Anthony Shelton, Appalachia, Barboursville, Barboursville Cemetery, Brandon Kirk, Cabell County, genealogy, history, Hollena Brumfield, Lincoln County Feud, Margaret Shelton, photos, Phyllis Kirk, Randolph Moss, West Virginia, William S. Kelley
129th Regiment Virginia Militia, 1st Kentucky Infantry, 34th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 5th Virginia Regiment, Abram S. Piatt, Appalachia, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Barboursville, Battle of Kanawha Gap, Big Creek, Big Sandy River, Boone County, Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Camp Enyart, Ceredo, Chapmanville, Charleston, Chicago Daily Tribune, Cincinnati Daily Press, Cincinnati Gazette, civil war, Cleveland Morning Leader, Coal River, Confederate Army, Daily Green Mountain Freeman, David S. Enyart, Eli Thayer, Evening Star, George McClellan, Greenbrier County, Guyandotte River, H.C. Evans, Harpers Ferry, Herman Evans, history, J.V. Guthrie, J.W. Davis, Jacob D. Cox, John Dejernatt, Kanawha River, Kanawha Valley, Logan County, Logan Court House, M.H. Wood, National Republican, O.P. Evans, Ohio, Ohio River, Parkersburg, Pomeroy Weekly Telegraph, Portsmouth, Richmond Whig, Robert E. Lee, Samuel Smoot, Sewell Mountain, Southwestern Times, Staunton Spectator, T.W. Rathbone, Tazewell County, Tug Fork, Union Army, Virginia, West Virginia, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Wheeling, William Baisden, William Rosecrans, William S. Rosecrans, Zouaves
The following newspaper accounts describe the Battle of Kanawha Gap near present-day Chapmanville, Logan County, WV, which occurred on September 25, 1861:
Cleveland (OH) Morning Leader, 3 October 1861
GALLIPOLIS, Oct. 2.
The expedition planned by Col. J.V. Guthrie of the First Kentucky Regiment, and sent out under Lieut. Col. Enyart and Col. Piatt, has returned. They encountered the enemy at Chapmansville under Col. J. Lucien Davis, of Greenbrier, and utterly routed them. The enemy lost between fifty and sixty killed. Our loss was four killed. The expedition returned to Charleston on the 30th ult.
Evening Star (Washington, DC), 4 October 1861
A Confederate Camp in Western Virginia Broken Up and Routed
CINCINNATI, Oct. 3 — A body of Federal troops, under Lieut. Col. Enyart, attacked a camp of rebels at Chapmansville, in Logan county, Va., near the Kentucky line, routing them, killing sixty and taking seventy prisoners. The same body of rebels were afterward intercepted in their retreat by Col. Piatt, who killed forty and made a large number prisoners.
New York (NY) Herald, 4 October 1861
FIGHT WITH THE REBELS AT CHAPMANSVILLE
Cincinnati, Oct. 3, 1861.
The Kanawha correspondent of the Commercial of this city says that five companies of the First Kentucky regiment, four companies of the Thirty-fourth Ohio regiment and one company of the Fifty Virginia regiment, under Lieutenant Colonel Enyart, surrounded and attacked the rebels at Chapmansville, and after a short engagement completely routed them, killing sixty and taking seventy prisoners. The rebels in escaping were intercepted by Colonial Piatt, who killed forty and took a large number of prisoners. The country between Charleston and Wyandot river is now freed from secession power. This is the most effective blow given the rebels in this part of the valley.
Daily Green Mountain Freeman (Montpelier, VT), 7 October 1861
Chapmansville, Va., the scene of the most recent engagement, is a small post village in Logan county, Va. Logan county is in the extreme Western portion of Virginia, the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy being the boundary line between it and the State of Kentucky. It is one of the largest, wildest and most sparsely inhabited counties in the State.
National Republican (Washington, DC), 7 October 1861
The two affairs at Chapmansville, reported three or four days since, in which the enemy lost one hundred killed and a proportionate number of wounded, will, it is supposed, restore permanent peace to the Virginia counties western of the Kanawha. Chapmansville is on the turnpike from Charleston to Logan county Court-house, and is about twenty-five miles to the south of Barboursville, the shire town of Cabell county. The secessionists in that part of Western Virginia have been numerous and pertinacious. They have once had possession of Guyandotte on the Ohio river and for a long time they threatened Ceredo (Mr. Thayer’s colony,) which lies on the river between Guyandotte and the Kentucky line. There have been two engagements with them in the rear of Ceredo, one at Barboursville, one at Logan county Court-house, one at Boone county Court-house (which town was burnt by the national troops,) and finally two at Chapmansville. The truth is, that in large portions of numerous, and, but for the early occupation of that region by the National troops, would have controlled it, not because they were the majority, but because one secessionist is, everywhere, a match for three Union men.
