coming to grief. It appears that Fontaine has been very busy since the adjournment of the body of which he was the chief ornament, in disseminating malicious falsehoods to the detriment of the new State, and in stirring up sedition against the United States Government, greatly to the indignation of the loyal citizens about Mannington, where this illustrious member of a very illustrious and numerous family resides. A short time ago it happened that a number of soldiers who have their home there returned on furlough, and having heard something of Fontaine’s operations, they determined to duck him in Buffalo creek, which runs hard by. But Fontaine has a happy faculty of always being some place else than where he is supposed to be; so when the soldiers went to look for him, he slipped out the back way. Some of them discovered him, and gave chase; and we are told there was a very spirited race over the meadows between the soldiers and the Copperhead. But Fontaine was too fleet for them, and in this case it happened – in opposition to the general rule – that the race was to the swift, so that the waters of Buffalo creek escaped the intended pollution and Fontaine the anticipated ducking. The ground was soft, and the tracks Fontaine made, which were very wide apart, are said to be still visible in the meadows around Mannington, which are like Moore’s “Flowerels of Eden,” in one respect at least, for “The trail of the serpent is over them all.”


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: March 1863

West Virginia Archives and History