May 29, 1863
Webster, W.Va, May 23 1863
Gents: News in this department is scarce. The rebs are not nearer than Mingo Flats, if there. Col. Latham (With his bloody 2nd Va. Vol. Inf.) is at Beverly, and with the assistance of two companies of the 14th Pa. Vol. Cav. Picking up an occasional horse thief – better known as Imboden’s Cavalry! Yesterday they brought in seven, captured at Huttonsville. I believe we are safe from the scoundrels now, until they eat up what they have stolen during the recent raid.
The best news I have now is that Gen. Averill has succeeded Gen. Roberts. He passed through here yesterday. He is a fine looking man and has a “military eye,” and I believe, will fight. I have no objections to Gen. Roberts only that he did not know the country, and was a little too slow.
I am happy to contradict a sentence in my recent letter from Grafton: J. Frank Phares, Sheriff of Randolph county, was not killed. He is now living and in a fair way to recover. I have just seen a man from Beverly, who tells me that he will soon be able to show himself to those infernal rebels who prayed so loudly for his death.
I have made the acquaintance of several of the officers of the 12th Peah’s cavalry and some of the men, and they are such a noble set of good fellows that I hope they will stay with us to assist in cleaning out the scurry devils who now infest our “happy land of Canaan.”
We want five or six thousand mounted riflemen in this section, a battery or two of howitzers, one battery of 10 or 12-pounders, about 5,000 infantry and then we can wipe out Imboden, Jackson, Jones & Co in short order. Give us the use of your pen in behalf of maintaining out West Virginia regiments, and if we succeed, you may sleep soundly in your smoky city.
The loyal citizens are returning to their homes, and corn-planting is going on briskly. I was pleased, as I came from Morgantown here, at the fine prospect of wheat, rye and oats. Monongalia, Marion and Taylor counties are looking forward to an abundant harvest. It looks cheering.
Yours, most respectfully,
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: May 1863