The secessionists are reckless, violent, and desperate, while their opponents, if not timid are at any rate remarkably pacific. We doubt, indeed, from all the information we can get, whether throwing out of the account Wheeling and Parkersburg, the terminal on the Ohio river of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, Western Virginia had more elements of Union strength than the Valley of Virginia. From Harper’s Ferry south for fifty miles, the Union men have been numerous from the first, and it is a matter of deep regret that it did not consist with the plans of military strategy adopted at the headquarters of the army here, to occupy (at least) the northern part of the Valley of Virginia. It is consoling, that a different policy was adopted in retrospect to Western Virginia. That region was promptly taken possession of, cleared of the rebel armies by Gen. McClellan, and has since been victoriously held by Gen. Rosecrans. All attempts of the enemy to affect a re-entrance into Western Virginia are promptly repulsed.
Staunton (VA) Spectator, 8 October 1861
Status at Sewell’s Mountain.
The enemy, under Gen. Rozencrantz, and our forces under Gen. Lee, are both upon Sewell Mountain very near each other. A fight has been daily expected there for some time, but the enemy have been fortifying ever since they have been there, and there will not be a fight unless we attack them in their entrenchments. They are afraid to attack us, and it is probable that our force is too weak to risk an attack on them within their fortification. It may, therefore, be some time before an engagement will take place. We understand that we had sent a force of four regiments to their rear for the purpose of cutting off their supplies—that we succeeded in getting around them, but were compelled to return because we did not have sufficient supplies ourselves. We also learn that Col. Jas. W. Davis of Greenbrier, whilst commanding a force of militia in Logan county, attacked a part of the enemy, and was shot down at the first fire. The militia, after several rounds caught the Yankee fever which made their cowardly legs run off with their brave hearts, and they left their commander in the hands of the enemy, who, we fear, has died from his wound.
Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, 9 October 1861
A Splendid Achievement of the Ohio Zouaves–“Wood Up” the Battle Cry.
[The following letter is exclusively devoted to the fight which the Piatt Zouaves had with the rebels near Chapmansville, Va. It is distinct from the victorious fight which the command of Lieut. Col. Enyart had with another body of rebels, in the same vicinity. EDS. CINCINNATI COM]
CAMP ENYART, KANAWHA, Oct. 2, 1861. EDS. COM.: The Zouave Thirty-fourth Regimens, Ohio, have had a chance to show their metal. This was on Wednesday, on Kanawha Gap, near Chapmansville, Va. After marching 42 miles, they came upon the enemy, who were behind breastworks, but could not stand our boys’ steady fire, for they retreated in utter consternation, their Col. J.W. Davis, of Greenbrier, Va, (but the traitor is a native of Portsmouth, Ohio,) being mortally wounded. We killed 20, took 3 prisoners, a secesh flag, 20 feet long with FIFTEEN STARS, 4 horses, 1 wagon, 10 rifles (one of which I claim), 12 muskets, and commissary stores (very low.) We lost 3 killed, 9 wounded, one since died. The route of the enemy was complete, although they had a brave, skillful commander, and strong position, with two days’ information of our intentions. They fled the moment their commander fell. The fight lasted about 10 minutes opposite the breastworks, but a running fire was kept up previous to that, by the Bushwhackers and rebel cavalry for two hours. At every turn of the road over the mountains, they would fire upon our advance men, wheel round, and gallop away. This kind of fight was kept up till we came suddenly upon their breastworks, immediately in line of our entire column. It was made on the side of a knoll, between two mountain sides, the road running between the mountain on our left. The wily rebel commander had adroitly cut down the brush on the right, placing a force of 100 men on the mountain top on our right, who raked our column from the front to the center. This was to draw our attention from their breastworks. Our men naturally fired upon the rebels on their right, steadily advancing up the road, until within 20 feet of the enemy’s works, when the rebels suddenly opened fire, from their right, left and center. The order from Col. Piatt and Lieut. Col. Toland, to flank right and left was immediately responded to by the Zouaves with a hurrah, a Zouave yell, and a cry of “wood up” from Little Red; a dash by our boys upon the enemy’s breastworks, above which about 300 rebel heads suddenly appeared, unknown by our men till that moment. They sent a perfect storm of bullets around, over, under, and into our men. A few minutes more and our boys were inside the breastworks, chasing them over the mountains, the enemy running away like cowards as they proved to be. They left 29 dead behind. Their force was 450 infantry and 50 cavalry. Our force was 560.
