May 25, 1864
Outrages by Careless or Disorderly Soldiers. – Mr. W. P. Smith, Master of Transportation on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, has sent a circular letter to all officers in command of troops stationed along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, stating that frequent depredations have occurred of late by unruliness on the part of the troops, while being carried over the road in detachments or larger commands. A few day since, he says, while the regular passenger train from Washington for New York was passing a train of troops for Washington at Annapolis junction, some of the soldiers in the latter train threw stones or other missiles into one of the New York cars, breaking the glass and scattering the pieces, one of which struck a gentleman on the opposite side of the car, cutting his forehead above the eye. In other instances, a number of soldiers, under the influence of liquor, have risked the lives of their fellow passengers on the train and others, by disorderly conduct. In other cases again cars of valuable freight have been sacked, and the property much injured as well as taken off. This is a most serious and a growing evil, involving great losses to a company, and to many individuals.
Mr. Smith says, that, independent of the general propriety and duty, which calls for efforts at preventing these irregularities and abuses, the fact that the passenger trains contain many officers and soldiers and their families, moving over the road, and who are subjected to the liability of injury from those causes, he hopes it is not amiss for him to invoke vigilant attention to the subject, so that be a careful supervision on the part of the officers, and a prompt alacrity to prevent danger and possibly loss of life or personal injury to passengers, in arresting the offenders and interposing their authority these grave difficulties may be remedied.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: May 1864