Letters edited
Rae Wilson Baker.

Letters written by L. G. Wilson to his sister, Zelma L. Wilson, give insight into experiences of some Marshall County soldiers of the 6th W.Va. Infantry. L. G. (Lawrence) was the son of Theodore Burch Wilson & Narcissus Ellen Ramsey. Theodore was the son of John Franklin Wilson, a Civil War soldier, 6th W.Va. Infantry.

Lawrence G. Wilson
P O 124, Phone 956 J4
Moundsville WV, July 9, 1957


     Dear Zelma,
     John Franklin, born June 8th 1840, was ten years old when his father, Sam Wilson moved from Moundsville, where he had lived near the watering trough on First St. hill - then called Waynesburg Pike, to (Hog Hook) Waynes Ridge, in Franklin District. I am assuming that John had been born near Moundsville as he was ten when they moved. His father (Samuel) lived near Armstrong Mills in Ohio, west of Powhatan on Captina Creek, where he had married Charlotte McIntyre, daughter of Major McIntyre, who eloped with a daughter of Colonel Shepherd after last siege of Fort Henry.
     Samuel had been reared near St Clairsville, Ohio where he had been able to acquire the rudiments of an English Education. When he moved to Franklin District, he was the only person who could draw up an article of agreement or other writing. He also taught school in the winter. Sam was Cooper by trade. He purchased 170 acres of land on Waynes Ridge. The farm later was owned by Clem Bassett now owned by Columbia Southern Chemical Corp., who bought it from the John Wetzel Estate, after he suicided. It was covered with timber and he was obliged to clear a space before he could build a cabin. Samuel's arms were as hairy as a shepherd dog and very strong. He became a Justice of Peace.
     His (Samuel's) sons were David, Sam, Silas, John, and Jasper. David was a teacher after the war and died soon from disability incurred in the War between the States. Silas had one leg shorter than other. He also incurred his disability in service. Silas owned about 600 acres of bearing orchard in State of Washington. He was Commodore of The Grand Old Army of the Republic. I am not sure if it was for the State Office or the National Organization. He was dignified and cut a wide swath wherever he went.
     Grandfather (John F), the third one of the family to serve in the Union Army, served with the 6th WV Regiment of Infantry. In late 1863, his company was captured at New Creek, VA, now Keyer, Mineral Co WV, where they were guarding the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, from Parkersburg to Washington, D.C. The company was led by Captain Dickey, whose grave I decorated several times in a cemetery on State Route 250, east from Moundsville, near Beeler's Station. John and three others escaped soon after their capture. The next frosty morning found him in a straw stack after swimming the creek. He didn't go to prison, but his fellow company members did. Sometime later, having served his three years, he came home for a visit. He suffered typhoid fever and by spring was sufficiently recovered and went to Wheeling to visit. While there he reenlisted with his brother-in-law, Micajah "Kage" Doty, husband of John's sister, Ellen, for a bounty of $1000 as a substitute for a drafted man of Wood County. With that $1000 and what John could save from his salary as a private soldier of $13 per month he bought the farm on Mt Hobart, Fifty-nine acres, back where the old house was when I was a youth. There were the woods, the pasture, and his Roman Beauty Orchard, the cow pasture and the Knob and the Early Harvest Apples Orchard were. Toward Charlies the Old Henry Rine house, was a gate line fence. He later bought out Lemuel and then the other Rine Heirs to get to the big road.....
     John and uncle "Kage" were sent to the 7th Virginia which was almost annihilated due to its having served in many hard battles, and having lost to death or wounds most of its compliment of men. They went to Richmond, and helped open Libby Prison and he personally helped carry out one "Duck" Alley who had been a prisoner and was almost dead from dysentery. His brother "Leep" Alley was also a prisoner, had given him his share of parched corn and both survived. Duck lived to be the last survivor of the Civil War in Marshall Co.
     John was at the Surrender of the Confederate Army in Richmond. He later marched to Washington, D.C. for the Grand Review in June. Grandfather always spoke of that as his most obnoxious service, laying around Washington half the summer. The surrender had been in April.
     More about Rine Ridge: After Rine Ridge Road was completed, the original road went down from the George Rine house, down that run called Bob's Gut to Long Run by Petzold's and onto Woodlands by the run Route. After the road was changed and the Burtons Hill was build, the Mt. Hobert School house was build. It was named for Garrett Hobart of New York. Vice President of the United States under McKinley of Ohio for his first term and was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt in the election following the Spanish American War, in which Roosevelt was a lieutenant Colonel of the Rough Riders, Leonard Wood later Major General Wood being Roosevelt's Colonel.
     McKinley first elected in 1896 succeeded Grover Cleveland. Shortly after his inauguration for second term on March the 4th, 1901 he was assassinated by Charles Scholgoz at the World Fair at Buffalo. He died of the wound on September 14th, 1901 and Roosevelt who had been made Vice President by politician of New York where he was governor and they want to get rid of his "Big Stick." So Roosevelt was elevated to the Presidency. The five daughters of Samuel Wilson were Ellen Doty, Mary Jane Martin, mother of Adda Rodes, Eliza Ann Harris, Esther Wilson, (is this Mandy McGarth) and Lydia Reynold.
     Son John's birthday was June 8, 1840 and he was born in Marshall Co., VA, Marshall Co., was formed from Ohio County 1835, but your Maternal grandmother Mazie Rine, daughter of Lazarus Rine (this is wrong she was his granddaughter, Philip was her father) was born in Ohio County and both were born in Va. as WV had not formed until June 20, 1863.
     On the 8th day of June 1856, John F., his 16th birthday, occurred the famous frost that killed the crops. In the Spring of 1861, just short of age 21 he enlisted in the Union Army. He walks to Lynn Camp first, and then on to Cameron after the Company had been formed. En route to Lynn Camp he passed where Blair Yoho's father, John Yoho died, and where Grace was born down the lane and beyond Joseph Ruckman and in doing so it occurred that Blairs grandfather Henry, " the speckled Henry," Timothy, and Joshua were seen in their bare feet, their father being the original George Yoho. All three did quite well for the barefoot boys they were in their youth. Their father made the beginning of the Yoho fortune selling contraband horse to the Confederate Army and did time in prison at Chillocothe for that, "then a crime," dealing with the enemy. Both Cresaps Bottom and Wells Bottom in Franklin and Round Bottom in Clay were "REBEL" country at that time.
     Quincy Cresaps served with the Confederate Army and trying to crash the Union lines and to get home, a deserter, he was captured after breaking a leg jumping from a train to escape the guard. The Arrest of Quincy Cresaps.
     John Wingrove, after the war, married a sister of Ruth and Nina's mother (a daughter of John Rine) and he was the father of Charles Wingrove and Minnie, I think was her name. I have seen here by a strange coincidence she burned to death in a hotel where she and her husband were sleeping.
     While I boarded with Lester Miller at Woodland while teaching school, Lester and Charles Wingrove lived over their youth while I listened. John Wingrove died, when a young father, and the children were reared in the home of their Grandfather, as were "Bunger" and Maude Rine. The old man Rine, was as your grandfather, members of the Woodlands Hill Church (a Winebrenarian Church) now called the "Church of God" (Is This Charles) Wingrove was an older brother of David Wingrove and his son John was named for his illustrious uncle.
     Robert Parriot was a Union Veteran, and Quincy Cresap of the slave holding Cresap Bottom was a Confederate Soldier. Quincy sensing that the war was lost, he left his command in Virginia and attempted to cross the Union lines via the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Riding a freight he was discovered and to escape being shot on the train, jumps off and broke his leg. During a lull, when they were threshing the Cresap Bottom after the war, he was relating this experience.
     Bob Parriot swearing as usual said "Too bad it didn't break your damned neck." In a matter of minutes, there were several fights going on between the friend on each side. After the thresher had stood idle for a period of a week or ten days. Some of the Union men with your grandfather, now civilians, came to bottom and finished the work.
     More about Duck Alley: ( this is John Alley) Duck lived in Cameron. I was sent to arrange for his Annual Birthday Party by Officers of Cameron American Legion. He said "Porky Wilson, grandson of John, Tell the boys to please bring whiskey, I hate that damned beer." Another time he was a guest of the Kiwanis Club in Moundsville. I am not a member but was invited to help entertain the CIVIL WAR VETERAN. Charles Carrigan was in the midst of a stirring address, Duck leaned over and ask for some more whiskey like we had upstairs. When he, Duck was ninety of more years old, he was able to ride a spirited horse to the Post Office in Cameron to get the mail.


