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[88] At Wheeling the loyalists were organizing a regiment under Colonel B. F. Kelley. The men were wretchedly provided for, having nothing but muskets; but they did good service before the end of summer. On the 26th of May, intelligence was received at Camp Dennison that the enemy were advancing from Grafton upon Wheeling and Parkersburg, for the purpose of destroying the railroad. General McClellan at once telegraphed to Colonel Kelley to move his regiment (since known as the First Virginia) early the next day along the line of railroad towards Fairmount, in order to prevent any further destruction of the bridges and to protect the repair of those already injured. Two Ohio regiments, under Colonels Irwin and Stedman, were also directed to cross over into Virginia, one to cooperate with Colonel Kelley and the other to occupy Parkersburg. On the same day, General McClellan issued the following proclamation and address:--

Headquarters Department of the Ohio, May 26, 1861.
To the Union Men of Western Virginia.
Virginians:--The General Government has long enough endured the machinations of a few factious rebels in your midst. Armed traitors have in vain endeavored to deter you from expressing your loyalty at the polls. Having failed in this infamous attempt to deprive you of the exercise of your dearest rights, they now seek to inaugurate a reign of terror, and thus force you to yield to their schemes and submit to the yoke of the traitorous conspiracy


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