Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
July 4, 1862

Wheeling Intelligencer
July 2, 1862

Grand 4th of July Celebration and Pyrotechnic Display [in Wheeling].

The following programme has been adopted by the Committee of Arrangements. In reference to the order to be following in the celebration of our approaching National anniversary:

First. At sunrise, a National salute of thirty-four guns.

Second. At 6 o'clock A. M., the simultaneous ringing of all the bells in the city and a display of National flags from the dwellings and business houses.

Third. The reading of the Declaration of Independence, to be followed by an Oration, at Washington Hall, at 10 o'clock A. M.

Fourth. At 12 o'clock M., the firing of a National salute of 34 guns, after which a "fen de joie," to be followed by the firing of one gun in honor of the new State of West Virginia.

Fifth. At 8 o'clock P. M., one signal gun will be fired and a signal rocket discharged to indicate the commencement of a grand pyrotechnic display, which will take place on the Island, immediately opposite the Sprigg House Hospital.

The firing of the guns and the pyrotechnic display will be under the immediate supervision of Major Constable, of the U.S. Army, through whose generosity and kindness the Committee have been materially aided in their labors.

The piece of ordinance which will be used on the occasion is one captured from the rebels at Romney, and through the influence of Major Constable, of the U. S. Army, will be presented at the instance of Brig. Gen. Kelley to the authorities of the State of Virginia.

Ample arrangements will be made by the Committee for seating the ladies and invited guests at the Hall on the occasion of the Oration.


At Washington Hall, July 4th, 1862.

Assemble at the Hall at 10 o'clock A. M.

1.The exercised will be opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Fisher.

2. Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by Rev. J. T. McLure.

3. Music:Hail Columbia.

4. Oration, by Rev. R. V. Dodge.

5. Music:Star Spangled Banner.

6. Presentation of Rebel Gun to the authorities of the State of Virginia, by major Constable, U. S. A.

7. Reception Speech, by Gov. F. H. Peirpoint.

8. The exercised will close with Yankee Doodle, or Gen. McClellan's March into Richmond, by the Band.

Wheeling Intelligencer
July 11, 1862

The 4th of July in Marshall County.

According to previous arrangements, the Sabbath School of the M. E. Church met at Fairmont Chapel, (formerly Boman.):The exercised were opened with singing the prayer, by J. J. Roberts of the Christian Church, after which the choir sang some appropriate pieces. The audience was addressed by James Holliday, of Moundsville. After the address there was singing by the choir. The Stars and Stripes were displayed from the sacred desk.

The hour of 12 arriving, the assembly was dismissed to partake of the substantials of life, and after having partaken plentifully of good things provided for the occasion, the assembly again convened in a fine country church, and both old and young were ready for the afternoon services. The choir again performed its part in singing some lively airs, after which the Declaration of Independence was read by Mr. John Nixon. The Star Spangled Banner was then sang by the choir, and at the close of the singing Rev. Walter Evans was invited to the stand and gave the audience a telling speech of about an hour, upon the state of the Union. He gave the Secessionists as good a scourging as they generally get, showing the inconsistency of their course, and dealt out to them their deserts in language not to be misunderstood by them. At the close of the speech the choir sand the Red, White and Blue, in cheering tones.

Mr. W. N. Bonar, a youth of the neighborhood, delivered a studied address, which was applauded by all.

After singing, the assembly retired from the house to the grove, martialled by Col. J. W. Bonar, and following the flag of our pride. When the procession reached the grove they were formed in a square, with the children in front. At the word "front face" they turned to the center, where there was a large box of candies and nuts for the hope of our country, over which floated the star spangled banner, the escutcheon of American glory. I never saw a more pleasant or patriotic band of children gathered together to celebrate the anniversary of our independence. All felt the importance of perpetuating the memory of our fathers, whose deeds of noble daring achieved our independence.

Notwithstanding the war cloud which lowered over our heads, all seemed buoyant and happy. The day was spent so pleasantly that all expressed themselves perfectly satisfied.

This section of Marshall county has some as good Union loving and Union supporting men as ever graced our soil, and all they want is an order to pitch in, and they would make the secesh about here skedaddle to Dixey or Pandemonium.

Respectfully, &c., Spectator.


The Fourth in Tyler County.

Middlebourne, July 7, 1862.

Editors Intelligencer:
This day was celebrated here in grand style. The citizens of the county, old and young, came in early on horseback, in wagons, &c., to the number of eight hundred. The "McClellan Guards" and "Indian Creek Rangers" were on hand and made quite a display.

The procession was formed by Col. J. E. Boyers, Lieut Col. R. Corbitt and Major Wells, Marshals of the day, and marched out to the grove, where all partook of a dinner prepared for the occasion. Then followed a prayer by S. E. Steel, reading the Declaration of Independence by W. D. Smith, and an oration by Elder A. Cordner, of Belmont, Ohio. He addressed the audience for nearly an hour in an able and eloquent manner. He was followed by Rev. Z. Warner, who delivered a short but able address.

The Marshals again formed the procession and returned to town, all being well pleased with the speeches, dinner, &c.

