January 27, 1927
Lee made his main camp on the Seneca Trail twenty miles north of Marlinton. All the histories say that he rested on Valley Mountain. That is true, in part, for that was the pass that his forefront watched, but his main camp was south of the pass through Middle Mountain, the next mountain south of Valley Mountain, and the signs there today show the greatest amount of work.
The two armies faced each other on the pike for upwards of two months both waiting to give battle.
Speaking about green troops, many years after the war, some city men came to this county to hunt and were the guests of one of the leading men of the county at his plantation. The topic of the war came up and something brought to mind the 808th Virginia Regiment. One of the city men told a tale: “Headquarters sent an inspector to report on the 808th and 809th regiments. The letter that he got said that headquarters had heard that the 808th and 809th were nothing but bands of organized horse thieves. Investigate and report. The inspector replied that he had looked them over and that the report was not exactly correct. That the 808th was an organized gang of horse thieves, but that the 809th was an unorganized gang of horse thieves.”
A glimmer of a smile appeared on the face of one or two in the room but as for the host, fierce he broke forth: “It’s a damned lie. I belonged to the 809th!” And it was one of the most embarrassing moments the witty man ever knew.
But there were not many mountain men in the armies. Henry A. Wise of the Horse Pistol wrote from Bunger Mill, four miles west of Lewisburg, August 1, 1861, that West Virginia was gone, so far as the Confederacy was concerned, and that the people of the western waters were submitting, debased and subdued in the belief that the Confederacy could never retake the northwestern part of the State, and that he had fallen back from Kanawha not a minute too soon.
The most of the troops who honored this county with their presence that summer were lowlanders from the cotton country and that is why the mountain got them.
Valley Mountain, as soon as it crosses the turnpike and commences to tower in the air, is called Cheat Mountain, and it is as bold a rampart as is to be found in the State. It curves around away from the pass like a horseshoe and the eastern side is Back Alleghany, and the side that looks down on Elkwater and Huttonsville is Cheat. In this horseshoe, the main fork of Cheat River heads, and by the time it gets to where the Staunton and Parkersburg Road crosses it, about twenty miles in an air line, it is a considerable stream. Up against the outer rim of the horseshoe, the Ohio River heads as the Tygarts Valley River.
Lee must have felt that summer that he was biting on granite. Sickness in the camp, and nothing going right. He planned to attack the fortification at Elkwater about the middle of September. The army at Bartow was to cross the wilderness and fall in behind the forces at White’s Top on the pike, and while a part of the troops held the army on White’s Top, the rest would drop down into Tygarts Valley and march up stream and attack the fortification in the rear, while Lee marched down stream and gave them what-for in the front.
Never was a battle better planned and never was one worse executed, but to one who knows what the spruce woods on top of Cheat are like, it is apparent that Lee could not have known the character of the country, or he would not have required it of them.
To be continued…
Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County ~ 1901
By William T. Price
William Moore was the youngest son of Moses Moore. It is believed by some that the place of his birth, which occurred September 18, 1784, was near the McClintic Mill on Swago. The locality was indicated quite recently by some apple trees of great age. His youth and early manhood were passed on Knapps Creek. After his marriage to Christine Dods, of Rockbridge County, he lived for a time near Timber Ridge in that county, and then settled permanently on Hazel Ridge, on lands now owned by Lee Carter and Anderson Barlow, between one and two miles west of Edray.
Their family consisted of three sons and two daughters: James Elliot, Addison, Alexander, Margaret and Jane.
Margaret Moore was married to Colonel John W. Ruckman, and lived near Millpoint…
Jennie Moore married Captain William D. Hefner. Captain Hefner and his eldest son, Franklin, fell in the battle of Lewisburg. Mrs. Hefner lives in Kansas…
Alexander Moore first married Mary Bradshaw near Huntersville, and settled on the homestead. His second marriage was with Mary Duffield, and they went to Kansas…
Addison Moore, after his marriage with Elizabeth Hannah on Elk, settled on Hazel Ridge, where he lived for many years, went to Iowa, then returned, and died at an advanced age at the home of his son, William Allen Moore, of Huttonsville, a few years since.
James E. Moore was married three times. His first wife was Margaret Sutton… Second wife was Mary Burr… Third wife was Luemma, daughter of Samuel Harper on Knapps Creek…
The few persons now remaining that remember William Moore – Uncle Billy as he was called by everybody – speak of him as the kindest of persons to everyone. He and Mrs. Moore built up a very attractive home and reared a nice family. This home became widely known for open handed hospitality…