With Notes and Index


Edited by Wm. W. Wolfe, 1965


Transferred to Computer Media by

Gene C. Clem, March,1997



The civilian population of New Creek Station (now Keyser), West Virginia, was not large in the year 1865, perhaps not more than 200-250 people. Not many of those living here kept a diary at that time. I know of only one who did so, Mr. William S. Purgitt, Clerk in the Post Office here.


I have had the fortunate opportunity to read this diary, through the kindness of Mrs. Ella Millar and her daughter, Mrs. Marietta Welch, and feel it should be preserved for future reference. I, therefore, have transcribed it and am placing a copy of it in the Keyser-Mineral County Public Library, where all who so desire, may consult it.


The diary is written in a small bock. mostly in pencil, which, after 100 years, is much faded. The entries are often hurriedly written and difficult to read. I have carefully examined each entry and believe this copy to be correct in most part. No claim to infallibility is made.


Mr. Purgitt was a large man, over 6 ft. tall (6 ft. 4 inches to be exact) and weighed over 250 lbs. In later life he was Post Master at Purgittsville, W.Va. and a Justice of the Peace.


His entries are characterized by terseness, well chosen words and facile expression of essential facts. Two of his grandsons live in Keyser.


I have added an Index, Notes and a Copy of a Virginia Land Grant made to Jacob Purget in 1796.


Those who read this diary will have an opportunity to get a picture of life as it was here 100 (now 133 years) years ago in the last six months of the Civil War.



November 19, 1965 Wm. W. Wolfe



Diary of Mr. William S. Purgett, Post Office Clerk, at New Creek, West Virginia (now Keyser, ) 1865.


Jan. lst., 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear and cold. Had a snow to cover the ground last night. 22nd. Pa. Cal. & 6th. Va. Cal. & a Ky. Bat. & Bat. H are at this post. Cold as usual. I am very anxious to see my wife.


Jan. 2nd., 1865 - Monday


Cold & Clear. Wrote home. Sent by _________Cannon and Roby. Not well. Sent letter from Matt. home.


Jan. 3rd., 1865 - Tuesday


Cold & Cloudy. Rec'd of Jno. Hughes $47.00. Paid for boots. Answer to letter from home. No news of interest. Jno. Hughes' wife had a baby.


Jan. 4., 1865 - Wednesday


Cold. Wrote Mrs. Carol & sent to Cumberland. Sent letter home by Cannon. Heard from home by Cannon. All Well. Sent tumblers & glasses home. Gold watch for $12.00 to J. Michael. Rec’d.. 2 letters from home.


Jan. 5, 1865 - Thursday


Moderate. Wrote home, sent by Jas. Sulser. Sent a pass for wife to come in. Sent tobacco to home & bought a horse of R. A. Sent him to Headsville. Keep a few days. Sent letter by Mrs. Tucker. At night very sick. Vomited.


Jan. 6, 1865 - Friday


Moderate, rainy. Sent letter by Geo Haggerty for wife to meet me the 10th. Or 11th. At Mrs. Hull’s. Sent pony home by Haggerty. Paid one dollar for same.


Jan. 7th., 1865 - Saturday


Snowy & very misty. Rec’d. a letter from D. Z. Purged. No news of int. Freezing cold at night.


Jan. 8th., 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Cold as blazes early in the morning. Clear & sunshine. Remained in office all day. A dull Sunday. Thought of home very often.



Jan. 9, 1865 - Monday


Moderate. Nice. Sunshine. Still at Old New Creek. In. Po. Office. No news of inst. l2'0’clock very cloudy.


Jan.10, 1865 Tuesday


New Creek. Rainy. Rained all last night. Sleeting & bad traveling. Thunder & lightening in the evening & rained in torrents. Warm in evening & turned very cold at night.


Jan. 11, 1865 - Wednesday


Purgitsville. At home. Moderate. Rode H. Trout's horse home. Staid at home.


Jan. 12, 1865 - Thursday


At home. Went to Arch Shoemaker’s with wife. Staid there until 9 o'clock P. M. Then went to Gran. Shoemaker's all night. Moderate weather.


Jan. 13, 1865 - Friday


At home. Went to Dave Hoffman's with wife & his daughter. Went to Wm. H. Shoemaker’s with wife. Stayed all night.


Jan. 14, 1865 - Saturday


At Wm. H. Shoemaker’s. Cold & blustery. Want to go to New Creek. Came to Ridgeville. Stayed at Mrs. Hull's.


Jan. 15, l965 - Sunday


New Creek. Arrived at New Creek. Found all 0. K. Moderate.


Jan. 16, 1965 - Monday


New Creek. Cold. Gen. Sheridan was at this place today. No news of int. Wrote to the boys.



Jan. 17, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Cold. Not very well. No news of interest. News of the Fort Fisher capture. Last of 6th. Va. Cavalry left for Sandy Hook.


Jan. 18, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Moderate. Wrote to Jos. Pancake for corn. Sent by James Parsons.


Jan. 19, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Very cold. Cooler than usual. Rec'd a letter from home by H. Sulser. Not so well at home. Snowed at night.


Jan. 20, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cold morning. Clear to warm at 10 o'clock. Wrote home by Sulser. Jno.Little came home last nig'ht. A.high.,.Nart Sulser, Adam Sulser & E. High was capt. (captured).


Jan. 21. 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Cloudy & sleeting. No news of int.


Jan. 22, 1865 - Sunday


N. Creek. Went to Alkirs. Spent several hours. Drank apple jack.


Jan. 23, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Raining & sleeting. Wrote to Bets, Simpson to come over. No news of int. Paid T. B. Davis 18.00$ for Mrs. Davis.


Jan. 24, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Cold & squally. No news of int. Cold, very cold.


Jan. 25, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Cold & clear. Got my watch from Cumberland. Pd $1.50 for same. No news from home. Rec'd a letter from home. Mr. Carroll died yesterday.


Jan. 26, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Cold as blazes. Sent letter by Shoemaker home. Also gears, etc. Sent Mrs. Van sugar, etc.


Jan. 27, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cold as usual. No news of int. Exceedingly dull.


Jan. 28,,1865 - Saturday


Cold, cold. Nothing of int. Still at New Creek and very anxious to see wife, the object of my affection.


Jan. 29, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Cold. Went to Hughes' Took some good gin. Jake & myself.


Jan. 30, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Moderate. Clear. No news of int.


Jan. 31, 1865 - Tuesday


Creek Station. Moderate. Edward Taylor has moved to H. Huffman's wife came down.


Feb.1st., 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Moderate. No news of int. Had my tooth pulled by Dr. Horn.


Feb. 2, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Sick with sore throat. My wife with me. Moderate.


