Andrew Lewis, Appalachia, Aracoma, Battle of the Island, Big Creek, Boling Baker, Coal River, Dingess Run, Elizabeth Madison, George Booth, Gilbert Creek, Guyandotte River, Hatfield Island, history, Island Creek, John Breckinridge, Kentucky, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Mingo County, Montgomery County, Native American History, Native Americans, Spruce Fork, Thomas Madison, Virginia, Washington County, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of information about Logan’s early history printed on April 26, 1937:
Land On Which City Of Logan Now Stands First Owned by Breckinridge
The tract of land on which the city of Logan now stands and the Island–now “Hatfield’s Island”–once belonged to John Breckinridge, scion of an old Kentucky family and leader of the attacking party which broke the control of the Shawnee Indians in the Guyandotte valleys in the “Battle of the Islands.”
Princess Aracoma was killed in this battle and Boling Baker, her renegade white husband, was banished forever from the lush river valley where he had spent his days since his desertion from the English forces in Virginia.
Captain Breckenridge led the attack which made the valley safe for white settlers, and, in appreciation of his services, the new government allowed him 300 acres at the mouth of Island creek.
The land grant was made early in the 1780s along with a few others on Island Creek, Dingess Run, Gilbert Creek, Big Creek and the Spruce Fork of Cole River.
Surveying parties from Montgomery and Washington county, Virginia, braved the wilderness and apportioned the land in Guyan Valley and vicinity to early Indian fighters who had contributed their services to opening the valley for white settlement.
Included in the surveys made by deputy surveyors from Montgomery county were grants apportioning much of Island Creek, Spruce Fork, and Dingess Run to persons whose names are still remembered in the county has holders of much of this county’s land.
In these early surveys Andrew Lewis was given 3000 acres on Island Creek along with 2000 acres on Big Creek, and 3000 acres on Gilbert Creek.
Thomas Madison was given 2000 acres on Spruce Fork, 1000 acres on Dingess Run, and 2000 acres on Gilbert Creek.
Others who figured in this early allocation of land were Elizabeth Madison, who was given much of Spruce Fork; George Booth, who was awarded several thousand acres along Guyan River and on Island Creek; and George Booth [same name listed twice in this story], who received much of the land along Island Creek.
Later in the waning years of the 19th century other grants were made by the new government with the stipulation that settlement be made immediately, but these early grants were rewards for work well done in opening the valley of the Guyandotte for settlement.
Appalachia, coal, Coal River, deputy sheriff, Edgar Combs, history, James Jeffrey, Kanawha County, Logan, Logan County, Mine Wars, Prohibition Officer, Sallie Chambers, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia
DEPOSITION OF JAMES JEFFREY
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA, KANAWHA COUNTY, as:
James Jeffrey, Who, being first duly sworn by me says that he now lives at Jeffrey, Boone County, West Virginia, and has lived in that section of the country all of his life; that he has been connected with the Prohibition Department of the State as a Prohibition Officer, and at the present time is a Coal Miner by occupation; that he is familiar with what is known as the Mine Guard System in Logan County under which large numbers of Deputy Sheriffs are employed and paid by the Coal Companies of that County; that the principal purpose of employing such Deputy Sheriffs is to prevent the Coal Miners from joining the United Mine Workers of America; that he knows the general reputation of the said deputy Sheriffs as to their attitudes toward the members of said Union; that the said Deputies have a long record for assaults upon members of the United Mine Workers that there is a feeling of deep hostility and enmity between the said Deputies and the members of said Union; that practically the whole of Logan County excepting only the small position lying along Coal River is non-union and this is due wholy to the war made upon the said Union by the deputy sheriffs; that it is dangerous for any member of the said union to remain in said County, by reason of the said Deputies; that Affiant knows that the members of said union are afraid to go to Logan Court House, as a witness and there testify fully and freely in any matter that might arise the hostility of the said deputies or the company by which they are employed and the conduct of the said deputies toward the employees of the said Union primarily caused the Armed March of the miners in 1921; that by reason of the above facts this affiant knows that it would be impossible for the defendant to get a fair and impartial trial in the said County of Logan.
Taken, sworn and subscribed by me on the 29th day of September 1923.