We buried our three brave dead comrades that night, carried our wounded to the house wherein the rebel Colonel lay, mortally wounded, deserted by all his men but one. Our whole column finally marched into the little town of Chapmansville, formerly headquarters of the enemy, and camped for the night.
Pomeroy (OH) Weekly Telegraph, 11 October 1861
Brilliant Action in the Kanawha Valley.
CHARLESTON, Va., Sept. 30, ’61. Eds. Cin. Com.–Information having been brought to Col. J.V. Guthrie, commanding this post, that a large force of Rebels were gathered at Logan Co., Lt. Col. Enyart, of the 1st Kentucky, was at once sent to engage them. His force was composed of five companies of the 1st Kentucky, four companies of the 34th Ohio–German Regiment–under command of Col. A.S. Piatt, and one company of the 5th Virginia Regiment, under command of Maj. M.H. Wood.
Col. Enyart, with the Kentucky force, surrounded and attacked the Rebels at Chapmanville, and after a short but decisive engagement, completely routed them, killing 60 and taking 70 prisoners. The Rebels, in escaping, were intercepted by Col. Piatt, who surprised them and killed 40 men, and took a large number of prisoners.
The force of the Rebels is now completely broken up, and the country between this point and Guyandotte River is now freed from Secession power. This is the most effective blow given the Rebels in this part of the Valley.
In great haste. Further particulars by next boat.
Lieut. Col. 5th Va. Reg’t.
Evening Star (Washington, DC), 11 October 1861
THE BATTLE OF KANAWHA GAP.
The Western Virginia correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette gives the following account of the late engagement at Kanawha Gap:
There were about 1,050 troops under the command of Colonels Enyart and Piatt, who left their camp Monday morning, 30th ulto., and took up their line of march for the enemy.
The forces moved together until they reached Peytona, on Cole river, where they separated; Col. Enyart going up Cole river. Col. Enyart did not meet the enemy in force at any place but his men did meet and ford swollen rivers, and marched on short rations, and were anxious to meet with the running enemy of Old Virginia. Col. Enyart did not meet Col. Piatt until they met on the Kanawha, on their return.
Col. Piatt’s command immediately proceeded thence to Boone Court House, and camped that night one mile beyond. The next day, after proceeding some sixteen miles,t hey came up with the advance guard of the enemy, consisting of cavalry, when a brisk fire was exchanged, the cavalry retreating. After the retreat of cavalry the battalion was immediately put in order of battle. The advance guard of fifteen men was led forward by Adj’t Clarke, proceeding along the road. Scouts were sent out on either side of the road to meet and repulse the sharp-shooters of the enemy.
The force proceeded in this order for about two miles, meeting the pickets of the enemy, exchanging shots with them incessantly, and driving them back with increased confusion at each charge.
Being unable to ascertain the position of the rebels, the entire force halted for a few moments, and Col. Piatt rode in advance and took observations with his glass, but could not ascertain their force and position, as it was covered with a thick growth of underbrush. After these observations a command was issued to forward the column. The scouts moved on the rapidity and enthusiasm, the main body moving up the narrow road cautiously and firmly. The fire continued to increase, and shots were rapidly exchanged from the right and left with the enemy, until our advanced guard reached within sixty yards of their main force. The column was some eighty yards from the enemy when they received a perfect volley of fire upon their right, indicating that the rebels were in force in that direction. Company “A,” commanded by Capt. Rathbone, was ordered to deploy as skirmishers to the right, up the side of the mountain, and if possible to flank the enemy on the left. Company “C,” commanded by Capt. Miller, was ordered to the right, up a similar mountain, to flank the enemy on their left. Company “I,” commanded by Capt. Anderson, was ordered directly up the ravine, on the left. In this position he drew the concentrated fire of the rebels upon his company, who made use of the knowledge thus obtained by rapidly charging upon and destroying the enemy’s breastworks. The center moved directly up the road. With this disposition of the forces, Col. Piatt routed them from their confusion. Capt. Anderson was the first to mount their breastworks, his men following him in the face of a terrible fire without flinching or confusion.
As Capt. Anderson sealed the breastwork, Capt. Miller closed upon the left and Capt. Rathbone came in upon the right, his men crying “Zouave!” The main column moving up the road in double quick–until they were brought to a temporary halt by obstructions placed in the road by the enemy.
