During the war a great many of the very best people of this county were driven, or fled for refuge from their homes, among them John B. White
, the clerk of the courts; Charles Blue, who frequently represented the county in the legislature; and John Kern, Jr.
, all three of whom died for the cause they loved, while at Richmond
, during the war. The county was taken, by force of the bayonet, into the newly-formed State of West Virginia
After the war its people were disfranchised, except a few who called themselves loyal, most of whom were the newly-made colored citizens.
The old and respected men were not permitted to enjoy the rights of citizenship.
They could not vote, could not hold office, could not sit on juries, could not teach school, could not practice law, and were forbidden even to bring a suit to recover an honest debt.
In this and the adjoining counties a great many old Confederate soldiers were harassed by suits for damages and sometimes arrested and imprisoned upon various criminal charges instituted against them in the newly-organized and so-called courts of justice under the new regime.
Some were indicted for murder, some for arson, some for larceny, and some for other offenses with which they were charged for acts done as soldiers in civilized warfare.
A great many suits were instituted to recover damages, in money, because of acts done by the defendants as soldiers in the army.
Judgment after judgment was obtained in the courts below and sustained by the appellate court of the State
; but these defendants were generally old Confederates, who had faced trials and oft-times death itself in battle, and bravely did they seek to maintain their rights as belligerents until the Supreme court of the United States
at its October term, in the year 1888, decided the case of Freeland
, involving the question of the belligerent rights of the Confederate
soldiers, in their favor.
The case is reported in the 131st United States Reports, at page 405.