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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
Undated
February 1864


The Wheeling Daily Register
February 18, 1864

The West Va. Senate—General Kelly—Farnsworth’s Resolutions—Farnsworth, Carskadon & Co.,--Capture of General Scammon, &c.

NEW CREEK, WEST VA., Jan (Feb). 8, 1864.

Editor of the Wheeling Register:

To-day a copy of the Wheeling Intelligencer was handed me by a friend, and my attention called to a Resolution, which one Farnsworth had introduced into the State Senate, and upon which action appears to have been taken. I propose to notice the merits (?) of the said resolution, its introducer,--his course in the matter, as well as the facts of the case. It appears that the whole venom of this creature Farnsworth is to be spit at General Kelly because of his (K’s) subordinated failed to carry out his orders and plans, and succeed in capturing the rebel Early’s command, near Moorefield, and because General Scammon was accidently captured at the “Red House” on Kanawha river last week. Now sir, as to whom the blame should attach for the failure to save the large train which was captured near Williamsport by Rosser’s command, I shall not discuss Common decency and truth would compel any man that know the facts to say that Gen’l Kelly was not in the least to blame for that unfortunate affair. I know that he gave positive instructions to use the utmost care and to take a good and sufficient force to guard the train through to Petersburg. I can further say with truth and confidence, that, had all that guard behaved like that noble young man Maj. Nathan Goff, of the 4th Va. Cavalry, all would have been saved. It is said by many that Maj. Goff and a few others behaved most gallantly, but were deserted in a measure and permitted to be captured by the rebels. That Gen’l Kelly’s plants were in every respect ample, safe and prudent, no one in the least denies. Did Farnsworth tell the Senate who had command of that guard? Did he tell the Senate that the said valuable train &c, was run up or “ hurried up” to the scene of action which commenced quite a distance in advance of the trains. Did he tell the Senate that the guard with some exceptions became panic stricken at the sound of a cannon and left the train to the mercy of the rebels? No doubt he told the Senate that the Commander of the Department of West Va. Should have been present in person and rallied the panic stricken men of that guard. This fine man Farnsworth appears to think that Gen’l Kelly should be a kind of ubiquitous being, for by his resolutions one would infer that he thinks General Kelly should have been at the “train fight” at Williamsport, at Petersburg, Moorefield, at his Department Headquarter at Cumberland, and finally that the General should have gone out with Gen’l Scammon to have kept the rebels from capturing Scammon at the “Red House.” Now I once knew this man Farnsworth at Buchannon. He thinks he is a great man,—that he ought to get rich, go to Congress,—have a whole Brigade to the guard his home, that he might sell largely to the soldiers and become a great man —rich, powerful, affluent, &c. Why in the name of the common decency has he not long ago enlisted and shown himself to be consistent? Why has he not shouldered a musket that he might help to put down this rebel clan, which he abuses General Kelly for failing to do? This would not suit his fine black cloth. He don’t want to carry a musket or sword; he much prefers to stand behind the counter and sell tape for gain. The field and camp have no enticements for him or his fine broadcloth. The fine and frescoed walls of the Senate of West Virginia; the dazzling beauty of the halls of Congress have charms for him—the field of battle, the clash or arms, the deadly strife to save this country and its glory, none.

Now as to the man, Senator Carskaden, let us look at him a little. He is known to be bitterly opposed to General Kelly for personal reason; which opposition is patent to may: This Carskaden got all his stock in trade upon which to base his abuse of General Kelly, from his two brothers, “Tomis” and “Isick,” who write to the Senator a great many reports and conjectures pertaining to military movements.—Now, these men are very loyal—intensely so—but not a single man of them have had the courage to enlist in their country’s cause. But ab, the “dear peoples” of Hampshire county know how valiant these patriots are to make money out of this unfortunate war. Three stout, able-bodied men, in the very prime of life, and not one ever enlisting in their country’s defence [sic]!—Such men as these are the ones that bark at General Kelly and other military men. From the very beginning of the war; Gen. Kelly has done all in his power to put down the rebellion and save the country. He has bravely fought for his whole country, and for the honor and defense of West Virginia. Have the Farnsworths, the Carskadens, and other secret speculating emissaries, done as General Kelly? Truth answers emphatically, No. If these Senators are so monstrous wise and patriotic, why in the name of their country do not try to assist General Kelly and his subordinates in putting down this most heinous and uncalled for rebellion? If General Kelly is weak, they should help him and his command the more. But instead of helping him, they do all they can to embarrass and break him down. When I state that I am well satisfied that these men, and some others, would like to see him fail in his plans against the rebels, provided they could accomplish their ends, in this the writer speaks advisedly. That many Senators voted for Farnsworth’s resolutions from the best purest motives I have not the least doubt. I am satisfied that had many known the facts as will yet come out in the case, they would not have voted for the resolution. Messrs. Bunker, Burley and others have shown their good sense and consistency in the matter. I see that one, Young, figured heavily in the matter. I happen to know this chimerical, whimsical fellow a little; he came from the mountains is a great eater and a “big thing” for certain Detroit, New York, Baltimore, and ---speculators? Will another delegation go to Washington city to operate for particular ends and means? Now, Mr. Register, I have thrown together the above in haste, not out of any sinister motives, but for the good of all concerned. Justice is a pretty thing, let us all be just. That our cause has met with reverses at and about Petersburg is a fact; that Gen. Scammon was unfortunately capture at the “Red House” is another fact; that Brig. Gen. Kelly is to blame for the same is not a fact; that the same was caused by any mismanagement on his part is not a fact. I am but partially acquainted with Gen. Kelly, yet when I see a man so wantonly attacked by those who should stand by him and the glorious cause he represents, I cannot remain in silence and give my assent to a thing worse than crime—that of robbing a man of his good name. I cannot close this letter without saying that the conduct of Major Nathan Goff and some others in the affair near Williamsport was most gallant. I much regret that the Major was captured and taken to Libby, with several other brave boys. No braver man than Goff carries the sword. I hope he will soon return to his command. The soldier boys in this region are in good health. More if necessary.

JUSTICE.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: February 1864

West Virginia Archives and History