The rebels, terrified by the strange bravery and almost wild enthusiasm that was exhibited by each advancing column, ran in confusion, leaving their dead, wounded, clothing, guns, horses, &c., making their escape by Capt. Rathbone’s right; his company being too far up the mountain to cut off their retreat. Capt. West, commanding company F, was detailed to scour the mountain on the west, on the left of the road. Capt. O.P. Evans on the west side of the mountain, on the right side of the road. Capt. Herman Evans, commanding Company H, on the east side of the mountain, on the left of the road.
Each of these companies moved with dispatch, yet such was the knowledge of the rebels of teh by-paths in the mountains, and belonging to the “F.F.V.’s,” and having been drilled at running all summer, that but two were captured.
Among interesting objects captured was a genuine secession flag, captured by Lieut. Brown.
The enemy’s loss was thirty killed and fifty wounded.
We regret to know that four of our men were killed and eight wounded.Burlington (IA) Weekly Hawk-Eye, 12 October 1861
The fight at Chapmansville was a sharp and bloody affair. Five of Piatt’s Zouaves were killed. The rebels lost thirty-five killed.
National Republican (Washington, DC), 17 October 1861
The thirty-fourth regiment (first Zouaves) have been actively engaged since they came to the Kanawha Valley. Since the glorious victory they won near Chapmansville where the rebel commander, Colonel Davis, was mortally wounded, the Union sentiment has advanced on the Cole River. Two companies have been organized, and are ready to go to work to defend their own homes and give the organized regiments an opportunity to advance into the heart of the enemy’s country.
Cincinnati (OH) Daily Press, 22 October 1861
Captain H.C. Evans, of Piatt’s Zouave Regiment, yesterday called in our office and exhibited a Secesh flag, captured at the Chapmansville fight, on the 24th ult.
Clarksville (TN) Chronicle, 25 October 1861
The Fight in Logan County, Va.
[From the Richmond Whig of the 15th.]
We yesterday published the Yankee account of a battle in Logan county, which as usual, was manufactured out of whole cloth. The following are the facts as given by the South-western Times, (Tazewell county) of the 10th inst.:
From Samuel Smoot, Esq., of Boone county, who was in the fight, we learn the following particulars of the battle near Chapmanville, Logan county, on the 25th ult: The Yankees numbered 700, and commenced the attack upon our troops–the Logan militia–in a low gap between Guyandotte river and Big Creek, where they were engaged in raising a temporary breastwork. Our troops numbered 220, but there were only about 80 of them engaged in the fight. They were commanded by Col. J.W. Davis, of Greenbrier, a brave and gallant officer, who was severely, but not dangerously wounded, in the arm and breast. As soon as it became known that Col. Davis was wounded, the militia commenced a retreat. The commanding officer of the Lincoln troops afterwards confessed to Col. Davis, who was taken prisoner, that at the same moment a portion of the Yankees were running, and that one more round would have completely dispersed them.
The loss of the Yankees, by their own confession to Col. Davis, was 40 killed and a number wounded; among the former were four Union men, all of whom are represented by the Yankees to be most arrant thieves and cowards. Our loss was two killed and three or four wounded, besides Col. Davis, whose valuable services are at present lost to the Confederacy, being paroled by the enemy.
On the following day our scouts killed one of their pickets, and wounded another, at a point about half way between Logan Court House and Chapmanville, promising to give them particular thunder before daylight next morning. This with some news from a lady on the road, and some account of the militia of the surrounding counties, found on the person of Col. Davis, caused a hasty stampede for their headquarters, in the valley of the Kanawha. It seems that high water, bad roads, nor anything else could impede their rapid flight. They tore down a meeting house in Boone county to make rafts whereon to cross the river. They drowned two of their wounded, lost a wagon containing their entire stock of ammunition, and were fully persuaded that they were followed by two thousand cavalry, of which the Yankees in the West are about as fearful as their Eastern brothers are of masked batteries.
Upon the whole, we are much gratified at the result of this fight. It has, for the present, driven the cowardly thieves from the country, given renewed energy to the true patriots of Logan and the adjoining counties, fully convincing them that with the assistance of two or three hundred of their gallant friends in Tazewell county, they will be fully able to thrash any number that Gen. Cox or his friends shall dare to send against them.”
Note: An almost identical version of this story appeared in the Staunton (VA) Spectator on 22 October 1861.