Feb. 3, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Still sick. Throat very sore. Raining. Liller shot VanFleet.


Feb.4.. 1865 - Saturday


Moderate. All quiet. My wife still here.


Feb.5. 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Cold. Spent the day pleasantly with my wife.


Feb.6, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Moderate. Heard of the capture of Gillmore and the killing of Capt. Stump.


Feb. 7, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Snowing, cold. Not well. Dull all day.


Feb. 8, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Not well. My wife still here.


Feb. 9, 1865 - Thursdav


New Creek. Cold. Snow, 9 inches deep. Paid Col. Dayton note of $41.06 interest for father.


Feb. 10, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cold & rainy. Pd. $16.00 for coat. No news of int. Wife still here.


Feb.11, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Mod~rate. No news of Federa1s and not make much at or near Richmond.


Feb. 12, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Very cold and blowy, very. Paid Hughes and __________ 28.$ Cold. Cold.


Feb. 13, 1365 - Monday


New Creek. Cold. No news of int.


Feb 14, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Cold early. Nice after. Hard frozen. Home all well. Sent letters to Kingwood.


Feb. l5, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Snowing. Wife went home. Went with her to Jno. Arnold's. Granville Shoemaker went with her home. No news of int.


Feb. l6, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Warm & cloudy. No news of int.


Feb. 17, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Calm & prospect of a nice day. J. Hughes, Babb & Co. rec'd their goods. Noon, snowing rapidly. Melting as it falls. Wrote to the boys.




Feb. 18, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Moderate. Rec'd letter from home. All well. Sent letter horme by Nan J. Taylor. All quiet at home. No news of int.


Feb. 19, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Warm. Went to Mrs. Mahews (Mayhew's). Had head ache. Saw a lot of Rebel prisoners going on exchange.


Feb. 20, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Cold but clear. Prospect of warm day.


Feb. 21, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Cold early in morning. Warm afternoon. Gen. Kelley & Crooks captured at Cumberland this A. M. by McNeil’s Rangers. I am sick with headache.


Feb. 22, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Moderate, cloudy. Jno. Hoffman brought in a prisoner. got him released. Taylor's horse captured. Have headache. Took salts.


Feb. 23, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Cloudy and warm. Wrote home by Jno Hoffman. Wrote home also by Elijah Taylor. Got his horse.


Feb. 24. 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Nice and warm. Sent 100.$ to Greenville, registered by express. Pa came from home. Brot me a letter.


Feb. 25, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Cloudy. Sent a letter home by Pa. No news of int.


Feb. 26, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Warm winter. High, dull Sunday. Some day would like being home once. No news of int.



Feb. 27, 1865 - Monday


New Creek Moderately warm. Do not feel very well. Anxious to go home.


Feb. 28, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Sick. Took salts. Slept none last night. Warm & very muddy. Feel badly all over. Evening feel no better. Anxious to go home Miss the attention of my dear wife.


March 1st., 1855 - Wednesday


New Creek. Warm. Cloudy. Do not feel much better. No news of int. Would like very much to go home.


March 2, 1865 - Thursday


Grafton. Raining and warn. Saw Col. L. Had a confederate visitor. Found him to be a nice gentleman.


March 3rd., 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Raining & warmer. high water. Feel some better. No news of int. Very muddy & disagreeable. No news from home.


March 4, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek Clear & windy. Moderate. Mud drying up. Fear South & North giving no passes.


March 5, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear & moderate. Lonesome & homesick. Miserable, dull day. In office all day with Myers & Jas. Trout.


March 6, 1865 - Monday.


New Creek. Moderate, clear. Prospect of a nice day. Headaches like Boston. No passes given. Would like to go home.


March 7, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Went to Warner Taylor's Staid there all day and night.




March 8, 1865 - Wednesday.


At home. Some better. Rode D. Taylor's horse to E. High's. Sent it back by Ed. Taylor.


March 9, 1865 - Thursday


At Shoemaker1s. Staid with Ceo. He is much better.


March 10, 1865 - Friday


Purgitsville. Moderate. Spent my time very pleasantly. Went to James Liller's Staid there all night.


March 11, 1865 - Saturday


At Oliver Liller's with my wife. Moderately warm. No news of int.


March 12, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Arrived at this place. Found all 0. K. Do not feel well. My wife went back from Ridgeville.


March 13, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Warm. Clear. Do not feel very well. No news of int.


March l4, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Warmer & nice. No news of int. Blockade still on. Scouts sent out in country. Col. Greenfield came. Sent letter home by Taylor, etc.


March 15, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Raining & warm. Pd. Mrs. Davis 10.$. Afternoon clear and warm. No news of int.

March 16, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Cloudy & warm. No news of int. Anxious to hear from home. No news from P.O affair. Rained in torrents & high water in the evening.


March 17, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Clear & moderately cold. Windy. Rec'd. a letter from hone by Fuller, No news of int.


March l8~ 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Windy & clear. Do not feel very well. Worse than usual. Sent letter & papers to Ridgeville to go home by Harry Lynn.


March 19, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear & moderately warm. Very dull and lonesome. Home sick. News very good. Sheridan a trump.


March 20, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Warm & clear. Rec'd a letter from home. My headaches badly & my eves hurt. No news of int.


March 21, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear & warm. Feel some better. No news of int. Good news what is. Sent to Cumberland on inportant business.


March 22, 1865 - Wednesday

Cumberland. Cloudy & tolerable. Had it very lucky. Find lots of friends. Do not feel much afraid in P. 0. affairs. Came back to New Creek on train.


March 23, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Occasional showers. Warm. Sent letter home by Ed. Taylor. No news of int. Very successful with matters pertaining to P. 0. affairs, etc.


March 24, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cold & stormy. Snow squalls. No news of int. Sent recomendations off last night. Anxious to hear from home.

March 25, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Cold & cloudy. Sent letter and Harper's Monthly home by Samuual Fuller. Fred High & Jack was shot day before yesterday by some Confederates.


March 26, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Cold & blustery. Lonesome. Stayed at office all day with Jake & Jno.



March 27, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Clear & cold. Looks like it might be warm. Will move Post Office today. Moved down to Mr. Leps' etc. Heard of death of Geo. Shoemaker who was buried last Friday.


March 28, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear & warm. Heard from home by E. Hoffman. Sent letters & passes by him. Also a number of letters by him. Nice weather. Home sick.


March 29, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear & warm. No news of int. Considerable fighting around Richmond. Federals victorious.


March 30, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Raining & warm. No news of int. Sent 'Ars. Simpson's papers off last night. Paid Adams $1.75 for said Simpson. Train captured near Patterson Creek.