Sallie Starr Chambers
Notary Public, Kanawha County, West Virginia
Appalachia, coal, Coal River, Coal Street, Cole Street, Collis P. Huntington, general, George Rogers Clark Floyd, governor, history, Huntington, James Buchanan, John B. Floyd, John Floyd, Logan, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan Junior High School, Nighbert Memorial Church, T.C. Whited, Virginia, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Coal Street dated September 7, 1928:
C-O-A-L IS CORRECT
Acknowledging that it has long been in error, The Banner announces on good authority that the name of the street running from the Wilkinson property up past Nighbert Memorial church and Junior High school is Coal street, not Cole. In some way it was impressed on the mind of the writer soon after he came to Logan that the proper spelling was C-o-l-e. That impression seems to have been widespread and fixed. Wherefore, when street signs were recently placed at the intersections preparatory to the establishment of mail delivery service and the name of “Coal” was made conspicuous at strategic points on “Cole” street, this writer and others were peeved about it. We thought it would cause endless confusion and perpetuate an inexcusable error.
In a desire to dispose of the matter with some finality we asked T.C. Whited about the spelling of the street’s name, the origin of the name, when, why and by whom was it selected. He replied that the street was named Coal by Col. George Rogers Clark Floyd, one of the most brilliant and beloved men that ever came into these mountains. Col. Floyd, a brother of John B. Floyd, who sat in Buchanan’s cabinet and later won renown as a general and who also, like his father, John Floyd, was a governor of Virginia, owned 700 acres of land in this immediate vicinity. It included what is now the west or main business section of the city. That was long before the railroad was built but Col. Floyd envisioned the industrial development that has come. In fact, he believed it would come long before it did, and his miscalculation led him eventually into financial difficulties. When he bore about the same relation to Logan village that Collis P. Huntington bore to the village of Huntington, the residents of this hamlet obtained coal for their own use from a mine opened up near the site of Mrs. Perry’s boarding house at the head of what is now Coal street. So, he gave it that name, says Mr. Whited, and having done so, there is no reason why it should not be preserved and why all confusion about it should not cease.
At that time Coal was perhaps the most logical and appropriate name, whereas under present conditions that name might be as appropriate for one street as another in any town in Logan county.
Once there was the same confusion about the name Coal River, some historians contending the name intended was Cole, in honor of a noted pioneer surveyor of that name. But that question was long ____ geographers and of those who dwelt on the banks of that noble stream.
NOTE: Today the street sign reads COLE STREET.
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Logan (WV) Banner, 26 August 1927. This photo is meant to show the headline of the story; teachers named here are “white.”
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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Boone County in a story dated December 9, 1927:
Boone county was created in 1847 of parts of Kanawha, Cabell and Logan counties. Its area is 06 miles, 65 miles larger than Logan, and in 1920 its population was 18,145. It is divided into five magisterial districts, as follows: Crook, Peytona, Scott, Sherman and Washington.
Boone county commemorates in West Virginia the name of Daniel Boone, the pathfinder to the west. It is an honor worthily bestowed, for who has not heard of Daniel Boone and the story of his efforts as an explorer, hunter, land-pilot and surveyor. His was a romantic life, picturesque and even pathetic. For more than a century he has he has been held as the ideal of the frontiersman, perhaps for the reason that his course in life was not marked by selfishness and self-seeking. He fought with the Indians, but was not tainted with the blood-lust that so often marred the border warrior and made him even more savage than the red man whom he sought to expel; he built and passed on to newer fields, leaving to others the fruits of his industry and his suffering. As a man needing plenty of “elbow room,” his places of residence mark the border between civilization and savagery for a period of fifty years. And there was a time, a period of nearly ten years, when his cabin home was on the banks of the Kanawha, a short distance above the present City of Charleston.