Appalachia, B.R. Lucas, Banco, Barboursville, Basil Duty, Battle of Blair Mountain, Big Creek, Big Ugly Creek, C.C. Varney, C.E. Adkins, Charlie Duty, Clara Harmon, crime, D.H. Harmon, Danville, Ed Stone Branch, Fraud Estep, Freddie Lunsford, Gardner Baisden, genealogy, Granville Mullens, Guyandotte River, H.F. Lucas, Henlawson, history, Huntington, Ida Hager, J.A. Stone, J.P. Mullins, Jesse Justice, John Hager, Lane Church, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lon Vannatter, Marea Lucas, Nelle Varney, Pearl Hager, Ruby Sanders, Stone Brothers, Thomas' Circle, Tiny Chafin, Tom Vannatter, Trace Fork, true crime, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Banco on Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on August 3, 1926:
Among those who attended church at the Lane church from Banco last Sunday were: Mr. and Mrs. John Hager and daughter, Pearl, Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Adkins, Charlie Duty and son, Basil, B.R. Lucas, H.F. Lucas and Jesse Justice and Misses Marea Lucas and Clara Harmon.
J.A. Stone bid Banco adieu Tuesday and left for Blair, where he will take an interest in the Stone Bros. store.
Basil Duty is touring the meanders of Guyan river in a huckster truck this week.
J.P. Mullins of Danville and Mr. Granville Mullens of Big Creek were the dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. D.H. Harmon Saturday.
Mrs. Freddie Lunsford and Mrs. Ida Hager of Big Creek were berry picking on the Ed Stone Branch Tuesday and were the dinner guests of Mrs. John Hager.
Rev. White of Henlawson was calling in our town early last Wednesday.
A very shocking tragedy occurred on Big Ugly Sunday night when Lon Vanatter was shot and killed instantly at his home just after dark. He is survived by a wife and several children his mother and father. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Vanatter and a great many relatives.
Gardner Baisden was transferring Fraud Estep’s furniture from Estep to Banco Tuesday. Wonder if he saw his sweetie when he passed Thomas’ Circle?
Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Varney and daughter made a business trip to Big Creek last week.
Miss Nelle Varney of Thomas Circle was shopping in our town Wednesday.
Miss Ruby Sanders returned to her home here Monday evening after several days spent in Barboursville and Huntington, accompanied by her cousin, Miss Tiny Chafin.
H.F. Lucas motored to the mouth of Trace Fork Tuesday to pick berries. Stay with it, H.F. The berries will soon be gone.
Success in one and all.
Appalachia, B.R. Lucas, Banco, Barboursville, Basil Duty, Big Creek, Chapmanville, Charleston, Clara Harmon, D.H. Harmon, E.C. Varney, Elm Street, Estep, Forrest Barker, Fred Lucas, Gardner Baisden, genealogy, H.F. Lucas, Hazel Sanders, history, Huntington, J.A. Stone, J.V. Lucas, J.W. Thomas, Jesse Justice, John Hager, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lynn Street, Mary Hager, Mary Thomas, R.S. Pardue, Ruby Sanders, Ted Hager, Trace Fork, West Virginia
An unknown correspondent from Banco on Big Creek in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on July 27, 1926:
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Banco girls are always true.
Forrest Barker of Charleston and Miss Hazel Sanders of this place were joy riding last Sunday afternoon.
B.R. Lucas and son Fred motored to Chapmanville last Wednesday.
Jesse Justice has obtained a new job. Hope he’shaving much success.
Mrs. Mary Hager of Lynn street was the dinner guest of Mrs. D.H. Harmon last Sunday.
Miss Ruby Sanders of this place was visiting relatives in Huntington and Barboursville last week.
Miss Mary Thomas of Estep and Miss Lucas and little sister Jean of this place were the Sunday evening guests of Clara Harmon.
Mr. and Mrs. Ted Hager of Big Creek were the guests of Mr. Hager’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Hager at this place last Wednesday night.
J.H. Pardue of Huntington motored to Banco last Sunday evening.
Mrs. Maggie Adams of Big Creek was seen going through Banco one day last week in her new car.
Mrs. E.C. Varney and children of Elm street were calling on Mrs. J.A. Stone at this place last Wednesday afternoon.
Wonder if Gardner Baisden still helps the women saddle their horses? Always be good to Sarah, Gardner.
Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Pardue and children of Big Creek motored to the home of Mrs. Pardue’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.V. Lucas on Trace Fork last week.
H.F. Lucas was very busy last week. He sure believes in making hay while the sun shines.
