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Presented By

PAUL

Prominent Researcher of the Shriver Grays and the Shriver Family

and

Linda Cunningham Fluharty

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A Body Of Confederate Civil War Soldiers Organized At Wheeling

     The Shriver Grays, organized at Wheeling, with about 80 men, was organized in May 1861, with Daniel Shriver, captain; John W. Mitchell, first lieutenant; John B. Leadley, second lieutenant; Pryor Boyd, junior second lieutenant. The company left Wheeling on the 21st or 22d of May, 1861, and went to Harper's Ferry, reporting to Col. T. J. Jackson. It was mustered in as Company G, Twenty-seventh Virginia Infantry, of the Stonewall brigade. It served faithfully in that regiment until about May, 1863, when most of the survivors of the original company were transferred to the Thirty-sixth Virginia cavalry battalion, commanded by Maj. James Sweeney, of Wheeling. The battalion participated in the East Tennessee campaign as a part of Longstreet's command, was at the burning of Chambersburg, and in the rear guard after Gettysburg. Captain Shriver was succeeded in command, in the fall of 1862, by Robert McEldowney, previously orderly sergeant. Captain McEldowney was the last remaining commissioned officer with the Twenty-seventh, on March 25, 1865, when the assault was made on Fort Stedman and he was wounded there and disabled.

Source: Confederate Military History Extended Edition. Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Verdana. Wilmington, NC. broadfoot Publishing Company, 1987.

(Submitted by Linda Fluharty)


THE SHRIVER GRAYS

Lecture presented before the Wheeling Historical Society &
the Ohio Valley Civil War Roundtable by Paul Burig.

Researched and written by Paul Burig.

     Before I start talking about the Shriver Grays, let me give you some background on the events that led up to the secession of Virginia during the Spring of 1861.

     When the Union began to fall apart early in 1861, the General Assembly of the State of Virginia was opposed to secession and was the position taken at a convention on February 13th. However, in the succeeding months pressure from the firebrands from South Carolina, Verdana and Mississippi along with radicals from within the state put on a concerted effort to sway public opinion in favor of secession. The result was that a second convention met in Richmond on April 20th and the sentiment had shifted in favor of secession. Of the 47 delegates from the western counties 32 voted against secession. In fact 22 of the members met in the Powhatan Hotel and decided to go back home and work against ratification of the bill of secession rather than fighting a losing cause in the General Assembly. Feelings were so intense that the dissenting members left in the middle of the night and fled in secrecy.

     The referendum for ratification took place on May 23rd. The farther west and the farther north you went in the state the more opposition there was against ratification. Wheeling became a center for the opposition and eventually became the state capitol when the government of the Restored State of Virginia and the State of West Virginia were formed.

     But the sentiment in Wheeling was severely divided among the leaders in the community. The leaders of the secessionists were convinced that the bill for secession would be ratified and rallied as much support as possible. Secession was affirmed but it lost by a large margin in the counties of northwestern Virginia.

     While the tug of war over secession was taking place a number of members of the old Virginia Militia began meeting in secrecy to recruit and train soldiers for the Confederate Army which was taking shape in the states that had already seceeded. They met in homes and barns to get organized and drill. One of the stories that has been told and retold is that they invited the most prominent tailor in Wheeling, who favored the Union, to one of their meetings and had all of the members measured for suits made out of the same gray cloth which became uniforms.

     The tailor had made a commitment to provide the suits thinking they were preparing for some social occasion and made the suits. Whether he discovered the real purpose before the recruits revealed their intentions is unknown.

     There is much about their activities in Wheeling before their departure that is unknown. By the time the recruits boarded a packet boat to make their way to Confederate territory two leaders has emerged. One was James W. Sweeney and the other was Daniel M. Shriver. It is claimed they were aboard the last packet to leave Wheeling before the river traffic was closed down by the Union Army under General George McClellan.