Daniel Boone was born in the Schulykill Valley, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 1734, but in 1750 removed with his parents to the Yadkin Valley, in North Carolina. Here he grew to manhood, married and reared a family, but was active as an Indian trader, frontiersman and defender of the feeble settlement. He was with Braddock’s army at its defeat on the Monongahela in 1755, and a few years later became the founder and defender of Kentucky. He strove with the red man with force and stratagem, and many are the fire-side tales recounted and retold in West Virginia homes of his prowess with the rifle; his ready plans and nimble wit that helped him out of situations that seemed almost impossible. Many, perhaps, are without foundation of fact; others contain enough of truth to leaven the story. Of his service to the western settlers, records preserved in the archives of state and nation show that he was indefatigable. At the Indian uprising in 1774, Boone was sent out to warn the settlers and surveyors, ranging from the settlement on the Holston river throughout all of what is now southern West Virginia to Lewisburg. In 1788, after he had lost his property in Kentucky through defective titles and failure to properly enter land grants, Boone and his family removed to Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Kanawha, where they remained about one year. Contrary to his habit, his next move was toward the east to a site near the City of Charleston. When Kanawha county was formed in 1789 Boone was a resident and was named the first Lieutenant Colonel of the militia, and the following year, 1790, was elected a member of the lower house of the Virginia assembly. Colonel Boone left the Kanawha valley in 1799, removing to Missouri where he had been granted a thousand arpents of land by the Spanish government and had been appointed a Syndic for the Femme-Osage district–a local office combining the duties of sheriff, jury and military commandant. Colonel Boone died at the home of his youngest son, Colonel Nathan Boone, on the Femme Osage river, Missouri, September 26, 1820. His remains, with those of his wife, were some years later taken to Frankfort, Kentucky, and re-interred with pomp and ceremony. A monument erected by the state marks his last resting place.
Madison, the present county seat, is located at the junction of Pond Fork and Spruce Fork, which form Coal River, is 603 feet above sea level and in 1920 had a population of 604. It was incorporated as a town by the circuit court of that county in 1906. At the organization of the county in 1847, the seat of justice was located on the lands of Albert Allen, at the mouth of Spruce Fork, opposite the present town of Madison. The original court house was burned by Federal troops during the Civil War, and for a time thereafter the seat of justice was located at the Ballardsville Methodist Church. In 1866 the court house was re-located on the lands of Johnson Copley, opposite the old site, and the public buildings erected, which were used until 1921 when the present fine court house was erected.
The West Virginia Synodical School maintained and operated by the Presbyterian church, occupies the site of the original court house, opposite the present county seat.
Danville, another incorporated town in that county, had a population of 327 in 1920.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 9 December 1927.
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A story titled “Old Times in Boone County Told About By Historian” and printed in the Logan Banner in Logan, WV, on April 20, 1928 provides some history for Boone County:
Old-timers and students of local history should be interested in the following excerpt from the history of Boone county by Prof. W.W. Hall. The family names mentioned are familiar ones.
What is here reproduced was taken from the Coal Valley News:
About the year of 1798 Isaac Barker reared a pole cabin on the brow of the hill on the lower side of White Oak Creek, near old lock seven. This was the first white man’s home established in Boone county. The second settler in the county was Johnson Kinder, a brother-in-law of Barker. He settled on Kinder Hill a few months after Barker came. The first settler on Little Coal River was John Halstead, who settled at the mouth of Camp creek about 1800. A few months later Jackie Dolin was married to Isaac Barker’s daughter and led his blushing bride, attired in her homespun, through the trackless forest up Brush creek and over the hill to a scantily furnished home on Camp creek. Not long after this Thomas Price, a daring hunter from North Carolina, wandered over the Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap to Maysville, Kentucky, where he embarked in a canoe, ascended the Ohio, the Kanawha, the Coal and the Little Coal rivers to the present site of the town of Danville, and became the first settler there.
For some years after the coming of the white men there were no churches, but when an Old Baptist or Methodist preacher would arrive in the settlement, word was passed around to the neighbors and that night earnest prayers, exhortations and hallelujahs would ascend from those rude homes. The first church erected in the county was the Olive Branch Baptist church at the mouth of Turtle creek. The first term of the circuit court held in the county after its organization in 1847 was held in this church. The grand jury made its investigations while seated on the framing in Ballard’s old water mill near by, and the petit jury retired to the paw paw bushes below to consider their verdicts.
