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Appalachia, assistant postmaster, Big Creek, Cabell County, Charles Spurlock, Cheat River, Cincinnati, civil engineer, civil war, doctor, genealogy, gunsmith, Hamlin, history, Jane Spurlock, John Spurlock, Lifas Spurlock, Lincoln County, Logan Banner, Logan County, Logan Post Office, Marshall Spurlock, Midkiff, Montgomery County, Omar, Pete Spurlock, preacher, Ranger, Robertson Spurlock, Seth Spurlock, Sheridan, sheriff, Spurlockville, Stephen Hart, surveyor, Union Army, Virginia, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history about Stephen Hart and Harts Creek in Lincoln and Logan counties, West Virginia. The story is dated April 14, 1937.
Stephen Hart Settled at Cheat River, Pete Spurlock, A Great Grandson, Reveals
P.A. (Pete) Spurlock, assistant postmaster at the Logan post office, this morning revealed the destination of Stephen Hart, who went went after he had lived for a short time at the forks of the creek in the lower end of Logan county which now bears his name.
Spurlock said that Hart went to the Cheat River and settled permanently there to hunt deer and rear a family. He said the family name of Hart is as familiar there as the name Dingess is familiar in Logan county.
A daughter of Stephen, Jane, was Spurlock’s grandmother. She lived until 1913 and told her grandson much of the early history of the family which made its home in and around Spurlocksville, Sheridan, Ranger, and Midkiff.
Charles Spurlock, the progenitor of the Spurlock family, came to what used to be the Toney farm below the mouth of Big Creek in 1805 from Montgomery county, Virginia.
“Uncle Charley was a funny old cuss,” his great grandson Pete said this morning. “The story is told that a sheriff of Cabell county was given a capias to serve on the old codger for some minor offense when he was growing old and rather stout.
“Meeting him in the road one day, the sheriff informed Uncle Charley he had a capias to serve on him.
“None abashed, the old man informed the sheriff he was a law-abiding citizen and laid down in the middle of the road and told the sheriff to take him to jail.
“The ruse worked, for the sheriff chose to look for less obstinate prisoners,” Uncle Charley’s grandson said, chuckling.
Another story about the eccentric “Uncle Charley Spurlock” which has gone down in history, whether true or not, was that he lived for a short time below Big Creek under a rock cliff (known as a rockhouse) during the early summer while he was getting his cabin in shape for winter.
The tale is out that “Uncle Charley” explained his strange dwelling place in this way to his neighbors:
“Well I took Sarah (his wife) in a good substantial frame house in Virginia and she wasn’t quite satisfied. I took her to a log house and she wasn’t satisfied. I took her to a rail pen and still she grumbled. Then I took her to a rock house built by God Almight and still she wasn’t satisfied.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with Sarah.”
Sarah evidently became accustomed to “Uncle Charley” for the couple reared four sons. They were John, Seth, Lifas and Robertson. There were no daughters.
Seth was P.A. Spurlock’s grandfather. His father, Marshall, is 78 and lives on his farm near Cincinnati.
Spurlock says “Uncle Charley” is buried on a point at Spurlocksville overlooking the haunts of his early manhood.
Robertson was a gunsmith and lived near Hamlin. Seth was a civil engineer and helped survey much of Logan county. He was a Union soldier. John was a country doctor who practiced at Ranger.
Lifas was a preacher for sixty years and lived at Sheridan.
Charles Spurlock, of Omar, is a distant cousin, the assistant postmaster said. He is the only relative that lives in this section of Logan county, Spurlock said.
Spurlock, at Omar, was born at Spurlocksville and is a grandson of one of the original “Charley’s” boys.
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In 1929, the State of West Virginia nearly opted to allocate a monthly pension to its Confederate veterans, as well as blacks who had served the Confederate Army in service roles. In covering the story, the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, compiled a list of its remaining Confederate veterans.
HOW MANY VETERANS?
