Hardesty's History of Wirt County

STATE TROOPS


[The publishers of this history are indebted to F. T. Lockhart, Esq.,
Clerk of Wirt County Court, for the war record contained herein.]

Under an act of the legislature of West Virginia, the governor 
was empowered to organize companies of twenty-five men in certain 
counties of the State for the protection of the people, and to assist 
the officers of the law in the enforcement of the same. Some time 
in July, 1863, Governor Bowman issued to Geo. W. Vaught a 
commission as captain of such a company for the county of Wirt, 
and authorized him to enlist the necessary number of persons, 
twenty-five.

The company was speedily organized, and being formally 
mustered into service, were at once armed, uniformed and
equipped. The company, being in the State service, was not 
required to go outside of the county. The arms were furnished 
by the State, and the other equipments, including uniforms and 
the rations, were furnished by the United States upon the
requisition of the quartermaster general of West Virginia, the
States having arranged with the government so to do, and after
the war ended the government reimbursed West Virginia for
all she had thus paid out for defending her citizens.  The pay of 
the captains of these companies was $50 per month, and the enlisted
men received the same wages as volunteers in the United States 
army, and the same uniform and the same rations. The term of 
enlistment was for one year.

The company here referred to was organized at Wirt Court 
House West Virginia, and its headquarters remained there until 
some time in May, 1864, when it moved to Burning Springs in the 
county, and remained there something like two or three months, 
when it returned to Wirt Court House.

Some time in February, 1864, Capt. Vaught, to use his own 
language, "throwed up his resignation," which was of course 
accepted, and H. S. Burns was appointed his successor. Capt.
Burns served out the remainder of the year, and then the company
was disbanded. Not long afterwards it was reorganized, with
Wm. F. Pell as captain. The company remained at Wirt Court
House, eating and sleeping and resting contentedly until the early 
spring of 1865, when a squad of rebs surprised them one dark
and stormy night, and captured nearly all of them. The rebs
gave the boys a pretty bad scare, but did not hurt any of them.
Of course this little episode finally wound up the career of useful-
ness of this little company, and it never mustered again.

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