General Kelley, page 5
close, and vigilance on the Upper Potomac was relaxed, an audacious little band of rebel guerillas under Capt. O'Neill made a night dash into Cumberland. They dragged General Crook and General Kelley out of bed and carried them off, . . . "all in the twinkling of an eye". The plan was laid by one of the guerillas, Jim Dailey, a harum-scarum fellow, who was Crook's brother-in-law. Crook had married Mary Dailey, a pretty Irish girl, out of a rebel family at Oakland, the daughter of John Dailey, proprietor of the Glades Hotel. Her brother Jim thought it would be a very smart thing to capture Gen. Crook. But the guerillas took Kelley along too.
They were taken to Richmond by way of the Shenandoah Valley, as prisoners of war. On reaching Staunton, the distinguished prisoners were conducted to the Headquarters of General Early. The great rebel leader received them very hospitably. He regretted that the fortunes of war made it necessary for him to regard them as prisoners rather than as guests. The he said to Kelley:
"I intended to have had the pleasure myself of capturing you and your supply-train at Hedgesville, but you mysteriously gave me the slip, and you didn't leave a cracker behind. My army went without breakfast that morning, sir. I had estimated that it would be a fair morning's work before breakfast to take you, and we had depended on your supplies."
To this pleasantry General Kelley replied: "There might have been enough supplies to go around when you had finished that part of the morning's work--but fortunately you did not get started in time."
When General Lee heard the story of the kidnapping of Kelley and Crook, he ordered their release with safe-conduct to the Federal lines. He sent his regrets to the two officers with assurance that he did not believe in guerilla warfare, and that he did not sanction the act of Capt. O'Neill. This was one of Gen. Lee's magnanimous acts which should live in history as an element in the fame of a great soldier.
General Kelley's body was laid, by his own request, next to the grave of his comrade-in-arms General Crook, in the great soldier's cemetery at Arlington, once the home of the Lees and Custises.
Editor's Note: "Swan's Meadow," a seven hundred acre farm in the Gortner district, including the home of General Kelley was purchased by S. J. Lichty in 1901. Mr. Lichty built an additional home in 1907. In this house lives Ross and Mary Lichty; in the General Kelley house lives the family of Daniel Lichty. When the General retired here he brought with him some of his old battle horses to till the soil.
From Fannie Ward Hinebaugh's Scrapbook
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
United States--History--Civil War
Maryland, West Virginia, 1862-1865