A pension of $20 a month is provided for Confederate veterans of the state by a bill passed by the Senate last week and sent in the House for concurrence. Senator M.T. Miller, of Boone county, who said he could not vote to pension men who had carried arms against their government, cast the only vote against the proposal.
A Charleston paper says there are only about 60 Confederate veterans living. This paper cannot believe that, although it has no information on the subject. How many are there in Logan county? Does anyone know? Has anyone an approximately correct list? If so, will he or she make the fact known? Uncle Dyke Garrett probably knows most of them.
The Banner would like to obtain a list of both Confederate and Union veterans still living in the county, together with their post office address.
Source: Logan Banner, 26 February 1929.
AS TO OLD SOLDIERS
The Banner’s request for information about old soldiers living in Logan county has not been in vain, nor has the response been satisfactory. The names of four confederate veterans have been turned in, as follows:
Rev. Dyke Garrett, Curry, beloved and venerable minister; William Workman, Shegon, who fought at Gettysburg and is now 88; Steve Markham, Holden No. 20, who has been blind for 20 years; and William Chafin, who lives with his son Harvey, at Holden 5 and 6.
Who are the others? Send in their names and addresses and any information you deem of interest concerning their careers as soldiers and citizens. The same information about Union soldiers, residents of the county, is likewise desired.
Logan Banner, 5 March 1929.
PREPARING THE ROLL
Another name has been added to the list of old soldiers that The Banner has undertaken to compile. Reference is to J. Matt Pauley, residing in Band Mill Hollow, post office Stollings. He was in the Confederate army, fought throughout the war and was wounded, writes Mrs. A.V. Pauley of Ethel. He is of the same age as Uncle Dyke Garrett.
The names of four survivors of the War Between the States, all living in Logan county, were published in Tuesday’s paper. There must be others. Who are they?
Today, W.C. Turley brought in a list of eight Confederate veterans, including the following new names: Wm. C. Lucas, Big Creek; Henry Mitchell, Henlawson; Hugh Avis, Green Thompson and John Neece, Logan; Harrison White, Pecks Mill.
Logan Banner, 8 March 1929.
On Confederate Roll
Two more names have been added to the roll of Confederate veterans that The Banner is preparing. These are James Zirkles of Man, whose name was sent in by Leslie Mangus, of Kistler, and Zan Bryant of Whirlwind, whose name was recalled by County Clerk McNeely. Are there not others besides nine or ten previously published?
Logan Banner, 12 March 1929.
Confederate Veterans Living Here Number at Least 17
There Are Probably Others–Will You Help to Enroll Them–All Merit the Tender Interest of Younger Folk
Seventeen names of Confederate soldiers, residents of the county, have been collected by The Banner. Wonder if any have been overlooked, or if the appended list is in error in including any Union veterans? If any reader knows of a Confederate soldier not listed here, please send in the name and address AT ONCE. There will be no further request or reminder.
This paper undertook to make up a list of these old soldiers for two reasons. Chief of these was a desire to prevent any of them being overlooked in case a bill to pension them was passed by the legislature–but the writer does not know yet whether or not that bill was enacted into law. Another reason for assuming the task was to test in a limited way a statement in a Charleston paper that there were only 60 Confederate veterans left in the state. That statement was doubted, and with good reason judging from the number polled in this county. Anyhow, the ranks have become terribly thinned. Every few days we all read of taps being sounded for another one here and there.
Middle-aged men and young folk should esteem it a privilege to do something to brighten the lives of these old soldiers. As the years roll by our pride will increase as we recall our acquaintance with and our kindness toward the “boys of ’61 and ’65.”
Here is the list. Look it over, and if there is a name that should be added or a name that should be stricken out, or any error or omission that should be corrected or supplied, speak up:
James Zirkles, Man; Zan Bryant, Whirlwind; J. Matt Pauley, Ft. Branch; Uncle Dyke Garrett, Curry; William C. Lucas, Big Creek; Henry Mitchell, Henlawson; Hugh Avis, Green Thompson and John Neece, all of Logan; Harrison White, Pecks Mill; Melvin Plumley, Crawleys Creek (post office not known); William Workman, Shegon; Steve Markham, Holden No. 20; William Chafin, No. 5 and 6.
