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[309] Federal lines, and after the evacuation of Beverley the Confederate soldiers knew that there was no fortified town east of there, and they also knew that all those rich counties in the Northwest, teeming with fine horses and cattle, were completely at their mercy.

So on they went, and on the 30th day of April, General Roberts, commandant of the Federal forces in that part of Virginia, with his chief, from Clarksburg, that ‘the advance of Jones was at Shinnstown, seven miles north of him, and the advance of Imboden and Jackson was eleven miles south of him on the Philippi Road’ (see page 1019, same Vol.), which dispatch shows that things were getting very interesting around Federal headquarters at that place. General Jones did his part well. He broke the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad up so effectually, as the records show, as to strike terror to the hearts of the enemy from Baltimore city to Wheeling. At the latter place the militia was called out to defend the city, and the Constitutional Convention that was in session at that time in Wheeling, that formed the State of West Virginia, adjourned ‘sine die,’ and fled in disorder to the States of Ohio and Pennsylvania. When near Clarksburg, General Jones rode with fully fifteen hundred of his men towards Parkersburg, and came so near that place as to produce great consternation, and the presence of a Yankee gunboat on the Ohio River was what prohibited him from taking the place. The next day, forty miles above Parkersburg, on the little Kanawha River, General Jones burnt the oil works in Wirt county. Here was the biggest oil works in Virginia, and there was immense quantities of barreled oil on hand. Some thousand men or more were living here in shacks, engaged in the oil business.

The whole thing was completely wiped out with fire, and the soldiers who were with General Jones, at this day, get excited when that fire is mentioned, so terrific was it in appearance. In the meantime, General Imboden's command spread all over the counties of Randolph, Barbour, Taylor, Monongahela, Upshur, Lewis, Harrison and Doddridge, and from there gathered fully eight thousand fine cattle and two thousand horses and mules. The writer was in a position to see most all of this stock, nearly all of which was in splendid condition. When

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William E. Jones (5)
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