March 31, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cloudy. Rained very hard last night. Afternoon cold & windv. No news No news of int. Peace rumors prevalent.


April 1st.1 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Clear & warm. Rec'd a letter from home by Granville Shoemaker. All well. Arch V.’s house was burned today by Federals. Sent letter home by Shoe.


April 2, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear and nice. Warm. Dull. Lonesome. Spent day by myself.


April 3, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Cloudy and tolerable warm. Two companies of volunteers goes to Cumberland. Richmond gone up.


April 4, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Cloudy & drisly.Only moderately warm. News of fall of Richmond confirmed. Sent letter & passes to Ridgeville by H. Trout.


April 5, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Warm. Sent letter to Whip's Sale for Granville & wife. News sti1l that Richmond is captured & Grant in persuit of the Confederates.


April 6, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Cloudy & rain last night. Rec'd a letter from home. No news of int. At night good news in the papers.


April 7, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cloudy & chilly. Heard from home by Elijah Hofftnan. Sent letter home by Hoffman and several papers.


April 8 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Clear & chilly. Good news from armies. Lee surrendered. 200 wagons captured & 6 general E-------,etc. Pa and Nash come to see me. Rec'd letter from wife, etc.


April 9 1865 - Sunday

New Creek. Cloudy. Pa & Nash went home. Sent letter to wife & other articles. Spent dey very pleasantly with Myers, Alkire & John Mydinger & etc. Cloudy & chilly in evening.


April l0, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Cloudy. News confirmed of surrender of Lee and his Army. Great rejoicing in the place. All drunk & number of speeches delivered. Maj. Work, Troxwell & others.


April ll, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Cloudy & warm. Dull. All stupid. Day passed very quietly. Rained at night.

April 12, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Cloudy warm. Robert Sheetz came in and gave himself up. Very nice day. Heard from home by Granvi1l Shoemaker. Home all well.


April 13, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Chilly. Sent letter home & papers by Granville Shoemaker. News favorable. General opinion that the war is over. God.grant it.



April l4, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Clear, frost. News of Lynchburg surrender to U. S. forces. President Abe Lincoln murdered at Ford's Theater 9:50 P.M.


April 15, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Rainy. News confirmed of death of President. Also Seward assasinated & one of his sons~ etc. Gloom over the whole North.


April 16,1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Windy & clear. Dull day. People much depressed upon death of President.


April 17, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Clear & bright. No news. Rec'd a letter from wife by Mrs. Hoffman. All quiet up our way.


April 18, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear & warm. Sent letter home by Mrs. Hoffman & goods. No news of interest. Rebels at Petersburg. Supposed to be McNeill's forces.


April 19, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear & nice. President Abe Lincoln's funeral today. Solemnity prevails. News generally good. Beautiful day. Stores closed. Post Office also clo~ed.


April 20, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Cloudy & raines some. Capt. McNemar came in under flag of truce for purpose of surrendering some of his men. No news of interest. Anxious to hear from home.


April 21, l865 - Friday


New Creek. Cloudy & warm. Troops went to Petersburg to receive the surrender of a lot of Confederates.


April 22, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Clear. No news of int. Rec'd two letters from home, one by Jno High & one by Jno. Taylor. Went to Warner Taylor's with H. D. Hoffman.


April 23, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Cloudy. Cold. Came from Warner Taylor's. Sent 50.$ paid by Jas. Arnold to Pa to pay Ludwick on land.


April 24: 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Clear. No news of int. C. Hoffman took oath. Went home. Capt. M. Scott & others came to Arnold's under flag of truce. Did not come on to us at this writing.


April 25, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear & very warm. Sent letter home & papers by C. Hoffman. No news from Sherman. Does not satisfy the people. Blockade raised.


April 26, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear, Warm. Mrs. J. D. Henderson came. Sent her up to Arnold's Paid 1$ on trunk. Also 50 cts. for hauling same to A. Sent her 10.$ Scouts went to Moorefield & Petersburg.


April 27, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Clear & warm. All quiet. Rec'd. letters from Granville & David. All well. Hughes came back from Balto. News Booth is killed.


April 28, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Clear & warm. Rec'd letter from home. All well. Capt. Scott & Harness captured & other privates. News of surrender of Johnson.


April 29, 1865 - Saturday

New Creek. Cloudy & rained some. Went home after 2 o'clock P. M. with Haven Marker. Got home 10 6'clock. All quiet.


April 30, 1865 - Sunday


At home. Number of friends came to see me. Went to Hoffman's & Uncle Jno. High's. Luke Bowman came back.


May 1st. 1865 - Monday


I started for New Creek. Got here about 3 o'clock. Found all well.Wrote home by Hershey, Sent S_____flannel, etc.


May 2, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Frost & cool all day. Jno Brown, Jack Markwood & Bowers came in and was pardoned. Sent papers home by Jno Brown.


May 3, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear. Wrote home by Aif High & sent papers. No passes required.


May 4, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Clear. Gold $1.40 & .41. No news of int. Cold. Rec'd letter from home by Tirzah Taylor. No news of int.


May 5, 1865 - Friday


New Crook. Cloudy & cold. Gold $1.39. Note from home by Tirzah. McNeil came in today & surrindered his entire command. No special news.


May 6, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Fine rain last night. McNeil's Co. still in town. Gold $1.38 & .39. No special flows. Rec'd a letter from home by H. Sulser. Wrote home by Hershey. Sent rings by same.


May 7, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear & warra. No news of int. Quite lonesome. Stayed all day in Post Office. Gold $1.43.


May 8, 1865 - Monday

New Creek. Cloudy. Rained. Gold $l.44½. Sent goods home by Henry Kelley & Thompson. The mountain unit came in & was pardoned. Also T. Kelley.


May 9, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Raining. Wm. Armstrong died.


May 10, 1865 - Wedesdav


New Creek. Cloudy & rained some. L. M. Armstrong came to New Creek. Had an interview with E.I.A. Find him quite communicative.



May 11, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Cloudy. Rained last night in torrents. Mr. Armstrong is buried today in Romney. Rec'd. a letter from home. Wrote home by Geo. Haggerty. Cold at night.


May 12, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cloudy. No news of int,


May 13, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Clear. No mail for 2 days. Started home at 1 6'clock P.M. Landed home at 8 P.M. Paid 85.$ for horse. Rec'd 80$ from Hughes.


May 14, 1865 - Sunday


At home. Went to meeting. Took Kate and Jessie there in buggy to Pine Church.


May 15, 1865 - Monday


Came to New Creek. Got dinner at Warner Taylor's. Hated to leave home. Feel lonesome. Old Jeff Davis captured.