     They apparently made their way south to the mouth of the Kanawha River where they headed to Charleston. Most of the recruits accompanied Shriver on to Lewisburg and down the Shenandoah Valley to Harpers Ferry. Some remained in the Charleston area with Sweeney. Just when they left Wheeling is unknown. The records show that they date their recruitment from May 17th, six days before the vote for secession was taken and most of them were mustered into the Confederate Army on May 26th along with other Confederate recruits under the command of Col. Thomas Jonathan Jackson who had gone to Harpers Ferry from Virginia Military Institute, where he was an instructor. [NOTE, Feb 22, 2012, from William Veach: My (several great) grandfather was a member of the Shriver Grays. His name was Watkins Kearns. I have a digital copy of his diary from the beginning of his service to the CSA until he concluded. The first page states that he left Wheeling on the 21st of May to go to Harpers Ferry. He mentions Capt. Shriver left Wheeling on the 18th of May. He also mentions that he and a few others of the company waited until May 24th when they were joined by another portion of the company that was "quartered in a farm house."]

     One of the earliest records of Daniel's service is from the Official Records where he wrote a letter to Col. Jackson urging that a force be sent to Wheeling to prevent the takeover by the Union sympathizers led by A. W. Campbell, editor of "The Intelligencer".

     Daniel and his unit, which had been designated as Company G of the 27th Virginia Infantry Regiment, spent their first service at Harpers Ferry getting organized and drilling. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston decided that Harpers Ferry could not be held and Col. Jackson withdrew the Confederate troops to Winchester, Va. He also removed all moveable equipment from the Federal Armory and sent it south to Richmond and Fayetteville, N.C., which provided the nucleus for production of weapons for the Confederate Army.

     It was from Winchester that the Confederate troops, including the 27th Regiment, boarded trains to go to Manassas where the first Battle of Bull Run or Manassas took place. The 27th was engaged in the battle at a key point on Henry Hill where their neighboring regiment, the 33rd, was credited with turning the tide of battle. The 27th was probably about a hundred yards to the right of the 33rd.

     Whether Daniel fought in that battle is uncertain. The company records listed Daniel as absent due to sickness during July and August and since the battle took place on July 21st it is uncertain whether he actually took part in the battle but he later stated that he was present for all skirmishes and battles except when wounded.

     In January 1862 Jackson ordered his brigade to march to Romney to kick out the Union troops that occupied that town. The march almost became a disaster when the troops were caught in the mountains during a winter storm. The Union troops withdrew from Romney without a fight but the Confederates were holding the town with very little in the way of supplies and no practical access to Winchester. It was hardly the smartest move that Jackson made.

     From the Spring of 1862 until the Battle of Antietam in September it was a period of nearly constant fighting for the Stonewall brigade. The Valley Campaign by Jackson is a masterpiece of military strategy which literally drove the Union Army crazy. The records show that Daniel was severely wounded on June 13th at the Battle of Port Republic. This was near the end of the Valley Campaign so it is uncertain whether Daniel was with the regiment when it was moved to near Richmond during the battles to repulse the Union Army which had advanced to within a few miles of Richmond.

     Then came the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Chantilly, the invasion of Maryland, the Siege of Harpers Ferry and finally the Battle at Antietam, which was a disaster for both the Union and Confederate Armies. Then it was back to the encampments around Winchester and a period of regroupment which led up to the Battle of Fredricksburg on Dec. 12th thru 15th, which ended operations for 1862.

     On April 27th, 1863, the Chancelorsville Campaign began. Jackson pulled another of his famous flanking movements which threw the Union forces into turmoil. The tragedy of it all was the wounding and death of Stonewall Jackson.

     The Stonewall brigade was next in action at Winchester during the buildup for the invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania which culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg. Daniel had been advanced to major and then lieutenant colonel and was in command of the regiment at Gettysburg.

     Following the retreat from Gettysburg, Daniel resigned his commission to serve in the General Assembly. He had been elected to represent the troops from northwestern Virginia, by then West Virginia. Lee protested his resignation but politics prevailed.

     When the session ended, Daniel petitioned the authorities, including Jefferson Davis, to be commissioned colonel in the cavalry for the purpose of raising a regiment of mounted riflemen in northwestern Virginia. After carrying his plea through several channels, he was finally granted his wish.