The daring hunters, adventurous pioneers and brave soldiers who came from the best families in the east to establish home in the wilderness, were not contented to let their children grow up without the rudiments of an education, so they established Old Field schools in the slave cabins, tanneries, country churches and abandoned dwellings, when an itinerant teacher who could read, write and cipher a little came along. The first free school in the county was taught by John Morris, just after the Civil War, in an old house abandoned by Dr. Church. The old house stood across the hollow from W.H. Turley’s present residence in Madison. Within the next year or two a log school house was erected near the upper end of Danville and another on the point across the river from Hadalton. The children of Madison had to go to Danville or Hadalton to school until 1885, when the people of Madison, by mandamus, compelled the board of education to give them a school. The first school house erected in Madison is now used by Dr. Smoot for a barn. While the course of study in these early schools was meager and the work crude, yet they did succeed in inspiring a few boys to strive for higher education. Former United States Senator John E. Kenna was born in Boone county and attended his first schools in a log house on Big Coal river. Dr. Marshall A. Estep, an eminent physician of Texas, and his brother, Judge Charles L. Estep, of Huntington and Logan, were reared in the “Promised Land,” the name of their father’s mountain home on the summit of Spruce Ridge, and attended their first schools in a log house on the Spruce Fork. One of these early log school houses still stands on the head of Mud river, remote from the highways frequented by trade and travelers. Two of the most recent prosecuting attorneys of the county, two clerks of the circuit court, two of the clerks of the county court, four county superintendents of schools, chief U.S. Marshal for the southern district of West Virginia, and two prosperous dental surgeons attended school when boys in that little log school house on the head of Mud. The attendance in it was never large.
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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.
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From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, in a story titled “Conditions Century Ago: Charleston Educator Tells of Settlement of Kanawha County Which Embraced Part of What Is Now Logan–With 550 Population Charleston Was Metropolis of Kanawha Valley,” comes this bit of history for the city of Charleston dated October 14, 1927:
Josiah Hughes, principal of the South Charleston graded schools, has written a sketch of Kanawha county, telling of the activities of a century and more ago. It is of interest here, because Logan county was created in 1824 from parts of Kanawha, Cabell, Giles and Tazewell, and because some of the pioneers he names have descendants in Logan. Kanawha county was formed Oct. 5, 1789. His article in part follows.
Charleston was the largest town in the valley, and had a population of approximately 550. It had its stores, its schools, its court house, its jail, its pillory, and its whipping post.
The postoffice at Charleston was “Kanawha C.H.” established under that name in 1801, and was so called until late in 1879. Among those who received their mail here one century ago were the following: Leonard Morris (an ancestor of Roy J. Morris, who is in the local C. & O. ticket office), probably the earliest of the pioneers of the valley; Fleming Cobb, the noted Indian scout, who lies buried near the mouth of Davis Creek; John P. Huddleston, who hunted and trapped with Daniel Boone; Alex W. Quarrier, who was many years clerk of the courts of Kanawha county; Herbert P. Gaines, founder of the first newspaper in Charleston; John Young, whose father saved him and his mother from death by Indians when Fort Tackett at the mouth of Coal River was destroyed about 1789; Dr. William Cobb, the first physician in this valley and the ancestor of the Cobb family near Clendenin; Michael Newhouse, a noted pioneer of Elk river; Ebenezer Oakes, a near ancestor of our townsman, L.H. Oakes; Charles Droddy, the first settler at Walton; Owen Jarrett, noted ancestor of the Jarrett family in Kanawha county; Col. David Ruffner, the noted business man whose enterprise made possible the establishment of Mercer Academy in Charleston one hundred and ten years ago; Benjamin Morris, a noted pioneer and near ancestor of Benjamin F. Morris of Marmet; Col. Andrew Donnally, whose father built Donnally’s Fort in Greenbrier county.
During the years 1825-1829. “The Western Virginian,” as it was called, was the only newspaper published in Charleston. Mason Campbell was editor.
50 Salt Furnaces
The first great industry in the Great Kanawha Valley was the manufacturing of salt. One hundred years ago more than fifty salt furnaces were in active operation. A few years later the annual production of salt reached upwards of 3,000,000 bushels.
Kanawha Salines, now Malden, was the center of the great industrial area. The salt companies had greater stores than could be found in Charleston and many of the citizens of Charleston went to Kanawha Salines to do their trading.