In the evening we had a torch light procession, and speeches by Rev. S. E. Steele and Elder A. Cordner. The remarks were good and suitable to the times. When they spoke of Western Virginia, the manner in which their remarks were received was expressive of the feelings and desires of our people for the admission of the new State by Congress. Three cheers were then given for the speakers and three for the Union, and thus ended the 4th of July.


Wheeling Intelligencer
July 15, 1862

The 4th at Shinnston, West Virginia.

Shinsnton [sic], West Va., July 5, 1862.

Editors Intelligencer:
I, an humble reader of your excellent paper, so seldom seeing anything in the way of a communication from loyal "Old Harrison," feel inclined to give you some items of information, in regard to the manner in which we spent the "Glorious Fourth":the eighty-sixth anniversary of American Independence, at the above named place.

According to announcement made by various citizens, a large concourse of citizens, men, women and children, assembled at an early hour in Shinnston, formed with the various Sabbath School children in procession, and marched a half mile below town to White Oak Grove, headed by an excellent brass band, where every preparation necessary to comfort had previously been made. There we were entertained by music, speeches, reading of the declaration, and patriotic sons, which were received with marked attention and applause. The aforesaid speeches were delivered by Prof. White, of Fairmont, and Lloyd Moore Esq., of Clarksburgh. Both speeches were replete with eloquence, patriotism and love of country.

What a glorious day:a day more intimately associated than any other with the liberty and history of our country:a day which every American citizen should hallow:a day whose ancient greatness and grandure [sic] in the history of our county, is not dimmed by age, nor a single vestige lost.

E. F. P.

Point Pleasant Register
July 10, 1862

The Fourth at Charleston.

[For the Register.]

If any doubt had existed of the prevalence of the Union sentiment of Kanawha county, particularly in the country places[,] That doubt was completely dispelled by the celebration of the 4th, on Friday:indeed it was everything that could be desired. The people came from all sections of the county, in great numbers, all ages, sexes and conditions, were present to honor the great day that gave us our national existence. Now more sacred and more holy, from the unholy and wicked attempts being made to annihilate and destroy that nationality.:Indeed it was a proud day for the Union cause. The universal sentiment of the vast multitude, (perhaps the largest ever assembled in this Valley,) old and young, male and female, as they listened to the patriotic speeches of the occasion and partook of the frugal repast, under the shady grove, and drank of the refreshing beverage as it gushed from the mountain side, was the "Union:it must and shall be preserved."

Treason, which we regret to say, has still an existance [sic] in our Valley, must have faded before the mighty influence of the celebration of the Fourth. Its abettors had prophesied that the Union men and women of Kanawha, could not get up a respectable celebration:the results must have been a source of extreme mortification to many of them.

The procession was formed at the M. E. Church, and marched (with flags and banners appropriate and suggestive) to the place selected for the celebration, in the following order: First Col. Lightburn's elegant Band, in a wagon painted in Red, White and Blue:decorated with evergreens:drawn by four splended [sic] iron-greys, discoursing our national airs, in splendid style; next thirty-four young ladies in uniform, in two wagons splendidly decorated, representing the thirty-four States of the Union; next the soldiers under the command of Col. Lightburn and Staff; next the children of the Sabbath schools, with their teachers; next the citizens from all sections of the county, all moving under the direction of Messrs. John Slack, Frederick Walker and Mr. Dilsworth, special Marshalls of of [sic] the day. Ar[r]iving at the ground chosen for the occasion, the vast assembly was seated to listen to the eloquent addresses of Judge Jas. H. brown, Mr. Morris S. Whittiker and others. At the conclusion of Mr. Whittaker's speech, at the suggestion of E. W. Newton, Esq., (Chairman of the Committee of arrangements,) they all dispersed in groups, to the various shady places, to partake of the repast, which had been brought in baskets in great abundance, and to spend an hour in social conversation, after which they again assembled, and listened attentively to the addresses of John A. Warth, Esq., Col. B. H. Smith, Capt. Vance and Rev. Mr. Phelps, of the 9th Va., Regiment. Addresses were also expected from Hon. Geo. W. Summers, and F. Lovell, Esq.; but from causes unexplained to the satisfaction of the vast multitude, the former did not make his appearance on the ground, the latter was said to be indisposed. This was of course satisfactory:much more so than on a former occasion, when he went to sleep. At about 4 o'clock, the vast concourse dispersed; the main body marching back to town, cheered by the music of the band, which had so charmingly performed its part in discoursing at intervals during the day our national airs, and other pieces suitable for the occasion in a style peculiar to the Band of the 4th Va., Regiment. Every thing went off in the happiest style; the Union sentiment of Kanawha, was greatly strengthened and inspired, and secession, except as developed by a few of the "Foolish Virgins" of our place, is at a vast discount.

There is an inspiration connected with the 4th of July, which the American patriot only knows; but alas, what an unmeaning ceremony:nay, what an absurdity to the wretch who is vainly attempting by word, thought or deed, to destroy that Constitution, and that Government, which the deeds of that day were instrumental in establishing:can we wonder at such taking no part?

G. S.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1862

West Virginia Archives and History