May l6, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear & very warm. Rec'd a letter & clothes from home. Sent letter & dress shoes and Kate's hat home by Shoemaker's waggon. Also sent horn home for Nash & letter, etc.


May 17, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear & very warm. No news of int. Wrote letter & sent photograph. Looks very much like rain in the evening.


May 18, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Rain. Sent letter and papers home by Uncle Jno. High. Nice growing weather. All is peace & quiet. Rec’d letter from Sister Martha.


May 19, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Raining & coldish. No news of importance. Do not hear from home.




May 20, 1865 - Saturday


New Creek. Warm & showery. Meeting held at this place to take steps to organize the county. Sent paper home by Jim High. Fine glorious weather. As usual, Kentucky Batalion paid today.


May 21, 1865 - Sundey


New Creek. Lonesorm day. Would like to have been at home. Rains every hour.


May 22, 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Showers. Dull day. No news of int. Jno Hughes went to Balto. Paid Hughes draft for $42.75.


May 23,1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear & cool. Wrote home & sent horse by Luke Bowman to Shoemakers for Hughes. Troops sent to Petersburg today.


May 24, 1065 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear. Fred Hoffman went home. Note home by Mrs. Fred, etc.


May 25, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek Clear & warm. Wrote home by Granville Elliot. Sent novel home by Jno. Parel.


May 26, 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Rainy. Saw Jos. C. Pancake. Had quite a chat with him.


May 27, 1865 - Saturday


Nice day. Old Carlisle brot in today a ball & chain put on him. No news of int.


May 28, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear. Went to Ridgeville & heard Jim Kabrick preach. Had pleasant ride. Took dinner at H. Trouts. Had a nice ------- at stone house.


May 29, 1865 - Monday


New Creek Cleer. Wrot home by Jas. Arnold. Rec’d a letter from home.


May 30, 1865 - Tuesday


New Creek. Clear. No news of int. Do not feel well.


May 31 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Clear. No news. Gold $1.35. All seems dull.


June 1, 1865 - Thursday.


New Creek. Clear. This day is set apart by President Johnson for prayer, etc. Gold $1.35. Goods goes to Petersburg for Hughes & Chambers.


June 2 1865 - Friday


Warm. Very sultry. Pa came down after me. I could not go. Could get no one to stay in office. Mrs. Hughes & Jno. came home.


June 3, 1865 Saturday


New Creek. Warm. Pa went home. Wrote to wife & sent goods to wife.


June 4, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear & very warm. Henderson went to Moorefield. Sent letter by him to wife. Stay in bed all day. Went to River at night. Wrote to J. K. Statton.


June 5, 1865 - Monday

New Creek. Very warm. Fred Hoffman came back. No news of interest. A. W. McDonald came back to New Creek. Looks well. Wrote home by Warner. 3000 soldiers went. Rest discharged.


June 6, 1865 - Tuesday


Cloudy. No news of int. Sherman's soldiers here. Rest discharged. Some 3000 went today. Jno Hoffman paid $.$ for horn. Sent spoons, knives & forks by Hoffman home.


June 7, 1865 - Wednesday


Clear & warm. Wrote home by J. R. Heiskell. A great many troops passed going west. Feeling amongst the people much better. A man shot in camp tonight. Must die.




June 8 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Sprinkled rain. Very warm. No news of int. All is peace & quiet. I am homesick. W. T. High came & brot me a letter from wife. All well at home.


June 9, 1865 - Friday


New Creek Warm & appearance of rain. Troops still going west. letter home by W.T. High. No news of int. Orders for all prisoners release below Capt. & Major.


June 10, 1865 - Saturday


Rainy & warm. Rec'd a letter from Jno. W. Statton & answered the same. Troops still going west. No news of int. People seem veiy interested about civil law & all want offices.


June 11, 1865 - Sunday


New Creek. Clear & warm. No news of int. Troops still continue to go west. Col. Greenfield went to Moorefield with several. companies of Cavalry U. S.


June 12. 1865 - Monday


New Creek. Clear & Warm. No news of int. Do not feel well. Dull day. Troops still going west. Have not heard direct from home. Buck Elliott went west tonight.


June 13, 1865 - Tuesdav


New Creek. Cloudy. Saw Sandy White. Looks very seedy. Do not feel much better. Anxious to get home to see my fanily. Paid A. Kline $7.60 for sawing planks for yard fence.


June 14, 1865 - Wednesday


New Creek. Cloudy & rained. Jno. R. Heiskell & Col. White came to New Creek. Had a friendly interview with Haiskell. Wrote home by mail boys. No news of int.


June l5, 1865 - Thursday


New Creek. Clear. Pa came after me. No news of int.


June 16 1865 - Friday


New Creek. Cloudy. Started home with Pa. Went to Zack Arnold's & took dinner. Arrived home about 4 o'clock. Found all well.


June 17, 1865 - Saturday


Home. Clear. Went a hunting. Killed two squirrels. Had them for dinner. T. B. Davis & Deny O'Neal came and stayed all night.


(No entries in the diary from June 18th. to July 6th,, 1865).


July 7, 1865 - Friday


Came to New Creek and went to work. Been at home for 3 weeks. Had a baby boy (born on the 5th. of July) 1865. Wrote home by Robey. Stage then twice a week.


July 8, 1865 - Saturday


Very warm in office. No news of int. The conspirators 4, were hung yesterday. Wrote home & sent paper.- Wrote to Gov. Last night.


Dec. 25, 1868 - Friday


At Nathan---------tters in Clark County, Ohio. Came to Ohio on 23. Left New Creek on the 22nd. Came after Martha A. Davis.


Dec. 26, 1868 - Saturday


At Marth's in Ohio.


(Entry below this is in a different handwriting)


June 14, 1877 - Thursday


I will bet that you never had the priviledge of again talking to me as though I was a dog or a nigger.


The remaining pages of the diary are used as an account ledger, usually as one person's account to a page and extend from 1864 to 1877.


These accounts seem to be purchases at John Hughes' store, New Creek.


The persons making these purchases were from Hampshire, Hardy, Grant & Mineral Counties, particularly from the communities of Romney, Moorefield, Purgitsville, Ridgeville, Petersburg & Laurel Dale.


New Creek Station was most convenient and nearest railroad station, where shipments of goods could be obtained. Farmers and merchants from the above mentioned counties drove here to buy, sell and exchange goods.


