OHIO COUNTY IN THE WAR OF 1812

 

From "History of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and

Representative Citizens," edited & compiled by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer;

pages 181-186.

 

Submitted by Linda Fluharty.

 

     On the 19th of April, 1812, James Barbour, then governor of Virginia, issued his general orders for a requisition of 12,000 men, officers included, which was the quota of Virginia, in pursuance of a

law passed on the 10th of the same month by Congress, authorizing a detachment of 100,000 militia at a moment's warning.

     At the time the militia was divided into four divisions, and these again were subdivided into 20 brigades.  Ohio county was included in the Tenth Brigade, which was commanded by Brig. Gen. Benjamin Biggs, of Ohio county, and in the Third Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. John Smith, of

Frederick county, no apportionment having been assigned to her.

     It was not until the 3d of September following the 19th of April, 1812, that nay portion of the said 12,000 men mentioned in the general orders were called upon to take the field, and then only to the number of 1,500, who were ordered to repair to Point Pleasant, the place of general rendezvous.

     Subsequently, on the 20th of July, 1814, another requisition was made by the president on the militia of Virginia for a like number of about 12,000 men, of which the Tenth Brigade under the apportionment was to furnish 499 men, but this county was not included in the apportionment.

     On the 13th of January, 1815, another requisition was made, under which the Tenth Brigade was called upon to furnish 349 men, officers included.  Under this last requisition Ohio county furnished a company of light horse, consisting of 64 men and officers, which was commanded by Capt. Samuel McLure, and a company of infantry consisting of 74 men and officers, under the command of Capt. William Irvin.  Their superior officer was Lieut. Col. Archibald Woods, of the Fourth Regiment of Virginia militia.  Both of these companies volunteered their services immediately upon being informed of the requisition.  So sparse was the population of Wheeling at this early day and so great the number, in proportion to its limited population, of those who had volunteered that

when the companies departed from the town it appeared as if every able-bodied man had deserted the place, leaving behind them the aged men, women and children alone.

     After being mustered in they took up their line of march for their destination, Norfolk, Virginia, which was their appointed place of rendezvous, but which they failed to reach for reasons hereinafter mentioned. Upon leaving the town they marched northwardly, following the road leading along the shore of the Ohio River, until they reached Glenn's run, where they halted and made their first camp. The people of the town turned out en masse and accompanied them to its outskirts, while a large number of the citizens followed them to their camp, many of whom remained with them to the following day, when they struck their tents, resumed their march, and, reaching Wellsburg, made that town their next camping place. At this place they were welcomed with demonstrations of rejoicing and expressions of patriotic approval in which the entire town united, all the citizens of which had turned out to extend to them a generous and hearty greeting. On the next day they took up their line of march for Washington, Pennsylvania, where they

were greeted by another grand ovation by the citizens and where they remained a day to rest and make some arrangements for their future progress that were necessary for their comfort. From this last place they went to their next point, Morgantown, Virginia, where they met with demonstrations of a similar character to those already described. From there they proceeded to their next objective point, which was Kingwood, Virginia, where they were met by a special courier sent by the governor, who announced to them the gratifying news that peace had been declared, and that, their services being no longer needed, they were ordered to return home, as appears from the following:

 

"Adjutant General's Office.

         "Richmond, 20th Feb., 1815.

"Peace between the United States and Great Britain having been announced, the necessity for carrying into effect the law of the last session of the General Assembly, 'Authorizing the raising of a regular force for the defense of the state, no longer exists. The courts martial of the several regiments are therefore advised to adjourn and not reassemble until further orders. The several detachments of militia on their march to Norfolk and to the city of Richmond will be immediately mustered by their commandants and discharged, or marched back to their respective counties and e there mustered and discharged, as may best suit the convenience of the men. The commander in chief embraces with great pride and satisfaction this opportunity of expressing to the militia of Virginia his sense of the distinguished patriotism they have manifested throughout the war upon all occasions and under all circumstances; they have been conspicuous for their alacrity in meeting danger, and for their valor in the field. The people of Virginia have the high satisfaction derived from a consciousness of having done their duty to their country in peace and in war. When the public good requires it, the particular interest of this state has in all cases been made to yield to the general welfare. There has been no instance in which the voice of Virginia has been raised to secure any exclusive advantages to herself. There has been no call upon her to make a sacrifice of state