     The State of West Virginia had been formed by June of 1863 and the Union forces were in firm control of most of the western counties of what had been Virginia. There is no indication that he was ever able to recruit the unit he had planned and there are no records that I am aware of as to what he did during 1864 and 1865.

     The command of the Shriver Grays had been passed on to Capt. Robert M. McEldowney of New Martinsville, W. Va. His enlistment dates from Sept. 23, 1861 and he enlisted in Wheeling, which by that time for firmly in Union hands. How this was possible, I don't know.

     He moved up through the ranks and was elected Captain on May 27th, 1862 when Shriver was elected Major. MeEldowney was listed as captain for the remainder of the war. He was wounded four times: in the right foot at Second Manassas, in the groin at Gettysburg, in the right arm in the Wilderness, and in the left leg at Fort Stedman, during the Petersburg seige. He was captured at a hospital in Richmond on April 3rd, just six days before the surrender at Appomattox. The war for MeEldowney wasn't quite over yet because he escaped from the hospital at Richmond on May 9th.

     After the war he became a salesman in Philadelphia, an agent for the B&O Railroad, a member of the West Virginia Legislature, and editor of "The Wetzel Democrat", a newspaper in New Martinsville, W.Va., where he lived until he died.

     At the time of the battle at Fort Stedman, there were only 58 men in the regiment which was under the command of McEldowney.

     At Appomattox there were only 21 from the regiment that surrendered and only one from Company G, The Shriver Grays. His name was George Decker and he was from Rockbridge County so there was none from Wheeling. The regiment was under the command of Captain Franklin Caruthers Wilson, from Union, Virginia.

     The last information I have about Daniel Shriver is concerning his death in Ohio County in July 1865 of convulsions. The cause of the convulsions is not given. His funeral was held from the home of his sister, Effie, who was the wife of William H. Russell who lived in Elm Grove and he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling.

(Revised March 25, 2001)