A list of the names in these ledger leaves of the diary is given below:


D. M. Michae1 - 1865 Isaac Sites - 1877

Sol. Bosley - 1865 Dan C. Sites Jas. Kline - 1865 Samp G. Sites Jno. Michael - 1877 Johnathan Sites

Isaac S. Judy - 1877 Henry W. Yankey

Ben B. Swisher - 1877 Christopher Martin

Benj. Brooks - 1877 H. C. Youkim

Benj. F. Martin - 1877 James Kimble

Jno. S. Hiett - 1877 Geo. Aintower

Jno. Blue Lem F. Kline - 1877

Thos. Roberts - 1876 Stingley Clark - 1877

(Continued next page)

Geo. W. Doll - 1876 Benj. Grayson

Jacob Evans John Kitzmiller

Jas. Arnold John McDonald 1875

James Ours Jacob Hank

H. Kimell Geo. W. Buff

Wm. Johnson



On one of the pages of the diary is written this recipe, perhaps for a cough syrup.


"Teaspoonfu1 Keyenne pepper. Tie in rag. Boiling water - a teacupful. Let stand ten minutes. Then squeeze out, to it add one teaspoonful clorate of potash (potassium chlorate) dissolved. White sugar until lumps dissolve. Spoonful every 4 hours."


Examples of purchases made at store.


½ lb. Indigo 10 yd. Calico, dark for Em. Sulser

3# madder 3 yd. good medium calico for Poling

2 lbs. allu'n sugar 1½ lb.

1 lb. extract Logwood Red flannel

1 pr. ladies shoes 1 bolt Black B

No. 6 fine. one set 1 3/4 yd. buff gingham, If no gingham,

Hoops (medium) calico

Coffee $1.00 .

1½ $ worth Indigo

10 yd. mouslin for GIll

$4.00 dress for Mag.





Another account: --


1 lb. logwood Ext.

40¢ Viterol

3 lb. Madder

2 spools Brown Bass

(doz. #20 white (thread)

1 paper needles #9

1½ lb. allum.


Personal accounts of Wm. S. Purgit contained in the Diary.


John Hughes3. debtor to Wm. S. Purgit

To work from

June 1st. to 15th.-----------------------$50.00

July 7th. to Aug. 15th----------------$120.00



John Hughes due me 300.$ Jan. 1st., 1865 (Continued next page)

John Hughes due me on the 7th. day of April 1865 - 300.$



June l7, l865, Recd' of Jno. Hughes--------------$27.00

Aug. 11 Rec'd of Jno. Hughes---------------$5.00



Letter with Jno. Hughes on the 27th. Dec. 1864 and he owes me 354.$ the first day of January 1864.



Jno. Hughes to Mr. Wm. S. Purgit Debtor

To amount due on

Quarter ending 31st. day of Dec. 1864------------------ 300.$

Due for 2nd. Quarter 31st. March----------------------- 300.$


Credit paid 100.

500 .$


(It would seem that Mr. Purgits salary was $100.00 per month~ which was a very good salary for that time.)


Other financial entries in diarv


Feb. 9, 1865 Paid Col. Dayton with int.-------------------$49.06


Paid Mrs. Davis 18.$ for bord

Paid to T. B. Davis Jan. 23, 1865

Chaplain Patterson May l9, 1865 5.$ cash


(Jno. Hughes was postmaster at New Creek Station from April 28, 1862 to Aug. 28 1867).


All references to New Creek, New Creek Station or New Creek Depot, refer to what is now Keyser, West Virginia. In 1865, the official name of this post office was New Creek Station West Virginia.




Copy of a Virginia Land Grant to Jacob Purgit, Aug. 5, 1796:




Robert Brooke, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, TO ALL TO WHOM these presents shall come, GREETINGS: KNOW YE, That by virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrent Number twenty one thousand and thirty issued the thirteenth day of December one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto JACOB PURGET a certin tract or Parcel of Land containing fifty acres of survey bearing date the second day of October, one thousand seven hundred and ninety four lying and being in the County of Hanpsliire, near the foot of Knobley Mountain adjoining his own and John Spencer's and bounded as followeth, to-wit:


Beginning at three white oaks, corner to his own land, thence with his line reversed South 68 degrees East 60 poles to a white oak and hickory, another of his corners, thence with another of his lines, South 21 degrees and 30 minutes West 175 poles to two Hickories and a white oak on a level corner to said Purget and John Spencer, thence with Spencer's line North 74 degrees, West 36 poles to two red oaks and a white oak in said line North 14 degrees East 180 poles to the beginning, with its appurtenances:


TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Tract or Parcel of Land with its Appurtenances, to the said JACOB PURGET and his heirs forever.

IN WITNESS whereof the said Robert Brooke, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath here unto set his Hand, and caused the lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Ridimond on the fifth day of August in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninetv-six and of the Commonwealth the twenty first.


Robert Brooke


(on back of Deed)

Jacob Purge hath title to the within.

Wm. Price, Re'd Off.


Jacob Purget, 50 acres, Hampshire, Examined, Recorded and Entered,

Book X page 259













Alkiro Judge Nimrod Alkire, born 4/13/1813 died 2/11/1901, father of Vatice, Charles & Nimrod Alkire owned several large farms, his home was at the end of Armstrong Street Extended, now the Amarican Legion Home. One time judge. He was wealthy and influential.


Apple Jack, Either apple brandy or more probably hard cider


Arnstrong, E. M. - Col. Edward McCarty Armstrong, son of Wm. and Elizabeth Ann (McCarty) Armstrong, born at Romney, Va., about 1815, died at Salem, Va., where a street is nained for him. Married (1st. wife) Hannah Pancake, born 2/26/1819, died 8/3/1854. Wealthy. aristocratic merchant. His store was at the Northwest corner of Armstrong and Main Streets (the Coffman-Fisher Bldg. Which at this writing is in the process of being rased to provide more parking for the Stray Cat Cafe 03-06-97) and faced the B. & 0. R.R. Crossing. Built in 1853 the brick mansion, which later was the home of Col Thomas B. Davis, and which stood on the present site of the Keyser High School Bldg. He was a captain in the 77 Va. Militia. Impoverished by the war, he spent his latter days in aristocratic genteel poverty at Salem, Va. He was a delegate from Hampshire County to the Virginia Convention of Feb. 12, 1861, which voted to seceed from the Union. Mr. Armstrong voted against the Ordinance of Secession.


Armstrong Wm. He was the father of Edward M Armstrong, was wealthy and prominent socially and politically at Romney. He died in the Armstrong Mansion at Keyser. He was at one time Sheriff of Hampshire Co.


