The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

March 10, 2013

A sesquicentennial moment: West Virginia (1863-2013)

— March 8-14, 1863

Ten Union soldiers beat back a much larger Confederate force that launched successive attacks against them in Pendleton County on March 12 and 13, 1863.

A letter written by John Boggs on March 14, 1863, says the Union held its ground against 70 Confederates, followed by more than 100 enemy forces.

“You may think this a big tail (tale) but I do asure (sic) you that every word is true as I have stated it,” Boggs said in his letter to James Carskadon of Hampshire County. “I consider it the greatest victory of the ware (sic) we are holding our place.”

Boggs urged his superior officers to send reinforcements as soon as possible. “The rebels say they will come with fore (sic) hundred and kill us all ... pleas (sic) do all you can for us.”

At the bottom of Boggs’ letter, he apologized for the misspellings and lack of punctuation: “Please excuse bad writing as I have got in from hunting the rebels the rebels intends to smash us before the election.”

This sesquicentennial moment is brought to you by the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Archives and History Section.