interests for the preservation of national character of rights which she has not obeyed. When her citizens have been called to the field they have shown fortitude and heroism, braved the dangers of battle and disease. A people so brave and patriotic, faithful in the discharge of all their duties, must respect themselves and command the esteem of those with whom they are connected, and will, we may trust, receive the protection of the Divine Power, without whose permission no human wisdom

or foresight can secure to any people the happiness which we may fondly hope is in reserve for our countrymen.

          "By order,

            "Claiborne W. Gooch,

               "Adjutant General."

 

     It was while in Washington, Pennsylvania, that they received the cheering news of the victory gained by General Jackson in the battle of New Orleans, which was fought by him on the 8th day of January, 1815, which filled them with new life and vigor, and inspired them with high wrought patriotism and zeal to which they gave jubilant expression by a grand celebration of the auspicious event, consisting of patriotic speeches, toasts and a grand military ball, which was united in

generally by the citizens of the place, who emulated each other in giving expression to their enthusiasm over the crowning triumph of the American arms.  Retracing their steps to Morgantown, a few returned across country to their homes, and a number took pirogues and flat-

bottomed boats and floated to Pittsburg, whence they continued down the river to Wheeling.  When the boats rounded the bend near where the Top Mill now stands the martial strains of the fife and the sonorous tones of the drum awakened the echoes of the surrounding hills and were born

to the ears of the inhabitants of the town who had lined the banks of the river to welcome the returning braves and who gave vent to loud huzzas of rejoicing, making the welkin to ring with their glad shouts.  There were five members of the Irwin family who volunteered in this war

in the company commanded by Captain Irwin, whose names were William Irwin, Samuel Irwin, David Irwin, James Snodgrass and Robert Snodgrass, the last named being uncles of Isaac and Samuel Irwin. The late Samuel Irwin was at the time a lad under twenty-one years of age and his

father, who was captain of the company, was opposed to his joining the command, but by dint of coaxing and persuading he finally succeeded in overcoming the opposition of his parent, who reluctantly permitted him to volunteer as a private. Another young man, Alexander McConnell,

deceased, was also a volunteer in the same company, although at the time in his teens. An individual by the name of Hootman was the drummer of the company, and Jim Nevitt, of tall and commanding figure and large and muscular frame, was the fifer. The patriotic feeling of the day had been fully aroused, but the Wheeling patriots were deprived of the opportunity of proving to the foe the stuff of which they were made. A member of the company eased jocosely to remark that when the British heard that they were coming they became disheartened and promptly declared peace. In this connection we are gratified in being able to call attention to the following letter, which was addressed to Col. Archibald Woods by Brig. Gen. J. G. Jackson, formerly a member of Congress from the Northwestern district of Virginia, which included the county of Ohio:

          "Washington, Feb. 16, 1815.

     "Sir: I have the pleasure to inform you that by order from the Secretary of War, dated on this day, I am instructed to communicate that the Militia recently ordered to march from the Tenth and Twentieth Brigades of Virginia Militia are discharged from a compliance with the said orders. I have the honor to be

         "Yours most obediently,

             "J. G. Jackson, Br. Gen."

     "To colonel commandant of Ohio county militia: I congratulate you and my country one the restoration of an honorable peace."

     In the beginning of hostilities in the year 1812 a volunteer company infantry, under the command of Capt. Benjamin Jeffries, had been ordered into the service, but were deficient in wagons and teams, whereupon Colonel Woods issued the following order:

          "Ohio County, Virginia.

     "You are hereby forthwith directed to impress the wagon, team, and driver of the wagon belonging to Daniel Steenrod for the use of your company now ordered on duty for the purpose of conveying the baggage belonging to the same, on the tour of duty which they are now ordered

on.  And this shall be your warrant for so doing.  Given under my hand this 23d day of September, 1812.