Birth Of A Son - Mr. Wm. S. Purgit had the following sons and daughters. Dalton Purgit, Wm. S. Purgit, Jr. Isaac Cassin Purgit b. 1853 d. 1/24/1934 Edgar C. Purgit 1868-1951 Nashville Sommerfied Purgit, James S. Purgit, died a young man Martha Katerine Purgit, unrnarried, d . l935-4O Minnie Purgit


Blockade - Imposed by the Federal Army here. Only persons with passes issued by the Army could pass the picket line. Mr. Purgit was very helpful to his friends and neighbors in the Purgitsville area in obtaining such passes for them and in helping them get sugar, coffee and other contraband articles. He helped both Union and Confederate sympathizers.


Booth, John Wi1kes - The murderer of President Lincoln


Boys - The sons of Wm. S. Purgit, see "Birth of a Son".


Conspirators - Those hanged for complicity in the murder of President Lincoln: Mrs. Mary Eugenia Surrat, Lewis Paine, George A. Atzerott, and David E. Herold.


Dayton, Col. - Col. James H. Dayton) son of Rev. Roland Dayton of 21st. Bridge. Hc and his wife built the house, recently torn down, at the Southwest corner of Main & E. Piedmont Sts., in 1858-59. He was of the 4th. W. Va. Infantry and fought at Vicksburg.


Davis, Mrs. Martha A. - Sister of Wm. S. Purgit.


Davis T. B.- Col. Thomas B. Davis, son of Caleb and Louise (Warfield) Davis of Baltimore. Early developer of Piedmont W. Va. Banker. coal, 1umber and real estate magnate, race horse owner and breeder, millionnaire. Brother of Henry Gassaway Davis and brother-in-law of Senator Stephen Elkins, Member of Congress. Purchased the Armstrong Mansion and lived there until his death in 1911. Unmarried.


Davis, Mrs - Mrs. Louise Davis, nec Warfield, mother of Thos. B. Davis, Henry Gassaway Davis and Mrs. Eliza Buxton. Mr. Wm. S. Purgit boarded with her at New Creek.


Elliott, Buck,- A friend of Wm. S. Purgit


Fort Fisher, A Naval Fort on the coast of N. Carolina.


Greenfield, Col. - Ccl. A. J. Greenfield of Washington, Pa. Cavalry. He was from Western Pennsylvania.


Haggerty) Geo. - Lived on a farm between Purgitsville and the South Branch of the Potomac, back near the river. He was the grandfather of Arnold Haggerty.


Harness - Member of the prominent Con federate family of Romney.


Harper’s Monthly - An illustrated magazine.


Heiskell, Jno. R., of Romney


High's - A very numerous family of Purgitsville. Two of the High boys were hanged by Confederate Scouts near the entrance of Shirley1s Lane.


High, W. T,- School teacher and surveyor of Purgitbville.


Hoffman - Another numerous family of Purgitsville. Fred Hoffman was the grandfather of Dr. Thad "Buddy" Hoffman (Huffman) and Fred N. Hoffman, of Keyser.


Hughes, Jno.- John H. Hughes b. 1834 d. 1904, Post Master at New Creek Station from April 28, 1862 to Aug. 28, 1857. His store during the Civil War was in the Armstrong Store Building at the Northwest corner of Armstrong and Main Streets, now the Coffman-Fisher Bldg.) The post office was in his store until March 27, 1865. Soon after the War he operated a pottery, where stone ware jars and jugs were made, at 213 N. Water St. Later he had a Glove and Mitten Factory here on Main St. He was notoriously "bad pay and hard to get money out of" . He built the the brick house at 37 S. Main St., in 1867 and soon lost it. He went bankrupt. He married Eliza Catherine Frye 1841-1917. Children were: Cora L. Hughes 1865-1927 and Nettie Hughes, 1869-1940, who married Mr. Carrier.


Hughes, Mrs. Jno. had a baby 1/3/1865 - This was Cora L. Hughes. Mrs. Jno Hughes was Eliza Catherine Frey 1841-1917, daughter of Jacob Frey l864 - 1871 and Sarah Margaret Gaines 1820-1901. She was a good business woman and had a millinery shop at her home N. Main St. where the Keyser Television Cable Co. office now is.


Hull Mrs.- This is probably one of two Mrs. Hulls who lived near Ridgeville. Mrs. Amelia Hull, nee Liller wife of Wm. M. Hull., or Mrs. Sarah Hull; nec Thrush, widow of Wm. M. Hull. The Mrs. Hull mentioned in this diary evidently furnished meals and lodgings for travelers.


Kabrick Jim, Lived near Ridgeville. He was a Methodist lay preacher. Kate A daughter of Wm. S. Purgit. She never married. After her father's death, she was postmistress at Purgitsville for many years, succeeding her father in that office. She died about 1940. Her full name was Martha Katherine Purget.


Leps, Geo. E., Conducted a general store on Patrick Street on the present site of Burgess Feed Co.'s Store.


Markwood, Jack,- of Burlington-Ridgevillc area. Lived at Markwood. Confederate soldier Methodist lay preacher. His daughter Mrs. George Shoemaker, now lives at 262 South Main Street Keyser.


McDonald, A. W. II - the son of the celebrated Col. Angus W. McDonald and Leacy Ann Naylor, his wife, both of Romney, who were married Jan. 11, 1827, at Romney. Angus W. McDonald, Sr., was a West Point graduate, wealthy and aristocratic. At one time, 1853-1857, the McDonalds owned and Lived in the Old Stone House on Armstron Street Extended, now owned by Mrs. C. 0. Byrd. Col. Angus W.McDonaid, Sr. lived at Romney, W. Va. Hannibal, Mo., . New Creek Station, W. Va. and Winchester, Va.


Mc .Niel,- Lt. Hanse McNiel, commander of the famous McNic1's Rangers.


Nash,- Nashville Summerfield Purgit, son of Wm. S. Purgit. His wife1s name was Rachiel Racey, born 1863.


Pine Church- The Old Pine Brethern Church near Purgitsville, W. Va. No longer used for regular services. Built about 1800.


Purgit, James S.- Son of Wm. S. Purgit. He died while a young man in his twenties. His leg was amputated without use of anesthetics in the front yard of the Purgit homeplace at Purgitsville. The operation was done while he was held on a table by several men, without anesthetic.


Stump, Capt. George, - Confederate Army, born 4/8/1821, died' 2/5/1865, killed while on furlough at his home near Romney, while he visited his sick father. He was there captured and killed at his home by an irregular Union group of caveiry men, known as Jessie's Scouts, commanded by Major Young.


Statton, John W. A clergyman who was the brother of Mrs. Wm S. Purgit. Lived in the West.


Sulser - A family who lived near Purgitsville. Adam Sulser bought a lot on N. Church St., after the war.


Wife Mr. Purgit’s wife was Areliah Statton.


