troops on the border, pending the election, but now ‘cannot close its ears to the demand you have made for assistance.
I have ordered troops to cross the river.
They come as your friends and brothers—as enemies only to the armed rebels that are preying upon you.’
He pledged a religious respect for property rights, and not only non-interference with slaves, but an ‘iron hand to crush’ any servile insurrection.
On the same date he ordered Col. B. F. Kelley
, commanding the First Virginia infantry (U. S.
) at Wheeling
, to move toward Fairmount
, supported by the Sixteenth Ohio from Bellaire
, while the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Ohio, and a battery, were sent toward Grafton
The troops from the northwest promptly repaired the bridges en route and occupied Grafton
May 30th, the force from Parkersburg
meeting with greater difficulties which delayed it.
Before this invasion by three or four thousand well-armed men, Colonel Porterfield
with his little command moved south on the Tygart river
, carrying with him the State
arms and stores.
Before taking this step, which abandoned the Baltimore & Ohio railroad to the invading forces, he had appealed in vain for assistance from General Johnston
at Harper's Ferry
Though bodies of volunteer infantry and cavalry formed by patriotic West Virginians joined him, he was compelled to dismiss some of them for want of arms.
It was his intention to gather at Philippi
a force with which he could advance upon the railroad and destroy its value to the enemy, but he was not able to get together more than 600 effective infantry and 175 cavalry, which, though armed, were but poorly supplied with ammunition and the necessary accouterments.
In the meantime the Federals
had been reinforced by Indiana
troops, and General Morris
, of Indiana
, had assumed command.
He sanctioned a movement against Philippi
devised by Colonel Kelley
, and put under the latter's command.
To insure a complete surprise of the Confederates