Jan. 25-31, 1863
The Restored Government of Virginia agreed on Jan. 31, 1863, to ask voters to decide whether Berkeley County should become part of the new state of West Virginia.
Lawmakers directed that on May 28, 1863, the names of voters in favor of joining West Virginia would be added to the “aye” column and the names of those in favor of remaining part of Virginia would be listed under the “nay” column.
The legislation also gave the governor the power to postpone the election if he felt the polls could not be “safely and properly opened.”
Berkeley County was strategically important to both sides of the war because the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad ran through Martinsburg. While most of Berkeley County’s residents were loyal to the South, the measure passed because many eligible voters were away from home fighting for the Confederacy and could not cast ballots. The Virginia General Assembly in Richmond filed a lawsuit that sought to reclaim Berkeley and Jefferson counties, but lost in a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down in 1871.
Feb. 1-7, 1863
Horses were a valuable commodity during the Civil War, because they carried supplies, weapons, men and messages, but like the men who fought alongside them, they were not immune to the perils of war.
In early February 1863, Assistant Quartermaster Capt. W.R. Downing in Wheeling was assigned the arduous task of nursing back to health more than 40 worn-out, sick and injured horses.
“We never before saw such a melancholy, ghostly looking lot of skeletons,” the Wheeling Intelligencer said in a story published Feb. 4. “The Gothic steed Pegasus ... was a gay and frisky courser in comparison with the best of these forty scare-crows.
“Their sides looked like washboards and their ribs can be counted as far as they can be seen. Their backs were scarred and their limbs and bodies were covered with wounds, sores and running corruptions. They have evidently been beaten, driven, ridden and starved without mercy and ‘regardless of expense.’”
The newspaper said if Downing “succeeds in bringing anything in the shape of a horse out of a single one of the miserable brutes under consideration, he will indeed be a magician.”
Jan. 25-31, 1863
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HFT announces its 2014 season
The year 2014 brings exciting new opportunities to the Historic Fayette Theater. Once again, Main Stage shows will form the core of the presentations, while special programming comprises the Second Season. These shows are designated as Second Season because they are often pre-cast and offer HFT regulars new opportunities.
Help offered for ACA enrollment
March 31 is the final deadline to apply for private health insurance coverage through the Individual Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.
Going to the fair
Several area students participated in last Saturday’s Fayette County Social Studies Fair at Oak Hill High School.
Local food producers highlighted
The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition will host an exhibition of local food producers in the Beckley/southern West Virginia area March 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Dream Center.
Symphony, chorus spring season begins March 3
The spring season of the New River Youth Symphony & Chorus opens on Monday, March 3 at Oak Hill High School and musicians and singers are welcome to join.
Two notable Fayette County singers presented the national anthem prior to the Division 1 championship game at
the West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament at Midland Trail High School over the weekend.
New River Health issues enrollment challenge to schools
A group of Fayette County schools has been issued a challenge. It’s not just any ol’ school yard dare, though.
Meadow Bridge man arrested for allegedly firing gun
A Meadow Bridge man was taken to Southern Regional Jail after allegedly firing a gun outside and pointing the gun at his wife following an argument with his stepdaughter Sunday night.
Two arrested for drugs
Two men were arrested in Fayette County as part of an ongoing drug investigation, a press release from the county sheriff’s office said.
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