          Archibald Woods,

"Lietu. Col. Com't Fourth Regiment, Virginia Militia.

"To Captain Benjamin Jeffries."

     The prompt return to the warrant was as follows:

     "I have executed the above warrant agreeable to order.

     "Benjamin Jeffries, Capt."

 

"Ohio County and Commonwealth of Virginia."

     "The subscribers being mutually chosen and being first sworn according to law to appraise a wagon, team, harness and cover, etc., the property of Daniel Steenrod, of said county, impressed this day by Col. Archibald Woods, for the use of a detachment of militia now ordered on duty from the Fourth Regiment in said county, under the command of Capt. Benjamin Jeffries, also the hire per day for use of the said wagon, team and driver, do appraise the same as follows:

     One wagon -                $75

     One wagon cover -            5

     One sorrel horse -          20

     One bay horse -             75 

     One chestnut-sorrel mare    55

     One bay mare -              33

     Four sets gears -           40

                              ------

     Amounting to              $303

 

     "The hire per day for said team and driver, $2.37 1/2.

                  "John McLure,

                  "Wm. Irwin,

                  "John Feay.

     "I certify the above.

                 "Archibald Woods.

"Lieut. Col. Com'g Fourth Reg't V. M."

     Muster of a company of Light Infantry of Virginia Militia, commanded by Capt. William Irwem, from the Fourth Regiment in the county of Ohio, into actual service under general order of the 12th of January, 1815, from the 9th of February, 1815, when last mustered to the --- day 

of  ---, 181-.

 

NAME - RANK - DATE OF COMMISSION -  NAME PRESENT -  REMARKS  

 

William Irwein - Captain - 25 May 1807 - William Irwein

John Richison - Lieut - 27 Jun 1814 - John Richison

George Dutty - Ensign - 27 Jun 1814 - George Dutty

David Irwein - Sergeant - --- -  David Erwein

John McDonald - Musician - --- - John McDonald

Robert Arbuttan - --- - --- Arbuttan

Hiram Anderson - --- - --- - Hiram Anderson

John Adams - --- - John Adams

Jacob Adams - --- - --- - Jacob Adams

Thomas Adams - --- - --- - Thomas Adams

William Ashew - --- - --- - William Ashew

Thomas M. Ashew - --- - --- - Thomas M. Ashew

Archibald Armstrong - --- - --- - Archibald Armstrong

John Brown - --- - --- - John Brown

William Bell - --- - --- - William Bell

Thomas Baird Jun - --- - --- - Thomas Baird Jun

Absolam Burkham - --- - --- - Absolam Burkham

Solomon Burkham - --- - --- - Solomon Burkham

John Bushlan - --- - --- - John Bushlan

Jacob Bently - --- - --- - Jacob Bently

Thomas Campbell - --- - --- - Thomas Campbell

Thomas Crispin - --- - --- - Thomas Crispin

John Carroll - --- - --- - ---

--- Campbell - --- - --- - ---Campbell

William Caldwell - --- - --- - William Caldwell

William Crawford - --- - --- - --- Appointed Serg't-major in staff.

Henry Dement - --- - --- - Henry Dement

John Dauer - --- - --- - John Dauer - Absent after muster.

Michel Dulty - --- - --- - Michel Dulty

Arnold Evans - --- - --- - Arnold Evans

Joseph Fulton - --- - --- - Joseph Fulton

William Graves - --- - --- - William Graves

Thomas Johnson - --- - --- - Thomas Johnson

Peter Loffer - --- - --- - Peter Loffer

John Lowery - --- - --- - John Lowery

Hugh Lackey - --- - --- - Hugh Lackey

David Moor - --- - --- - David Moor

Fedid Masters - --- - --- - Fedid Masters

John D. Miller - --- - --- - John D. Miller

Alexander M. Connel - --- - --- - Alexander M. Connel

Josiah McKnight - --- - --- - Josiah McKnight

Feb Mix - --- - --- - Feb Mix - Absent

James Minnis - --- - --- - James Minnis - Absent after muster.

