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Extract from: Hardesty's Biographical Atlas 1882,
Pocahontas County In The Civil War
In 1861 the clouds of war hung over America, and their deepest
density rested over Virginia. Civil commotion shook the grand
old Commonwealth, and the countenances of her sons but told the
impending struggle, fierce and wild. Everywhere they enlisted
in defense of their native State, and from the tide-washed shores,
from the midland counties, and from the rock-ribbed Alleghanies,
long lines of brave soldiers marched forth to battle and die upon
a hundred crimsoned fields. Among them were many of the descendants
of the first pioneers of Pocahontas - they who, a century before,
had struggled with the fierce and relentless barbarian, and had
at last driven him from the country in which they had founded
their homes where the soldiers of a later day were born and reared.
No sooner had the tocsin of war sounded
throughout their native mountains than volunteering began. Captain
Andrew G. McNeel repaired to the Little Levels and organized the
first company. This was early in the spring of 1861. A requisition
was made for arms, and they were shipped from Richmond, were never
received, and the company disbanded in the fall of the same year.
Captain D. A. Stofer mustered a company at Huntersville, went
south, and with it was attached to the 31st Virginia Infantry.
John M. Lightner was first lieutenant in this company. The third
company formed was that of Captain Arbogast, at Greenbank. It,
too, was attached to the 31st Infantry. The captain was afterward
promoted to major of the regiment. Lieutenant H. M. Poague, of
this county, but serving in a Bath county company, was killed
in action at Warrenton, Virginia, October 12, 1863. Lieutenant
James McGlothlin, of Captain Stofer's company, from Huntersville,
was wounded at Shepherdstown, and died at Winchester Virginia.
Engagements In Pocahontas
The first engagement which occurred in Pocahontas county, was
at Camp Barteau, on what is known as the Peter Yeager farm, or
the Traveler's Repose. Late in the summer of 1861, a Confederate
force was collected at this point. It consisted of the 1st Georgia
Infantry, Colonel Ramsey, commanding; the 12th Georgia, Colonel
Edward Johnson in command; the 31st Virginia Infantry, Colonel
William L. Jackson; Colonel Hansbro's Battalion; the Churchville
Cavalry, from Churchville, Augusta county, Captain James Sterrett
in command, and the Rockbridge Cavalry, commanded by the Captain,
J. C. McNutt; the entire force under command of General Henry
On the 14th of September, 1861, this force
was attacked by the Federals under command of Generals Reynolds
and Rosecrans. The firing began early in the morning and continued
until nightfall, when the Federals withdrew and fell back to Cheat
Mountain summit, in Randolph county. The Confederate loss was
thirty-six killed; that of the Federals was unknown.
A few days later the confederates fell
back to Camp Alleghany, and after being re-enforced by two regiments,
one of which was the 52nd Virginia Infantry, under Colonel John
Baldwin, they fortified a strong natural position. Here, in December,
they were again attacked by the Federals, and the engagement continued
throughout the day, but terminated as had the first, in the repulse
of the Federals. The loss was considerable on Both sides. Among
that of the Confederates was that of Captain Anderson, of the
Lynchburg Artillery, and Captain J. C. Whitmer, of the Pocahontas
The Battle of Droop Mountain
Was fought on the 6th day of November, 1863. The Confederate force
consisted of the 22nd Virginia Infantry, Colonel George Patton
(of Kanawha county, afterward killed at Winchester), commanding;
the 19th Virginia, Colonel W. P. Thompson; the 20th Virginia,
Colonel W. W. Arnott; the 14th Virginia Cavalry, Colonel James
Cochran; Jackson's and Chapman's Batteries, and Edgar's and Derrick's
Battalions; the entire force under command of General John Echols.
This force, on the first of the month, was lying at Meadow Bluffs,
in Greenbrier county.
The Federal force was composed of the 14th
Pennsylvania Cavalry, 23d and 28th Ohio Infantry, the 5th, 6th
and 10th West Virginia Infantry, and one battery of Artillery.
This force had been stationed at Beverly in Randolph county.
Both forces advanced and met on the northern
extremity of Droop mountain, and the battle began at 10 A.M.,
and waged until 4 P.M., when the Confederates, finding their positions
flanked, right and left, were forced to retreat; they fell back
beyond Lewisburg, and were pursued several miles. The loss on
both sides was heavy.
The County Records During The War
At the time of the breaking out of the war, the Hon. William Curry
was serving as both circuit and county clerk, and when it became
evident that the Federals would invade the county, the court ordered
Mr. Curry to remove the records to a place of safety. In compliance
with this order he caused them to be taken to the private residence
of Joel Hill, Esq., on the Little Levels. Here they remained until
January, 1862, when Mr. Curry became alarmed as to the safety
of so valuable a charge thus placed in his custody, and he therefore
caused them to be removed to Covington, Virginia, where for a
short time they lay in the clerk's office of Alleghany county.
From here they were taken to the storehouse of Captain William
Scott. In September, 1863, General Averill's command reached Covington,
and Mr. Curry again removed the records, first to the residence
of William Clark, and then to a stack of buckwheat straw, in which
they lay concealed for three weeks, and were then conveyed into
the mountains and stored away at the house of a Baptist minister,
and here they remained until after the surrender at Appomattox.
The storm of war had now passed away, and Mr. Curry, in June,
1865, when the first court after the close of the war convened
(November, 1865), in the Methodist Church at Hillsboro. From that
time they were kept in the old academy building until June, 1866,
when they were taken back to the county seat and deposited at
the house of John B. Garey. More than five years have passed away
since their first removal, and strange to say, that notwithstanding
all the vicissitudes of war through which they passed, but one
thing was lost, and that was an old process book of no value.
Was not Mr. Curry true to his trust? Let those interested in the
records of Pocahontas answer.