Sandy Hook - A small village in Washington County, Md. In the immediate vicinity of Harpers Ferry, W. Va. It is one mile east of Harpers Ferry on the Maryland side of the Potomac River.


Trout H. - Henry Trout owned a farm at Ridgeville.


Trout, James - Merchant and politician of New Creek. Very active in organization of the State of West Virginia. A delegate from Hampshirc County to the 2nd. Wheeling Convention.



U. S. Soldiers Stationed at New Creek Station W. Va. During the Civil War. According to the Report of Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley, U. S Volunteers for Oct. 1861 - Company A, 1st. West Va. Cavalry (Kelley's Lancers):


Capt. John L. McGee Company H. 3rd. West Va. Inf.

Capt. Henry C. Hagen Company K. 4th. West Va. Inf.

Capt. James H. Dayton 7th. West Va. Inf.

Colonel James Evans 9 Companies, 8th. Ohio Inf.

Col. Herman G. Deputy The Ring gold Calvary (54 men)

Capt. John Keys, later to be the Co. A. 22nd. Penna Cavalry.

Sergeant G. F. S. Nixon

One smoothbore 6-pounder cannon (10 men) under Ordinance



In 1865, the Federal Troops stationed at New Creek Station were:


The 22nd. Penna Cavalry (Ring gold's) Companies - D. E. F. G. H. I. K. L. and M.





The date givcn after each entry is thc month and day that the said entry is mentioned in this diary. For Exanple: 3/30 is March 30th.



Adams) 3/30

Alkire 1/22, 4/9

Apple Jack 1/22

Armstrong, Edward M. 5/10

Armstrong, Wm. 5/9, 5/11

Arnolds, 4/24/4/26

Arnolds James, 4/23, 5/29

Arnolds Jno. 2/15

Arnold, Zack 6/16




Babb & Co. 2/17

Balto. 4/27, 5/22

Birth of a Son 7/7

Blockade, 3/14, 4/25

Booth, John Wilkes, 4/27

Bowers 5/2

Bowman, Luke 4/3O~ 5/23

Boys, The, 1/16 2/17

Brown, John 5/2

Burning of a house, 4/1




Cannon, tir. 1/4 ½

Capture of Gen. Crook & Kelley 2/21

Capture of a Train, 1/20

Carlisle, Old, 5/27

Carroll Mr., 1/4, 1/25

Cavalry, 6th. Va. 1/1, 1/17

Cavalry, 22nd. Pa. 1/1

Chambers~ 6/1

Clark County, Ohio 12/25, 1868

Conspir~.tors Hang~d~ 7/8

Crook, General, 2/21

Cumberland, Md., 2/21, 3/21,3/22, 4/3





Dayton, Col. 2/9

David, 4/24

Davis, Mrs Martha A., .