Basil Duty sure does like to go to Big Creek to church. One girl at a time is enough for Basil.
J.W. Thomas and daughter Mary of Estep were the dinner guests here of Mr. Thomas’ sister, Mrs. D.H. Harmon, last Wednesday.
Daily happenings: Hub and his dinner pail; Basil and his mule; Fred and his Ford; Jesse and his peddling wagon.
Success to one and all.
From the Huntington (WV) Advertiser of February 5, 1887 comes this bit of history about Dusenberry’s Dam:
The dwellers along the banks of the Guyandotte River from its mouth to the headwaters, together with many others who are interested in the navigation of that stream, will be pleased to know that it is soon to be cleared of all obstructions. Major Post, the Chief Engineer, and Capt. Hugh Toney, his assistant, in charge of the Government improvement on Guyandotte River, have made a contract with the Messrs. Rodgers to clear the river of all obstructions from Barboursville up for a considerable distance. By this contract the Dusenberry mill dam, which has been the chief obstacle to the free navigation of the river and the cause of immense loss to timber dealers and others, will be removed.
After its removal, with such a stage of water as we now have, steamboats will be enabled to ascend to within a few miles of Logan C.H. This will be of immense importance to the city of Huntington, as it opens a fertile region, which has in a great measure been cut off by this dam and forced to go to Charleston. A line of steamboats will, no doubt, enter the trade between this city and Logan C.H. as soon as the river is clear.
At the point where the Dusenberry dam is located was established as one of the first grist mills in all this region of country. About the year 1818 or 1820, the Legislature of Virginia passed an act allowing a mill dam four feet high to be built across the river at that point, and since that time the obstruction has remained.
Capt. Toney has been untiring in his efforts to secure the removal of this bar to the free navigation of Guyan, but not until a few days ago was he able to effect the arrangement which will result in opening the stream.
The merchants and business men of Huntington should now be on the look out for the trade up this river and use all proper means to bring it here.
Appalachia, Barboursville, Barboursville College, Blood in West Virginia, Brandon Kirk, Cabell County, Daughters of the American Revolution, Davis Creek, Eastman Community College, George A. Proffitt, ghosts, Guyandotte River, history, Hollena Brumfield, Huntington Advertiser, James I. Kuhn Presbyterian Church, James River-Kanawha Turnkpike, Lincoln County Feud, Logan County Banner, Logan Democrat, Mary G. Moss, Morris Harvey College, Old Toll House, photos, Phyllis Kirk, R.A. Alderman, Robert W. Douthat, S.V. Matthews, Virginus R. Moss, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, we find this story about food conditions in the Logan coal fields, dated 9 December 1921:
Seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables brighten the menu of the Logan field miner and his family just as they do the average householder in the larger cities. Visitors have noted with surprise that this is true–that even the most isolated mining communities, cut off from civilization by rugged mountains and difficult creek beds, have their fresh strawberries in season and make quite as much of an event of the canning period as do their northern neighbors.
But what the average visitor cannot know, unless he delves with unusual energy, is the cost in money and time which it means to have such products brought to the miner’s table from the produce centers of the country.
In the first place, many of the mines in the field live five, ten, fifteen and even twenty miles from the town of Logan. The roads in many cases are almost impassible. In others, there are no roads at all. It is common occurrence to use the creek bed as a thoroughfare. A rather hazardous feat, it appears to the visitors on his first trip, but he soon grows accustomed to this. At first he is inclined to cling tight to his seat as the motor truck plows through the shallow water over well rounded stones. The drivers think nothing of fording innumerable creeks. They have lost all solicitude for their tires. In fact, many of them aver that the tires last quite as long as they do on hard-paved roads and point to examples in the form of weather-beaten casing to prove that the usual 10,000 mile guarantee is not at all impossible of achievement in this difficult territory.
Sloshing along through creeks, alternating with mud roads which would bring a rattle to the finest car built they consider the trips to the mines with foodstuffs a mere routine. That it is more than routine, however, is graphically revealed by the wrecks along the roadside–broken-down trucks and motor cars, buggies and wagons.
The road to Holden, four miles from Logan, is a mud road most of the way, featured by innumerable sharp turns. That leading to the mine town of Omar covers nine miles of the most diversified transportation. In that nine miles one single creek must be forded eleven times, and often instead of crossing directly, motor trucks are forced to plow through the water for a considerable distance.