William Montgomery - --- - --- - William Montgomery

Lame McClain - --- - --- - Lame McLain

Robert Prittyman - --- - --- - Robert Prittyman

Isaiah Parlet - --- - --- - Isaiah Parlet

John Rodeheffer - --- - --- - John Rodeheffer

--- Rulong - --- - --- - --- Rulong

Joseph T. Roff - --- - --- - Joseph T. Roff

Thos. Smith - --- - --- - Thos. Smith

Robert Stewart - --- - --- - Robert Stewart

William Stickler - --- - --- - William Stickler

Robert Snodgrass - --- - --- - Robert Snodgrass

William Stevenson - --- - --- - William Stevenson - Absent after summons.

David Thornburg - --- - --- - David Thornburg

Moses Thompson - --- - --- - --- - Absent after summons.

John Teagarden - --- - --- - John Teagarden

Thomas Zanner - --- - --- - Thomas Zanner

Leo Liburgen - --- - --- - Leo Liburgen

George Venum - --- - --- - George Venum

John Vance - --- - --- - John Vance

Aron Varney - --- - --- - Aron Varney

Wm. Williamson - --- - --- - Wm. Williamson

Robt. Williamson - --- - --- - Robt. Williamson

Wm. Williams - --- - --- - Wm. Williams

John Williams - --- - --- - John Williams

Solomon Wardle - --- - --- - Solomon Wardle

Abram Westbrook - --- - --- - Abram Westbrook

Thomas Williamson - --- - --- - Thomas Williamson

Alex White - --- - --- - Alex White

 

     Muster roll of a Company of Light Dragoons of Virginia Militia, commanded by Captain Samuel McLure, of the Fourth Regiment, in the County of Ohio, called into actual service under general orders of January 13, 1815, from the 13th day of February, 1815, when last mustered, to the day --- day of ---, 181-.

     Samuel McClure, Captain, commissioned March 23, 1812.  Sorrel horse, 7 years old, 15 1/2 hands high, valued at $120.

     James H. Relfe, First Lieutenant, commissioned March 23, 1812.  Black horse, 8 years old, 15 hands high, valued at $75.  Acting Adjutant  Col. Woods' regiment.

     Richard Simms, Second Lieutenant, commissioned March 23, 1812.

     John Carr, Cornet, commissioned June 27, 1814.

     Richard H. Goe, First Sergeant.

     Garrison Jones, Second Sergeant.  bay horse, 9 years old, 15 hands high, valued at $80.

     Nathan Hukill, Third Sergeant.  Bay horse, 4 years old, 15 hands high, valued at $70.

     David Atkinson

     James Atkinson

     William Bounds

     Benjamin Beal

     William Bukey

     Thomas Boas

     Charles Brady

     Westly Beck

     Ninian Bell

     Frederic Beylor, deserted

     Charles Beylor

     Charles Blaney

     George Blaney

     William Brown

     William Clark

     Richard Carter, Jr.

     James Dickson

     Cornelius DeHart

     John Dorsey, absent after muster

     Joseph Foreman

     William Gregg

     William Gill

     Isaac Greathouse

     James Gadd, absent after summons

     Frederick Goldenburg.  Farrier.

     Levi Gooding

     James Harris

     John Harris

     David Henderson

     Thomas Henderson

     Robert Humplines

     John Jerome, drafted in Brooke Co., and under command Captain Fowler.

     Lewis Johnson

     Charles D. Knox

     James Kelly

     Daniel Morris

     John M. Morgan, absent after muster.

     Samuel Maunore

     Josiah McColloch

     Hugh Nichols, 4th sergeant.

     George Pannell

     Authur Pearce

     John Snodgrass

     David Stewart

     Hezekiah Simms

     James Sprigg, cadet.

     Samuel Tomlinson

     Nathan Tomlinson

     Thomas Thornburg

     Joseph Wilson

     Lewis Wilson

     William Webb, quartermaster.

 

     We certify that this Muster Roll exhibits a true statement of Capt. McClure's Company of Cavalry, and that the remarks set opposite the men's names are correct and just.

 

          JAMES H. RELFE, Mustering Officer,

          JOSEPH DODDRIDGE, Surgeon.