Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
July 25, 1862

Point Pleasant Register
August 21, 1862


On Friday morning, on July 25th, about 3 o'clock, the pickets at this place, were surprised by a dash of cavalry, who came in large numbers 60 prisoners out of two companies of the 9th Va., Reg., who were quartered here. Among the prisoners taken, were Lieut. Colonel Starr, of the 9th Va., and all of the Company officers of one of the companies. There were one or two killed and two or three wounded; the balance, about 60 made their escape.

The cavalry, who made the dash are suppose to Guerillas, calling themselves "Moccasin Rangers," of which there are a great many in this county; we took three of them yesterday, and they had ten guns. They are regular bushwhackers.

Immediately after the raid, one of the 9th Va. boys who escaped made his way to Col. Crook's camp at Meadow Bluffs, a distance of forty miles, when that regiment was telegraphed to go to Gauley, as (here was an attacked expected) [full illegible line]

Since writing the above, I have been informed that Col. Crook's cavalry came across the bandits who made the raid on this place, capturing 300 of them, and retaking all of the men and arms which they had taken. I have ascertained that they were a part of Ashby's cavalry, from Stonewall Jacksons army. They destroyed the telegraph fixtures at this point, but it has since been repaired. They burned three houses.

Point Pleasant Register
August 14, 1862


Mr. Editor: -- I have not been in print a single word, yet, of our defeat at Sommerville, on July 25, 1862. There were two companies, A and F., under command of Lieut. Colonel W.C. Starr of the 9th Va. at Sommersville. On the morning of the 25th July 1862, at 4 o?clock, about 250 rebel Cavalry commanded by Maj. Bailey, rushing[?] in town, surrounded headquarters and captured Colonel Starr, Capt. Davis, Lieut. Stivers and Ewing. Lieut. Miller and Anderson of Co. F. escaping by leg bail. The soldier's quarters were then surrounded and in ten minutes after their arrival, Sommersville was captured and the guns and commissary stores were all in the hands of the enemy. They took all the valuables - such as clothing, blankets, horses, mules, wagon, &c. They burned three of the principal buildings, and in one hour they were off with about 75 of our men on double-quick. It is utterly impossible to find out the exact result of what little firing was done. Jeremiah Hayman a private in Co. F, was found in the grass wounded fatally in the breast, and one or two others slightly wounded. It is said by some of our men that one or two were killed in their quarters and burned with the buildings. Of the whole force at Sommerville, we can only raise 64 men now; hence one half of them are missing.

That the enemy knew as much about the situation as our men did, is a certain fact. The two companies were quartered in buildings about 400 yards apart. As they passed Company F, the rebel Major told his men that was Co. F and ordered his men to move double-quick to Co. A?s quarters, hence the most of Co. F escaped.

The only reason I can assign for this partiality, is that the majority of the officers and men in Co. F, were related to two of the rebel companies, and were recruited in the same neighborhood. - The rebels could have killed half of our force if they had been so disposed. The Orderly Sargeant[sic] of Co. F was twice halted by his own cousins on the rebel side - they recognized him and let him run.

Dr. Ricker a citizen, was at headquarters at the time, and was taken by the rebels, and was sentenced to be shot yesterday. Col. Crook sent a flag of truce informing Gen. Heath that he has two hostages for Ricker, and that they had better not shoot. He has had no answer yet.

O.G. CHASE, Capt. Co. F.
Meadow Bluff, Aug. 3, 1862.

Richmond Daily Dispatch
July 31, 1862

Another brilliant cavalry fight in Western Virginia.

A Town and its garrison captured.

Large quantities of the enemy stores destroyed.

Lynchburg, July 30.

--A special dispatch to the Republican, dated Narrows of New River,July 28th, via Dublin, July 29th, says:

The gallant Major Bailey commanding four companies of cavalry, in all about one hundred and fifty men, sent to the rear of the enemy by Col. McCausland, stormed Summerville, the county seat of Nicholas, Friday morning at daylight, and killed and captured the entire garrison, including the Lieutenant Colonel commanding, named Starr, three other commissioned officers, and sixty-two non-commissioned officers and privates, killing a large number. A few prisoners were paroled. Not being able to bring away the large quantities of commissary, quartermaster and ordnance stores found at the place, Major Bailey committed them to the flames. Major B. brought to this place a large number of Enfield rifles, horses and mules. The prisoners arrived this morning at the Salt Sulphur Springs. The notorious renegade and spy, Dr. Wm. Rucker, is among the prisoners. The telegraph office was destroyed, and the Government operator captured. --This affair is regarded as the most brilliant exploit of the war in this section. Its successful execution spread the wildest consternation and dismay throughout the Yankee army in the neighborhood.

[The Lynchburg Republican, noticing this Dr. Rucker, says:

To those in this section who know the man, his deeds of villainy and scoundrelism while residing in Amherst and Bedford, of the former of which counties be is a native, his capture will be a source of rejoicing. And to the people of Botetourt and Allegheny, among whom he was at the breaking out of the war, and who have suffered by his treason to the land that bore him, no event could be productive of a greater degree of satisfaction. We would ask for him no surer doom than would be meted out to him by the people of Covington, in Allegheny, who yet have a lively remembrance of the fruits of their misplaced confidence reposed in one of the most consummate rascals and traitors unhung.]

Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 4, 1862

The Cavalry Exploit in Nicholas county.

The daring attack of Major Bailey, with a small squadron of cavalry, upon the garrison at Summersville, Nicholas county, was made in the morning at daylight, after our troops had traversed a long distance over the most rugged portion of our mountain country, and fully one hundred miles within the enemy's lines. The Federal were taken by surprise, but fought well for about two hours, when they displayed a white flag, laid down their arms, and surrendered unconditionally. Their loss in killed was eight, wounded twenty-five, and prisoners sixty-two. Of Major Bailey's command not a man was killed, and only three slightly wounded. Ordnance and commissary stores were found in great abundance, all of which were destroyed except five hundred Enfield rifles, which were placed in wagons and safely brought back to the Salt Sulphur Springs. The notorious Dr. Wm. H. Rucker, who holds a Lieutenant Colonel's commission in the Yankee army, is reported to have committed excesses, such as shooting prisoners in cold blood, burning bridges, &c., that will entitle him to more severe treatment than is usually accorded to prisoners of war. On his arrival at the Salt Sulphur, Gen, Loring had him placed in irons, and then dispatched a messenger to Allegheny county for evidence of his former crimes. His trial was to have taken place last week.

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

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