Some sixth sense apparently tells the driver where the “water road” lies, for to the casual observer one part of the creek is as good as another. All he can see is water and, beneath, a solid bed of white boulders. Time has worn them smooth. Sliding down the mud road into the creek bed the driver unerringly picks out the right route. It is as if he carried a sextant, for never, however many times he makes the trip, does he deviate in his course a yard.
Yet despite these difficulties in transportation it is comparatively cheap to get to any mine property in the Logan field. For a dollar, any of the buses operating from Logan, meeting all trains, will carry one to Omar, nine miles of difficult driving, while others take passengers 15 and 20 miles up the creeks for a slightly higher charge. For foodstuffs the cost is proportionately low. Drivers charge 25 to 42 cents per 100 pounds for first class freight to a point within 20 miles of Logan–and take every chance in the world of a breakdown. It is this low haulage charge which enables so many independent and company stores at the mines to meet the prices of retailers in large cities, and it is the dependability of this method of motor transportation which enables them to carry fresh fruits and vegetables in season to tickle the palates of the miners and their numerous progeny. Anyone who imagines that sow-belly and beans constitute the main diet of the miner has never seen the adequate stocks of merchandise kept by mining community establishments.
If there were not enough difficulties in the path of transportation of foods to the mines, the trip from the outside to Logan would provide enough more. Logan is unfortunate in that there are no through freight rates to it. Huntington, the State’s natural distributing point by reason of railroad facilities, does not figure in the traffic to Logan. Merchandise destined for this field must be reshipped at Barboursville, a junction point near Huntington, and this adds a freight charge of from 30 to 40 cents per 100 pounds. Adding this to the cost of haulage by truck to the mines, the differential in favor of the consumers in large cities mounts up. Yet, with all these barriers, prices in the mine towns are low–the result of keen competition and of quantity buying.
Source: “Camps Have the Best of Food: Despite Shipping Obstacles Miners Have Same Food as Their City Neighbors,” Logan (WV) Banner, 9 December 1921.
Amherstdale, Andrew Adkins, Appalachia, Barboursville, Beatrice Adkins, Bessie Adkins, Bill Adkins, Blanche Lambert, Bob Powers, C&O Railroad, Chapmanville, Clyde Rutherford, Cora Adkins, county clerk, Dallas McComas, Democratic Party, Dr. J.T. Chafin, Dr. J.T. Ferrell, Dr. Taylor, Emerine Browning, Fed Adkins, Fisher B. Adkins, Florence Davis, genealogy, Gill, Grover Gartin, Hamlin, Harts, Herb Adkins, history, Huntington, Inez Adkins, J.M. Marcum, James Porter, Jessie Brumfield, Kessler-Hatfield Hospital, Lincoln County, Logan, Logan Banner, Mae Caines, Matthew Farley, McConnell, Nannie Fry, Nola Adkins, Nora Brumfield, O.E. Bias, Ranger, Republican Party, Rinda Adkins, Sam Adkins, Sylvia Cyfers, Thomas Watson Adkins Jr., Toney, Vergia Fry, Vina Porter, Watson Adkins, West Hamlin, West Virginia, William McCann
An unknown correspondent from Harts in Lincoln County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on October 8, 1926:
Rev. Grover Gartin of Amherstdale was calling on Miss Nola Adkins Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Drew Adkins and children of Logan have been visiting the latter’s sister, Mrs. R.L. Powers, of this place.
Miss Blanch Lambert of Toney has been calling on Miss Cora Adkins.
Mrs. Nora Brumfield is teaching a very successful term of school here.
F.B. Adkins, Republican nominee for county clerk, was taken to the Kessler-Hatfield hospital on Monday night with an injured arm.
Miss Sylvia Cyfers of Gill was the guest of Miss Cora Adkins Saturday.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Watson Adkins a fine boy named Thomas Watson, Jr.
Misses Nannie and Vergia Fry of Barboursville were the weekend guests of Mr. and Mrs. S.H. Adkins and family.
Mr. and Mrs. Herb Adkins have moved into their new home which was completed only a few days ago.
Mr. and Mrs. Dallas McComas of this place were visiting home folks at West Hamlin Saturday and Sunday.
W.M. McCann of Logan was the guest of his daughter, Mrs. Watson Adkins, one day last week.
O.E. Bias, C. & O. operator of this place, is working at McConnell for a few days.
Dr. Taylor of Huntington made an eloquent speech here one day last week.
Bill Adkins and M.C. Farley made a flying trip to Ranger Wednesday.
Clyde Rutherford was seen in Harts this week.