One hundred years ago only a few coal mines had been opened up. Wood was the principal fuel used at the salt furnaces. Prior to 1830 but little coal was used by the salt makers. The coal industry in this valley was of comparatively small value until the opening of the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad in 1873.
By 1827 three steamboats had succeeded in reaching Charleston. In 1830 the first towboat on the Kanawha reached Charleston.
Before the close of the first quarter of the nineteenth century missionaries of various churches had visited the valley and preached in the homes of the pioneers. The Protestant Episcopal church established parishes in Kanawha valley about 1821. The Rev. Charles Page was the preacher for the churches at Point Pleasant, Charleston and Coalsmouth (St. Albans). But the Presbyterian church was probably the pioneer in the valley, although small congregations of communicants of the Baptist and Methodist churches may have worshiped in the homes of some of the pioneers. Dr. Henry Ruffner organized the first Presbyterian church in Kanawha county in 1818. The church was organized in Charleston.
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In 1927, the Logan County Board of Education discussed construction of a new high school building for the county’s black pupils. At this time, Republicans held many county offices by narrow majorities.
Board of Education Favorable to Providing New Building for Colored Pupils.
NEEDS OF BLAIR POINTED OUT
Colored Teachers Hired For Omar
–Board Meets Again Friday–
That negotiations for the purchase of a site for a centralized colored high school for Logan district have been under way was disclosed at the regular monthly meeting of the Logan district board of education last Saturday. At an adjourned meeting to be held Friday of this week a further step toward this end may be taken.
The site under consideration is a two-acre tract fronting on the north shore of Island creek in Coal Branch. It lies between Coal Branch (stream) and the Island Creek bridge and roadway, and to which the only access at this time is through the alley along side and back of Buskirk & Kayser’s store. The upper half of it is now a weed patch; the other half is under cultivation.
This tract belongs to K.F. Deskins and has been priced to the board at $21,000. The ground is low and often overflows, but the board has been advised that the Appalachian Power Company will fill it with its own refuse up to the level of the road at no cost to the purchaser. Thus it would be made virtually flood proof.
Saturday’s meeting was attended by all three members, President J.F. May, Dr. L.E. Farnsworth and J.W. Beckett. Though convinced the price is high, Dr. May and Dr. Farnsworth said, everything considered, they believed the tract to be the most suitable for the purpose that could be found; and they further made it clear that in their opinion a new high school for the colored pupils is imperative and should be made available just as soon as possible. While admitting there are many things that should and must be done, they doubt whether any other contemplated improvement is more urgent than this.
The Aracoma high school building, a rickety, wholly unsuitable two-story frame, is characterized as a fire-box that must be abandoned. This property would be sold, if the other is bought, it is said, but the proceeds of the sale would doubtless be negligible compared to the price of the Dingess tract.
The Dingess tract is believed to be ideally located with reference to the colored population of the district. Besides, it is easily accessible from various directions and is ample in dimensions; and if necessary, one or more lots could be sold, though nothing of that sort is now contemplated.
Just how this proposed purchase and the proposed new wing for the Logan high school are to be financed was not explained at Saturday’s meeting. But there were many other matters demanding attention.
Conditions of school buildings and equipment at Blair and other Coal River points were discussed at length and definite action will be taken soon, it was promised. The two Richardson brothers, coal operators at Opperman, took a hand in these discussions and urged a program of improvements. Blasting done by road contractors nearly wrecked the Blair school building a good while ago.
The following teachers were hired for the Omar colored school: W.H. Houston, principal; Mrs. Georgia Miller, Mrs. Lois Simmons, Mrs. Elaine Ferguson, Mrs. W.H. Houston. The last three are new ones.
Prof. Houston was given a contract to paint some parts of the building for 10 cents a yard, the board to furnish the paint. He was told he could not make wages at that price but said he did not care about that, adding that he wanted the work done and would do it right or would not expect to receive even the low contract price for his work.
Many bills, many of them small and incurred by the old regime, were ordered paid. Among these was one for $40 for two months rent for an office in the White & Browning building for E.F. Scaggs. That contract was declared canceled.
R.H. May was appointed janitor of the Logan high school building, effective August 1.
Source: Logan (WV) Banner, 26 July 1927.
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