December 2, 1864
Mr. Charley Russell, once of this town, and originally of Tyler county, now a member from this district of the rebel Congress, offered a resolution the other day that he and his fellow rebels would never submit, but that they would wage rebellion on and on, world without end. We suppose that the resolution really represents Mr. Charley Russell’s desires. He is certainly one of the public men who can ill afford to see the war stop short of rebel independence. There are some with whom it is different, Mr. Russell recognizes that unless the rebellion shall prove a success, and unless West Virginia shall be reclaimed to the Old Dominion, and the Union element here and throughout all our counties crushed under, he could never hope to come back and even live here much less to be a power among us as he once was. He has no hope so far as all his old associations are concerned except in the absolute success of the rebellion, the overthrow of the Union, and the scatterment and exile of Union men from West Va. We think, however, that Mr. Russell mistakes the future even supposing that his desires for the success of the rebellion should be realized, when he takes it for granted that the people of West Va. would suddenly lose their present feeling toward him and his coadjutors from their midst. Happen what may in this war Mr. Russell has no future among us, except one of general execration. He and Joe Pendleton and such like escapaders from this section, could not regain their standing were the rebellion successful ten times over. At every election they would be voted out of countenance, and at every street corner the boys among us would cry “for shame!” at them. They would be recognized by all classes as the architects of ruin – of broken hopes – of perished liberties – of desolated memories. The mark of Cain would be on such, and it would be strange if some who should find them would not slay them.
We would suggest to Mr. Charley Russell and his red-handed confreres from hereabouts, that they turn their faces away from any anticipations hitherwards. This will be no place for them in any event. The spirit of the old Union, with all its precious recollections, will not soon die out among the freedom loving people of West Virginia, come weal or woe to the Union itself. Without cause, without a decent pretext, without community of interest or association, they unnaturally left us and joined themselves to our task-mastner [sic] in East Virginia, and with them have made common cause against us, and against our neighbors and friends along this border, and against the common country of us all. Such men have no lot or inheritance among us any more. They must go to other sections, where the people are more like themselves, and where the voice of reproach is not so likely to be heard nor the finger of scorn so often seen. Of all men we can imagine such men as Charley Russell to be the most miserable. The future promises them little, be it as it may. They will be aliens wherever they go, and even success can bring them no recompense in their own estimations for what they have forfeited. They will wear out the miserable remnants of their miserable lives as the bloody Jacobins of France wore out theirs, and “doubly dying, will go down.”
“To the vile dust from whence they sprung,
Unwept, unhonored and unsung.”
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: December 1864