     Newton Cunningham came to the Snyder Hotel one day while it was raining like all ---- outdoors. Moundsville had two telephone Companies "Bell" and "National". Crude but workable Newton standing at the hotel desk called Foster Alley. After he got Foster on the line he said "Is this the Sheriff of Marshall County? To which Foster replied, "Yes sir."
     Newton said "This is General Whoosit in Washington, D.C. The Army let the County Court of Marshall Co. have a loan of a couple old Civil War Cannons."
     "Yes sir" said Newton, the victim, this country boy who was just elected to the office of sheriff.
     Newton again "Well we want you to go out there and get those lead cannons balls, pick them up and take them to a scale and weigh them."
     Foster replied "It raining here."
     Newton: "It was raining at Vicksburg, and Shiloh, and it rained at Fort Donelson, but John Alley never used that as a excused to stop fighting until all three of the battles were won. Now Mr Alley, you go do what I tell you, and no excuses."
     "Yes sir" said the embarrassed son of the Union Veteran, John Alley(*), and out through the rain went Foster Alley. He carried the balls, while Newton and the other gathered in the hotel, watching him from across the street, to a grocery store, weighed them, and reported the weight to the waiting Newton, Alias General Whoosit. Soaked to the hide, when Newton told him who he really was, he crossed the street and said "Now you old so and so get out there in the rain and stay there, until I count to three, and fire this pistol. He drew a revolver from his pocket and drove Newton Cunningham out in the rain and down the street, slowly counting three, and then firing. He held on until Newton disappeared around the corner. Foster of course remained in the shelter of the canopy over the door of the hotel.
     When I was a boy Uncle Charles's house was two log cabins with a porch in between with wooden roofs. When they build a fire, the house often caught on fire. But the moss keep the fire slow at the start and we always got it out. One day when we were cutting corn on the Knob above their house I saw Milton Wetzel lying there on the porch. Milton had been run down by a rolling log, that caught his "handspike" and pinned him against a stump. His body unembalmed laid there for days while the rain poured and finally they had to bury him because of its decomposing condition. No funeral, just several of the men took him away to Fredonia Cemetery and buried him. Milton was working for us, and we had sent him to help Horatio Gatts at a log "Rollin." I never had experience anything like that before.

(*) No record of Civil War Service has been found for John K. Alley, the father of Foster Alley.