Logan Banner, 15 March 1929.
Two Names Added Confederate Roll
Bill to Pension Them is Defeated By Parliamentary Tactics in House
Names of two more Confederate soldiers living in the county have been sent to The Banner. They are: C.H. Gilkinson, minister, resident of Holden, who was born and reared in Wayne county, and is the father of Dr. L.W. Gilkinson. Jackson McCloud, a resident of Whirlwind on Harts Creek. His name was supplied by A.L. Browning of Monaville, who says he feels sure that Mr. McCloud was in the Confederate service and fought at Gettysburg.
Assuming both names should be added to the roll, it means that there are at least 19 Confederate veterans still living in Logan county, seventeen names having been listed and published a week ago.
For many of them there will be disappointment in the information that the bill to pension them did not pass. Sponsored in the Senate by ex-governor A.B. White, the son of a Union soldier, the bill passed, that body, Senator M.T. Miller of Madison casting the only vote against it. In the House of Delegates it was amended, by a majority of one, to include Negroes, whether slave or free, who had served in the Confederate army of cooks, personal servants, or otherwise, and later tabled.
Source: Logan Banner, 22 March 1929.
Slagle Man 17th in Confederate List
Zan Bryant Probably Oldest Veteran In County–Born in Jackson’s Time
Joseph Lowe of Slagle is the latest name to be added to the list of Confederate veterans that has been compiled by The Banner. However, that leaves the count at 17, as the name of Melvin Plumley of Crawleys Creek was erroneously included in the published list. He was a Union soldier, it seems.
Of all those listed Zan Bryant of Whirlwind must be the oldest. He is said to be 98 years old and his wife, Judie Hensley Bryant, 91. They have been married for 75 years and have a son, Dave Bryant, who is 73. There are five other children, Dave, John, Wade and Dyke all live on Harts Creek, most of them near their parents; Mrs. Martha Jane Smith at Gay, and Mrs. Lucinda Spry of Mingo county.
This venerable couple have spent all their years in the isolated Harts country, their home being on White Oak fork, and can be reached only by a long horseback ride.
When Zan was born Andrew Jackson was president and Logan county as a political subdivision was but five years old. He was 23 years old when married and 30 when the War Between the States began.
Logan Banner, 26 March 1929.
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Abington Virginian, Appalachia, Big Sandy River, Cabell County, Chapmanville, civil war, Confederate Army, genealogy, Guyandotte River, history, John B. Floyd, John Clarkson, John Dils, John Letcher, Kanawha River, Kentucky, Levisa Fork, Lincoln County, Logan County, Ohio River, Pigeon Creek, Pike County, Pikeville, Prestonsburg, Smyth County, Tazewell County, Union Army, Virginia, Virginia State Line, Washington County, Wayne County, West Virginia
Confederate General John B. Floyd composed this letter detailing military activity in the Guyandotte and Big Sandy valleys in late 1862, which was published by the Abington Virginian on January 2, 1863.
OFFICIAL REPORT OF GEN. FLOYD
Headquarters Virginia State Line,
Camp Clarkson, Tazewell Co.,
December 17, 1862
His Excellencey, John Letcher,
Governor of Virginia—
SIR: After my last communication to you I prepared an expedition consisting of a strong force of Cavalry under Colonel John Clarkson, to operate against the enemy in the counties of Wayne, Cabell, &c. He set out from Chapmansville on the 14th November, in the direction of Cabell down the Guyandotte river, over a rough and difficult road. The following day he fell in with a detachment of the enemy which he quickly routed and dispersed. He continued the march until a few miles of the Ohio river, breaking up the “Home Guard” organization of the enemy, which are very numerous in all that country, and taking prisoners every day.
