Centennial Times - April 26, 1862 - WV may annex Berkley & Jefferson Counties,
April 26, 1862
West Virginia May Annex Jefferson, Berkeley Counties
Envoys from the new state of West Virginia at Wheeling have visited Martinsburg, Harper’s Ferry and Charles Town. They are considering annexing Jefferson and Berkeley Counties to the new state.
An opponent of this move is H. W. Crowthers, who has written to Governor F. H. Pierpont at Wheeling:
“This (county) is the worst Secession Hole that I have been in although we found a few good Union Men, the masses — men, women and children — are rampant rebels. The women spit on the soldiers as they pass head- quarters. My opinion is that we are a few weeks too soon for this county These people are not ripe for the Division (of Virginia) and that thing has done the reorganized government more harm than you can conceive of.”
On the other hand, Daniel Young, the former master machinist at Hall’s Works who defied John Brown’s raiders, now back in Harper’s Ferry as ordnance officer for the Federal Army, wrote to Pierpont urging the county be allowed to vote on secession. He promised a favorable vote among the Unionists he knew personally.
If Jefferson County is joined to the new state, it will mean that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, from Baltimore to the Ohio, will pass through officially Union Territory.
The first “through” passenger train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad since May, 1861, passed over tile line from Baltimore to Wheeling on the first of April. Heavy damage was caused by the Confederates last year and the line has been under repair for the past several months. Several bridges have had to be repaired or rebuilt and miles of track relaid. The repairs were officially completed on March 29 and the next day an estimated 3800 freight cars passed over the bridge here.
The U. S. War Department issued an order on April 21 restoring the property of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which has been taken over by the government, back to the canal company.
The designers and engineers of the B. & 0. Railroad report that they will commence the erection of an iron bridge over the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry. The structure is to be of a highly ornamental, as well as permanent, pattern, and will cost about $250,000. The piers of the present structure will be raised five feet to place them above any danger of future freshets.
The first “through” passenger train on April 1 consisted of a handsome locomotive and several new and commodious cars. The arrival of the train at Wheeling was celebrated with a 100-gun salute.
A “rebel” court was deposed in Martinsburg on April 16.
This was the date fixed by both the former and Rebel constitutions for the convening of the court of Berkeley County. At the appointed hour, the Rebel sheriff entered the Court House and was about to ring the bell, summoning the late Rebel judge - J. B. Nadensbousch to his seat when Thomas Noakes, a well-known citizen of Union sympathies, seized the sheriff by the arm.
Noakes told the sheriff that “no Rebel court will hereafter convene in Berkeley County without passing over my dead body.”
The court did not convene. Under direction of Major C. M. Walker, commander of the Tenth Maine Regiment of Volunteers and Provost Marshall of Martinsburg, three Union magistrates were selected by loyal citizens.
Used with permission of the Herald-Mail
April 26, 1862
59 x 33 cms
Washington County (Md.), history; Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862; Sharpsburg, Battle of, Md., 1862; Centennial celebrations, etc:
Washington County (Md.), 1860-1862