March 21, 1863
A letter was received yesterday at the State Department from Mr. John Boggs, member of the late Constitutional Convention, from Pendleton County, giving the particulars of a severe fight between the Union men and rebels, near Senaca in Pendleton county. They have an organization of loyal men in Pendleton who call themselves the Swampers. These men have banded together for mutual protection but are indifferently armed. A few days ago seventy mounted rebels made a raid into Pendleton with a view of capturing the Swampers but the latter rallied and bushwhacked them and drove them back with the loss of only two men. The rebels then went over to Franklin and brought back one hundred infantry. The Swampers being fully advised of the movements of the rebels sent out a squad of ten men who encountered the advance guard of the rebels consisting of twenty men, on the road and a fight ensued. At the first fire the rebels wounded one of the Swampers and captured two. The Swampers, however, being now only seven in number rallied and drove the rebels off the field, retaking their two captured men. At this point the rebels were reinforced by twenty more men but the Swampers by obstructing the road and firing from behind trees again chased the enemy back killing six and wounding several more. The Swampers then made themselves scarce.
Mr. Boggs states that the rebels threaten to make an extensive raid into Pendleton and kill all the Union men they can lay their hands on. He also states that the little band of Swampers are entirely cut off from all communication with the Federal army and that they need help.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: March 1863