A strong guard of Yankee troops, acting as a guard for the Pierpont Assessor for the county of Wayne, was attacked and dispersed after a short skirmish, in which was killed and wounded some of the enemy and took a few prisoners. Col. Clarkson proceeded then, according to the previous directions given him, to the Sandy river, to attack a large and formidable organization of the enemy composed mainly of the native population, and very strong posted amidst the cliffs and forests upon the precipitous banks of that river. He succeeded in taking them by surprise completely, and after killing and wounding a number of them, took a large number of prisoners, and surprised entirely the rest of the force. This force and organization were formidable and extremely dangerous to the peace and quiet of all the country round about for many miles, the loyal people were nearly all driven from their country and all were robbed. After that, Col. Clarkson, according to previous understanding, made a junction with me at the mouth of Pigeon Creek, in Logan county, on the Kentucky border, whither I had gone with the infantry and a section of the mounted howitzer battery.
I learned from Col. Clarkson that the enemy had started a number of boats with valuable supplies, from the mouth of Sandy to a post recently established at Pikeville, a point at the head of navigation on the Louisa Fork of Sandy. These boats were in charge of a strong guard, and were intended to furnish a complete outfit for a force deemed sufficient for them, by their commander, to march upon and destroy the salt works in Smyth and Washington counties.
I determined at once to attack this train, and from its distance, being more than forty miles off, it became necessary to send mounted men. Besides this reason, I found it inconvenient to move the infantry in that direction, on account of the number of prisoners with which we were encumbered. The cavalry and mounted men were put in motion within an hour and proceeded upon the march, which was uninterrupted, day or night, until the enemy were overtaken, attacked and routed.
Our people captured ten of the enemy’s transport boats, laden with valuable supplies. A great deal of these supplies was distributed amongst the men, and much of them was brought off; but a very large amount of most valuable supplies was necessarily destroyed for want of transportation to bring them away. A train of one hundred pack mules would have brought away a very large amount of extremely valuable stores, which were committed to the fire and the river.
The night following the capture of these boats (indeed, just twelve hours after the attack upon the boats,) our forces engaged that of Col. Dils, posted in an extremely strong position on the summit of a mountain on the road leading from Prestonsburg to Pikeville. This position was taken and held without any knowledge on our part, and as the attack was made after the night, and entirely unexpected, we were taken at a great disadvantage. But our men behaved with great steadiness and resolution, received the attack and charged the enemy, driving him from his position, and dispersing them entirely. The rout was complete, and the post at Pikeville, consisting of a thousand men, was entirely broken up. The prisoners and the Union people in that neighborhood reported Colonel Dils as killed in the fight that night.
For more detailed statements of this expedition I refer you to the report of Col. Clarkson. In our operation through the country, we made a number of recruits in the counties of Cabell, Wayne, Logan, &c.
My object in this campaign was, as far as possible, to prevent the occupation by the Yankee forces, of the country between the Kanawha Valley and Kentucky border, as well as to destroy the military organization of the country under the traitor government in Wheeling. Both objects were fully attained, as long as I was able to remain in the country. The military organizations, very numerous and well appointed in every particular, were almost entirely destroyed, and the attempts to set up the spurious government were entirely failed.
I was compelled to leave the country, held by me for more than three months alone, for the want of Quartermaster’s supplies. We were without tents, or clothing, or cooking utensils, or axes; and after the inclement weather of winter set in, we could no longer remain in the field. With these stores supplied, I would have remained in that country throughout the winter months. We were able to procure food (meat and bread) in the country, nearly all of it taken from the enemy.
The campaign, from first to last, was one of hardship and privations; but they were borne without complaint by the men, who are unsurpassed in hardship, activity and capability to endure privations. They deserve great praise for their constancy and general good conduct.
The officers generally deserve commendation, but to Col. Clarkson too much credit cannot be given for his energy, activity and courage. The obstacle she encountered, of every sort, throughout these expeditions, were of the most formidable character, but they were also most gallantly surmounted.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Maj. Gen. Commanding Va. State Line
NOTE: I bolded Gen. Floyd’s description of activity in the Guyandotte Valley that occurred between Chapmanville and the lower section of the river near present-day Huntington.
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