St Clara Colony. Doddridge Cy. 888
7 June 1864
His Excellency A. J. Boreman
Gov of 888
Your [?] 31st [?] was received a few days ago. I can very readily understand your perpslenity [sic] in regard to the Scouts, and Suppose the best you can do is to dismiss Some and retain others according to their merits. II have taken the liberty to entertain you upon this subject because I know that in this as in all other matters you have an interest in knowing the truth.----
Not more than an hour ago I was requested by two neighbors from Gilmer to write to the proper authorities in order to get them discharged from Capt Wiant’s Co of Scouts in which they find themselves enlisted, as they say, without their knowledge and consent. Their names are George Spurgen and Pinkard Branham. They state that last December they were sworn into a Co of Scouts their being made up by David Heckert of Gilmer, which Co not being filled was dismissed, or to use their impression, broken up, and these two men were told by Heckert that they were as free as ever. A few days ago when expecting it the least, they were notified that the would have to go into camp on Monday meet us members of Capt Wiants Co.---- They are both head of large families, with little or no help to tend their crops, and must inevitably be heavy losers
if they by leaving home. Their families are very much distressed at this untornard [sic] occurrence and the men themselves distracted and unhappy to such an intent that in my judgment they will be entirely unfit for duties required of them, even if they possessed the courage and the active ingenuity, which ought to characterize a ranger, which is far from being the case. ------- If Capt Wiant has many more of such braves under him his company will bid fair to rival that of Capt Sayre.----- Wiant can do no good with such men, no unwilling recruit will ever make a good scout. I promised those men to submit to you a truthful statement of their case. They cannot get substitutes; There are none to be had here.
Tyurgen has a son in the 6th Va Inf, and thought when he engaged under Heckert, that the Scouts were but another name for the home guard and not subjected to regular military rule.----- I was under arms alongside of him two years ago during a scare at Troy, and am able to assure you that pay and rations would be wasted on him.----- Branham is no better, he was called on the same occasion and sis not come.-----
These men earnestly requested me to [?] your answer by early mail. So that it may reach here on Wednesday’s (15th inst) mail.
Every Thing is quiet here now. Near Weston I am told, a band of guerillas had stolen 8 horses and were overtaken by a posse of citizens and soldiers, who recaptures the horses and claim to have wounded two or three of the flying thieves.
I remain, Dear Sir, in haste
Yours, with much Sincere regard
J.H. Diss Debar
Transcription by Shannon Laws, undergraduate student enrolled in Dr. Billy Joe Peyton’s Fall 2010 “Introduction to Public History” at West Virginia State University
Militia Box 04, Folder 16