Davis, Mrs. 1/23, 3/15

Davis, Jeff, 5/15

Davis, Col. Thos. B. 1/23, 6/17





Elliott, Granville, 5/25

Elliott, Buck, 6/12




Fort Fisher, 1/17

Fuller, 3/17

Fuller, Sam. 3/15





Gillmore, 2/6

Gin, 1/29

gold, Price of, 5/5, 5/6, 5/7, 5/8, 5/31, 6/1

Grafton. W. Va., 3/2

Grant, General U. 5. 4/5

Granville, 4/27, 5/25

Greenfield, Col., 3/14, 6/11




Hagerty, George 1/16, 5/11

Harness, Mr., 4/28

Harper's Monthly. 3/25

Headsville, W Va. 1/5

Heiskell, Jr. R.~ 6/7, 6/14

Henderson, J. D., 4/26

Henderson, Mrs. 4/26

Henderson, J. 6/4

Hershey, 5/1, 5/6

High, Alf. 5/3

High E., 1/20

High, Fred, 3/25

High, Jim, 5/20

High, Uncle John,


High, W. T., 6/7, 6/9

Highwater, 3/16

Huffnan, C, 4/24 4/25

Huffman, Dave, 1/13

Huffman, E., 3/28

Huffman, Elijah, 4/7

Huffman, Fred, 5/24

Huffman, H., 1/31

Huffman, H. D., 4/22

Huffman, Jno., 2/22, 2/23, 6/6

Huffman, Mrs., 4/17, 4/18

Horn, Doctor 2/1

Horn, 5/16, 6/6

Hughes, John H. 1/3 2/12, 4/27, 5/13, 5/22, 6/2

Hughes Mrs. John H. 1/3, 6/2

Hughes, Mrs. John had a baby, 1/3

Hughes & Chambers 6/1

House burned, 4/1

Hull, Mrs. 1/6, 1/14




Jack, 3/25

Jako, 1/29, 3/26

Jessie, 5/14

Jno. 4/28

Johnson, Prcsident Andrew 6/1

Johnson, General (Confedcrate) 4/28




Kabrick, Jim 5/28

Kate, 5/14, 5/16

Kentucky Bat. 5/20

Ke11ey, General, 2/21

Killed, Capt. Stump 2/16

Kingwood, W. Va. 2/14

Kline A., 6/13




L, Colonel 3/2

Lee, Gen. Robert E. 4/8, 4/10

Laps, Georg E., 3/27

Liller, 2/3

Liller, Jas., 3/10

Liller, Oliver 3/11

Lincoln, President Abe 4/14, 4/15, 4/19

Little, Kno, 1/20

Ludwick, Mr. 4/23

Lunchburg, Va. 4/14

Lynn, Hcnry 3/18




Mahew, Mrs. 2/19

Marker, Haven 4/29

Markwood, Jack 5/2

Martha, sister, 5/18, 12/25/68, 12/26/68

Mat. 1/2

McDonald, Angus W. Jr. 6/5

McNiel, Lt. 5/5

McNiels Rangers 4/18, 5/5, 5/6

Michael, 1/4

 Moorefield, W. Va. 4/26, 6/11

Mydinger, John 4/9

Myers, 3/5, 4/5




Nash, 4/8, 4/9, 5/16




O'Ncal, Denny 6/17




Pa (father) 2/25, 4/8 4/9, 4/23, 6/2, 6/3, 6/15, 6/16

Pancake, Joseph 1/18

Pancake, John C. 5/26

Parel, John 5/25

Parsons, James, 1/18

Patterson Creek 3/30

Petersburg, W. Va. 4/18, 4/21, 4/26, 5/23

Photograph 5/17

Pine Church, 5/14

Pony, 1/6

Post Office (New Creek Station) 3/16, 3/23, 5/7

Post Office moved, 3/27

Post Office closed all day 4/19

Prisoners, Confederate 2/19

Prisoner, J. High taken 2/22

Purget, D. Z. 1/17




Richmond, Va. 2/11 3/29, 4/3, 4/4, 4/5

Ridgeville, W. Va. 3/12, 3/18, 4/4, 5/28

River, Potomac 6/4

Robey, Mr. 7/7

Romney, W. Va. 5/11





Sandy Hook 1/17

Scott, Capt. 4/24. 4/28

Seward Secretary of State 4/5

Sheetz, Robert 4/12

Sheridan, Gen. Phil. 1/16, 3/19

Sherman, Gen. Wm. T. 4/25, 6/6

Shoemaker1s 5/23

Shoemeker, Arch 1/12

Shoemaker, George 3/9, 3/27

Shoemaker, Grenville 2/15, 4/1, 4/5, 4/12, 4/13, 4/27., 5/25

Shoemaker, Wm. H. 1/13

Shoemaker's Wagon, 5/16

Shooting 2/3, 6/7

Simpson, Bert 1/23

Simpson, Mrs. 3/30

Statton, John W. 6/4, 6/10

Stump, Capt, George,. killed 2/6

Sulser, Adam 1/20

Sulser, Mat. 1/20

Sulser; H. 1/19, 1/20, 5/6

Sulser, Jas. 1/5

Swimming in River 6/16



Taylor D. 3/8

Taylor, Ed. 1/31: 3/8, 3/23

Taylor, Elijah 2/23

Taylor. John 4/22

Taylor, Nan J. 2/18

Taylor, Tirzah 5/4

Taylor, Warner, 3/7, 4/22, 5/15, 6/5

Thompson 5/8

Tooth pulled 2/1

Train captured 3/30

Trout, H. 1/11, 4/4, 5/28

Trout, James 3/5

3/11, 3/12, 6/3, 6/8.

Troxwell 4/10

Tucker, Mrs. 1/5

Tumblars and glasses 1/4




"V"., Arch., 4/1

Van, Mrs. 1/26

Van Fleet shot 2/3

Volunteers 4/3




Warner, 6/5

Whipp'ss Sa1e 4/5

White, Colonel 6/14

White, Sandy 6/13

Work, Major 4/10

Wife, 1/12, 1/13 1/28, 1/31, 2/2, 2/4, 2/5, 2/8, 2/10, 2/15, 2/28,







A silver-mounted rosewood fife, long an heirloom in our fanily, belonged personally to Richard Hornbuckle Thrush, musician, killed in the Cival War. At first Richard had been the fifer in the local company of thc Virginia militia in western Hampshire County (now Mineral County, West Virginia), a military organization corresponding to the national guard of these later times. Captain George Sheetz, of Sheetz's Mill (Headsville) was company commander, and Robert Welch, who lived out on The Ridge (grand- father of Lyle Wilson in Keyser) was the first lieutenant.


At the beginning of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, when Governor Wise of Virginia called the state militia into active service, Capt. Sheetz's company assembled at Burlington on a designated day. After something to eat and a rest around noon the Company formed in front of the John Vandiver House (now the Old Homestead) My father, Vause Rogers Thrush, a boy of twelve and next younger brother of Richard, then nineteen) sat on the steps of the old portico and watched what was going on. He had brought from home some additional clothes their mother had sent for Richard.


More orders were given, and the company was on its way down the road, through the covered bridge and on toward Rornney, the county seat. The marching tune that Richard played on his fife was "The Girl I Left Behind Me."


Late in the afternoon at a ceremony in front of the old court house in Romney, the ladies of the community presented the company just arrived with a new silk flag. ·When the flag was unfurled it was a new flag sure enough, the flag of the Confederacy.


Captain Sheetz knew his boys well many of them near neighbors. He knew they were not all of one mind, and divided in their loyalties. In what was certainly a dramatic moment as they stood before him, he announced1 "I know this flag does not represent the sentiments of some of you. Those who do not want to follow this flag, may now fall out. The rest of us are going through to Richmond.


About half the men in the company fell out. They hunrried back to New Creek Station (Keyser), and thereabouts. In a matter of days a new company was being formed, a Union company. James A. Jarboc was named captain) and John M. Jarboe first lieutenant, brothers, and both of Piedmont. Isaac N. Trout, of Ridgeville, was first sergeant. This outfit became Company I, 10th. West Virginia Infantry. Rance Powell, also from Piedmont, was the drummer boy. Richard H. Thrush, the fifer.



Company I, 10th. West Virginia Infantry, saw continuous hard service. First at Laurel Hill near Beverly, then in the upper Potomac country in the vicinity or Petcrsburg and beyond, later in the Valley campaigns and what was left of it was on a hillside at Appomattox, when the end of the war came. In the meantime, Mike Thrush, a cousin, had died after being wounded in one of the Winchester battles. His grave is in the Winchester Military Cemetery, buried by mistake with the dead of a Maine regiment. Of nineteen captured in a fortified church near Lahmansville and sent to Andersonville, all but one had died there. These included Jack and Will Staggs, cousins of the thrush boys. (In l958, William E. Rogers, of Westernport, visited Andersonville Cemetary and found the grave of William L. Staggs, no other identification.) Only Race Powell, the drummer boy, "Little Red Cap" of the Andersonville stories, survived that ordeal.


Richard was killed two days before the memorable battle at Cedar Creek in the Valley south of Winchester. This was in October, 1864. Although a Musician and not ordinarily subject to such duty, he had volunteered to go out with a party to try to locate a Confederate cannon hidden in some woods. He was killed instantly by a bursting shell.


The winter following the battle at Cedar Creek, John S. and Sanford, older brothers of Richard, went with team and wagon to the battlefield, found the blanket-wrapped body in the shallow grave near where he had fallen and brought him home to the little family burying ground on the hill. Roland Dayton preached the funeral sermon. His grave is marked by a govenment stone.


Dave Crawford, one of the older men of Company I, whose home was on top of Crawford 's (Sears) Hill, had written Richard 's father the sad message about him. Richard had been named for his father. We have that letter, also a letter that was written to Richard when he was home on sick leave that concludes "Your little drummer boy, Rance Powell." (I’d like to know what became of Rance Powell.) These letters are included with a sizable packet of letters from Richard to members of his family The frequent use of OK in his letters interests me.


Richard played his fife for Company I until he was issued one, and then sent his own fife home; it has always since been in the family.


_________________________Richard W. Thrush









Sources: W. Va. Dept. of Archives and History

Simon Rudolph - Confederate veteran, with Ashbey's men at Lahmansville

Mr. Tasker - Union veteran, Co. I. Carried Mike off the battlefield

Mr. Martin - Union veteran, Co. I. At Appomattox

Vause R. Thrush - Richard's brother




Aug. 27, 1955