ROSTER OF SHRIVER GRAYS

Company G, 27th Virginia Volunteer Infantry, CSA

James Adams (Biography), Pvt., Enl. Camp near Fairfax, Oct. 10, 1861
Alphonso G. Allen, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
William C. Almond, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
James Anderson, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John T. Armstrong, Cpl., Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
James M. Ackerly, Pvt.
George Bailey, Pvt.
William B. Beamer, Trans. from Co. D. April 30, 1864
Isaac Beeson, Wounded June 1, 1863 Chancelorsville, Died Camp Winder Hosp.
John H. Beeton, Pvt., Enl. Lexington, April 18, 1861
James E. (D) Bennett, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861; deserted Dec. 1862; returned Jan. 25, 1862; deserted April 1863; POW Mar. 18, 1863.
James F. Benson, Pvt., Trans. to Co. G, Oct. 31, 1864
John L. Bonham, Sgt. Maj., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 18861, reduced in rank Nov. 7, 1861; deserted Aug. 28, 1862
Pryor Boyd (More), Pvt., 2nd Lt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Alexander G. Bown, 2nd Lt., Enl. Mar, 19, 1862; resigned Jan, 1, 1863
John Buckner, Pvt., Trans. From Co. D.
Henry Burke, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
William H. H. Burkett, Cpt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Wounded Manassas, July 21, 1863
Alexander G. Burns, 2nd Lt., Enl. New Market, 1862
James E. Busbey, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, Died of tuberculosis
Frank M. Bushfield, Sgt., Enl. May 17, 1861
James Buzby, Pvt.
G. E. Calvert
James S. Campbell, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. New Market. Mar. 19, 1862, wounded Swift Run June 1862
William Campbell, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Augustus L. Carpenter, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Sheldon Church, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Benjamin F. Cooper, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 10, 1862
Friend Cox, Jr. (Biography), Pvt., Enl. Camp Harman, Aug. 29, 1861
William A. Cracraft (Biography) & (Biography 2), Pvt., Enl. Camp Fairfax, Nov. 3, 1861
John A. Cummings, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862, wounded Swift Run, June 1862
George W. Darnall, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
William G. Darnell, Pvt., Sgt.
William Darroll, Pvt.
M. Davis, Pvt.
William Davis, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
George F. Decker, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Francis J. Denning, Pvt.
Francis J. Denny, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Bernard J. Dolan, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
W. F. Fainter
George S. Feeney (Biography), Pvt., Enl. Kernstown, Nov. 10, 1861
Stephen J. Fenton, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
John Finley, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Charles H. Fitch, Pvt., Trans. from Co. H, Nov. 21,1864
Theodore Foster, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
James W. Frazier, Pvt., Drafted Rockbridge Militia, April 1, 1863, Died May 7, 1863
Julius C. Frederick, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John J. Fry, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Killed Manassas, July 21, 1861
William Garner, Pvt., Enl. Richmond, Feb. 17, 1864, Died of Measles, July 26, 1864
William Garrell, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
William Gibson, Pvt., Enl. Camp near Fairfax, Oct. 3, 1861
William L. Goudy, Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
William S. Goudy
James Graham, Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Leander B. Greer, Pvt., Cpt., Enl. May 17, 1861, Trans. to Co. D, 36th Cav., April 25 1863
Freeman Hanger, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. Rockbridge, Mar. 18, 1862
George S. Hanger, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
G. N. Hanger, Pvt.
James Harris, Pvt.
James F. Harris, Pvt.
William Harvey, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Henry Lee Heiskell, Pvt., Enl. Camp Stephenson, Dec. 9, 1861
John Helmick, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
James H. Herriott, Cpt., Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Joseph B. Higgins, Pvt. Enl. Rockbridge, Mar. 19, 1862 Trans. from Co. H, Oct. 31, 1864
Thomas Higgs, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, Oct. 7, 1861
John S. Hodge, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Philip J. Huffman, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Watkins Kearns, Pvt., Ord. Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
S. H. Kettlewell, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Thomas F. King, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861; transferred to 36th Va. Cav.
Joseph Labrie, Sgt., Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
John B. Lady, 2nd Lt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John G. Lamb, Pvt., Enl. Richmond, Feb. 17, 1864
William D. Lauck, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Henry A. Ledwick, Pvt., Missing Swift Run, June 1862
Jacob Lincoln, Cpl., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
William D. Lauck (Lock), Pvt.
E. F. Lockbridge, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
William Love, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1862
Henry A. Ludwick, Pvt., Enl. New Market, May 19, 1862
Joseph Ludwick, Pvt., Enl. New Market, May 19, 1862
Henry A. Ludwig, Pvt.
Joseph Ludwig, Pvt.
Lewis Lutz, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Patrick Mahon, Pvt., Enl. May 17, 1861; sick, not mustered in.
George C. Martin, Pvt., Enl. Camp Harman, Aug. 29, 1861
John S. McCabe, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Robert T. McEldowney (Biography), Pvt., Capt., Enl. Wheeling, Sept. 23, 1861; wounded Gettysburg, July 1863; wounded Ft. Steadman, 1865
