Calhoun County Scouts
At age 57, William Ellison enrolled in Kanawha Co., W.Va. on 18 Aug 1863 and was ordered to raise a Company of Independent Scouts for Calhoun County. He was commissioned Captain, order of 03 Oct 1863. Disbanded and ordered mustered out 16 Jun 1864, to take effect 20 Jun 1864.
Transcribed by Joshua J. Allen, great-great-great grandson
Original Letters found at WV Archives site - Roane County section.
[10 Oct 1863]
Kanawha County W. Va. Camp Sandy
I beg leave to report that when I returned home from Wheeling I lifted out of the office the Authority to raise a company of West Va. Scouts. I had a hard time to do so for the bushwhackers was so plenty we could not stay in that county that is in Calhoun. For when I got seven volunteers I started for to raise them in that county. We met with two and fired on them they returned the fire and ran, we went on and came across a southern soldier took him prisoner and sent him to King’s company. He was of the ______ of _____ by we went on and was fired on from the woods by seven rebels, wounded two of our men then ran one mortally the other slightly. The one that was mortally died the second day. I then was persuaded by what few Union men I met to fall back to Capt. Kings State Troops. I done so. I then heard that King’s Company was to be disbanded. I waited a few days and saw King and he said that they were disbanded and several of them volunteered with me an then there was a letter sent to Charleston and the commandants there ?released? the post at Camp Sandy in my charge and twenty one gun and some of the government property. Thinking that I could get volunteers there I have stayed an held that post ever since a week or two ago there was Union forces sent to Calhoun, but having only citizen’s clothes we were in danger from both sides so we did not go.
I ______ report to you that I have got twenty four and myself making twenty five. I want our clothing and provision and all necessary papers to establish our company. There is not a disloyal man in my company. The company is made upon this condition that I am to have the command of it. The sergeants that are appointed are to ___ in there place unless some preventing providents or fails to discharge their duty. If they do fail in any way I want the power to place other good men in their place. There are several of Capt. King’s men volunteered with me and want to know how to get their money for the Captain has got _____ and won’t give them any satisfaction and the Provost Marshall told me to write to you and you would put them in the way to get their money. I now ask leave to inform you that there are need of increasing our company to fifty _____ another of the number for it is nearly _____________ county the worst place for Moccasin Raingers or bushwhackers. If you think fit to increase the company to fifty (words marked through-JA) I think that the men can be raised. There is a talk among the people that any of my men can leave me and volunteer in the United States Services. I wish to be posted on that subject for if that is the fact it will be hard to keep a company of scouts. I wish to know likewise about loosing my men by being killed or sickness or deserting. If I loose men I want the liberty to get as many more to fill their place. Please excuse me for not staying in Calhoun till I get the clothing and then I will join to that county and if I can not stay there I will fall back to Roane County Scouts or the Eleventh Va Regiment. Please instruct me in that what to do. I shall close by saying that I will do everything that I can to promote the Union cause and to put down the unholy rebellion your _____.
Oct. 10, 1863
Wm Ellison, Capt.
Please send all the things to Charleston, Kanawha W. Va.
[March 27, 1864]
Camp Spencer, Roane County, West Virginia
March 27th, 1864
This day Stephen S. _________ made oath before the undersigned that Bob Dewees and Daniel Dusky, who are now held as prisoners of war by the W. S. authorities are reputed and are notorious bushwhackers. That on the night of the 14th September, 1863, the said ___________ in company with Eli Rogers, Marshall W. ________ and John McMullin at the house of Henry __________ they were surrounded and Dewees ordered the house burned over them and then commenced shooting in the house, by which they mortally wounded John McMullin and Marshall W. ____________, and on the same night they went about two and one half miles from where this tragedy occurred and there, as reported which he believes to be the same men or Rangers, killed by shooting a black girl belonging to Mr. Wm ____________.
Stephen S. ____________
Subscribed to before me this 27th day of March, 1864
Wm Ellison, Capt. Of Co. of Scouts
William D. Ellison was born in Augusta County VA in 1808. He was married to Margaret Campbell. Margaret was born in VA about 1815. Apparently, Margaret died before 1900. According to census records the family lived in Monroe, Kanawah, Gilmer, and Calhoun County, WV. William was a teacher at the Mill Run school on Beech.
1860 Census, Calhoun County, West Virginia
William Ellison...52...Augusta Co., VA...Farmer
1870 Census, Calhoun County, West Virginia
1880 Census, Calhoun County, West Virginia
Lewis W Ross...WM...5...Bound...WV...WV...WV
William Ellison served as a Captain in the Civil War. He, like many Union men, fought in county militia regiments, which were then dubbed "Home Guards" or "Scouts". These men were useful in guarding rail lines and as local forces fighting Confederate guerillas. In Capt. Ellison’s war correspondence he mentions run-ins with the Moccasin Rangers and “bushwhackers.” Many of William’s sons served with him in the Civil War.
In 1900, William and his son Frank moved to St. Louis, Missouri. William is buried in Missouri. William and Margaret Ellison had the following children:
1. William, born around 1840
2. Lewis, born in Monroe County, VA (WV) in 1841
3. Catherine, born around 1842
4. Christiana D, Monroe Co., (W)VA
5. Levi W., Monroe Co., (W)VA
6. Nathaniel Ellison, born in 1843 in Monroe Co., (W)VA and died September 2, 1939. He married Amanda Starcher on April 26, 1874.
7. Francis (Frank), born around 1848 in Monroe Co., (W)VA
8. Nancy J., born around 1850 in Kanawha Co., (W)VA
9. John William, born around 1853 in Kanawha Co., (W)VA
10. George Simers, Gilmer Co., (W)VA
11. Christopher C., Gilmer Co., (W)VA