Miss Mae Caines of this place made a trip to Logan one day last week.
Mrs. F.B. Adkins was visiting relatives in Harts Sunday.
Mrs. Fred Adkins and Florence Davis have been calling on Rev. and Mrs. Jas. Porter.
Miss Jessie Brumfield was in Harts Saturday evening.
J.M. Marcum of Ranger, Democratic nominee for county clerk, was in Harts Wednesday.
Dr. J.T. Ferrell of Chapmanville and Miss Rine Browning were seen out car riding one day last week.
Dr. J.T. Chafin of Hamlin was in Harts Wednesday.
A.S. Harmon, Amanda Justice, Appalachia, B.B. Lucas, Banco, Barboursville, Basil Duty, Big Creek, C.E. Adkins, Charles Duty, Charles Ellis, Clara Harmon, Curry, D.H. Harmon, Den Gillenwater, Elm Street, Estep, Gardner Baisden, Gay Pettit, genealogy, H.F. Lucas, Hazel Thomas, Henlawson, history, Ida Thomas, J.A. Stone, J.A. Thomas, J.B. Lucas, J.M. Hager, Jesse Justice, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Lucille Vickers, Maggie Gillam, Manila, Maria Lucas, Needmore, Nella Varney, Pearl Hager, Rosa Ellis, Spring Dale, Squirrel Branch, Ted Hager, W.W. Lucas, West Virginia, Willie Ellis
An unknown local correspondent from Banco in Logan County, West Virginia, offered the following items, which the Logan Banner printed on May 7, 1926:
Some of the girls and boys of our town have taken a notion to jump into double harness and trot along through life as calm and placid as a mud puddle.
Miss Ida Thomas of Estep and Mr. Ted Hager of this place were united in the Holy bonds of matrimony last Saturday, May 1st, at the home of Mr. Hager’s sister, Mrs. Den Gillenwater, near the mouth of Squirrel Branch. The wedding was a beautiful affair. Rev. White of Henlawson gave a nice talk after which he solemnized the wedding vows. The guests consisted mostly of the bride and groom. The table was set with a very nice diaper. White flowers being the centerpiece.
Miss Gay Pettit of Big Creek was the guest of Miss Clara Harmon at this place last Saturday night and Sunday.
Mrs. Rosa Ellis of Needmore left for Logan last Sunday where she will visit with her sons Charles and Willie Ellis for a few days.
Wonder why Jesse Justice looked so bashful last Sunday? Don’t be bashful, Jess. She was only teasing you.
Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Stone were the guests of their daughter, Mrs. J.A. Thomas, at Estep last Sunday.
Wonder how the ‘Doll’ of Needmore is getting along hauling telephone poles? Stay with it, Roy, and you’ll get done some day.
There must be some attraction around Banco and Spring Dale, as Gardner Baisden has been making regular calls. His excuse is ‘to read the Logan Banner.’ Call again, Peanut, you’re always welcome.
Among those who were calling on Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Lucas last Sunday were: Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Adkins, Misses Gay Pettit, Clara Harmon, Lucille Vickers, and Mr. Jesse Justice.
Wonder if Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Justice are having much success raising chickens?
Mrs. Amanda Justice was the Monday night guest of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Duty.
Misses Hazel Thomas and Nella Varney were callers in Banco last Saturday evening.
Basil Duty of Spring Dale made a flying trip to Curry last week. Wonder what the attraction is up there?
Mrs. B.B. Lucas and daughters Maria and ____ were calling on Mrs. Maggie Gillam last Sunday afternoon.
Mrs. J.M. Hager and Mrs. D.H. Harmon of this place were the all day guests of Mr. and Mrs. B.R. Lucas of Elm street one day last week. They had a very enjoyable day as they were entertained with good soul-stirring hymns on the piano and Victrola, after which they were served with a real good dinner.
Among those who were out kodaking last Sunday afternoon were Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Lucas, Misses Gay Pettit, Clara Harmon, Lucille Vickers, and Maria Lucas.
A.S. Harmon of Barboursville and Mr. W.W. Lucas of Big Creek were the dinner guest of Mr. and Mrs. D.H. Harmon of this place last Sunday.
Mr. H.F. Lucas of this place attended church at Manila last Sunday and listened to a wonderful sermon delivered by Rev. Reedy of Logan, after which he made a grand confession and was baptized last Sunday afternoon.
Mr. and Mrs. Ted Hager and Miss Pearl Hager were pleasant callers in Banco last Tuesday night.
Good luck to the dear old Banner.
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