William M. McMechen, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, wounded Hagerstown; captured at Fisher's Hill, taken to Ft. Delaware, released to Soldiers' Home, June 16, 1865; buried Ferris (Finn's?) Point National Cemetery, N.J.
Thomas Miller, Pvt., Enl. New Market, March 19, 1862
William M. Miller, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Jacob Minton, Pvt.
John W. Mitchell (Biography), Lt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John H. Moyston, First Sgt., Cpl., Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Frank Moyers, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 18, 1861
William H. H. Moyston, Sgt., Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Augustus Nickell, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, Sept. 9, 1861
John L. Orenbaum, Pvt., Enl. New Market, May 18, 1862
Albert Patton, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Charles E. Pemberton, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861 captured stand of colors, Winchester, May 1862
George P. Persinger, Lt., Capt., Enl. Jacksons River, May 10, 1861
Henry H. Peters, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. May 9, 1861, Trans, from Co. E. 1864
William C. Peters, Pvt., Enl. Camp Winder, Mar. 15, 1863
James W. Phares, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John M. Phillips, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Bolivar B. Porter, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
William H. H. Powell, Pvt., Color Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Trans. to Co. D. 36th Cav. Bn.
William H. Quarrier, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, died at Manassas, July 27, 1861
Michael Quinlan, (Biography), Pvt., Enl. Wheeling (Harpers Ferry), May 17, 1861
James Reece, Pvt., Eml. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Stephen J. Reed
Samuel F. Reed, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
James G. Reese, Pvt.
Samuel F. Reid, Pvt.
O. B. Reynolds, Enl. Lexington, 1862; in prison March 25, 1865 to June 17, 1865
Stephen W. (J) Rice, Pvt.
George V. Reilly (Obituary), Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Stephen J. Rice, Pvt. Enl. Winchester, Mar. 1,, 1862
James M. Robertson, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
James S. Robertson, Pvt.
William S. Robertson, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, --- 17, 1861, killed at Cedar Creek, Mar. 1862
William Thomas Robertson, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
John Rogers, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Trans. to Co,. D. 36th Va. Cav. Bn.
John A. Rohan, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Died, Winchester, Dec. 22, 1861
Eli W. Russell, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Victor M. Sauvageot, Pvt., Enl. Camp Harman, Sept. 9, 1861
Michael W. Sheekey, Pvt., Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Mathew R. Sheltman, Pvt., Enl. Rockbridge, July 30, 1862, Trans. from Co., H, Oct. 31, 1864
John Shewey, Pvt.
John B. Shields, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Daniel M. Shriver, Capt., Lt. Col., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861; severely wounded in shoulder and back, Swift run June 1862; resigned Sept. 1863
James C. Shriver, Jr., Pvt. Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, deserted.
S. S. Shriver, Enrolled Virginia Military Institute, Cadet Captain; wounded New Market (Listed per tombstone Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling, W.Va. Does not appear as member of Co. G., 27th Va. Inf. Reg. in either National or Virginia Archives.)
John L. Shuey, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
William H. Simpson, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Archibald Smiley, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 18, 1862; missing Swift Run, June 1862; died at Ft. Delaware; buried in Ferris Point National Cemetery, N.J.
Henry Smith, Pvt., Enl. Camp Harman, Sept. 9, 1861
James F. Snelling, Pvt., Prisoner of War.
William F. Snider, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 18, 1862
Clement L. B. Sutherland, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
William Spears, Pvt., Enl. Lexington, April, 18, 1861; Trans. from Co. H, Oct. 31, 1864
Richard A. Stansberry, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Trans. to Co. D. 36th Va. Cav. Bn., April 25, 1863
John Sweeney, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John C. Sweeney, Pvt., Enl. Harpers Ferry, Apr. 18, 1861
John P. Sweet, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Charles Tapp
John Tierney, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, Released May 4, 1865
Charles Topp, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
John H. Towers, Pvt., Enl. Harpers Ferry, May, 17, 1861
Andrew D. Tribbet, Pvt., Cpl., Enl. Lexington, July 15, 1861
Solomon Voltz (Biography), Cpl., Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Thomas Walter, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862, killed Swift Run June 1862 near Port Republic
Adam Weeks, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
Ephrain O. Wells, Pvt., Enl. Camp Harman, Aug. 29, 1861
George P. Wilson, Sgt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861, killed at Manassas, June 21, 1861
John A. Womeldorf, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862
George W. Wright, Pvt., Enl. New Market, Mar. 19, 1862, died July 1, 1864
Mordecai, Yarnall, Pvt., Lt., Enl. near Fairfax, Oct. 3, 1861, Paroled, Mar. 9, 1865
Lewis Yost, Pvt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861
Edwin G. Zane, Sgt., Lt., Enl. Wheeling, May 17, 1861

(Roster typed by Phyllis Dye Slater.)

Compiled from National Archives records, West Virginia Archives with additions from Virginia Archives. Some names may be duplicated due to spelling and legibility of handwritten records.

Read Paul Burig's Lecture about The Shriver Family.


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