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Pendleton County, WV

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The Murder of Rev. Ambrose Meadows

The Sons ofthe Confederate Veterans have placed a marker at the location of the murder of Rev. Ambrose Meadows, a local preacher of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Union forces had threatened to burn homes of anyone who cut the telegraph lines. However, Confederate soldiers cut the lines. Meadows, having heard of the cutting and being of Union sympathy, went to General Milroy to convince him that local citizens had not cut the lines. On returning home with a Union escort, Confederate soldiers, under the command of Captain Boggs, attacked the escort. One Union soldier was killed and others made a beeline to headquarters to tell of the attack. A large party returned to the home and tried to get Meadows to admit to cutting the telegraph lines. They carried Mrs. Meadows and her young baby and twin daughters into the yard. Union soldiers then set fire to the home and every building on the premises. Soldiers were taking Meadows to throw him into the fire when, in the struggle, he was shot. They also ran their bayonets through him (see Rev. Meadows).

First Raid into Pendleton County

In March 1862, Union troops, numbering 800 to 900 strong, made their first invasion into Pendleton County. They came by way of Harman and went into camp at Mouth ofSeneca. A Lutheran Church, located near the Mouth of Seneca, was converted into a barracks and re-christened "Camp Luther." Here, Captain Joseph H. Lantz's Company of Virginia Militia was quartered to guard this pass across Allegheny Mountain. Being greatly outnumbered the company fled, but several were captured including Captain Lantz (see Camp Luther).

The next day, March 2, 1862, about 40 Union troops under the command of a Lieutenant moved up the North Fork Valley. They were to capture the Dixie Boys, a group of Confederate guerillas and a company of cavalry stationed in Germany Valley. When they reached Hinkle Gap, east of Riverton, they encountered the Dixie Boys and two small detachments of Confederate cavalry known as the Charlotte Cavalry and the Rockbridge Cavalry. The Dixie Boys opened fire from the mountainside, and the fight was on (see Battle of Riverton). The cavalry retreated toward Franklin by Horse Ridge and the Dolly Path. This forced the Dixie Boys and a few militia to retreat. Thomas Powers of the Dixie Boys and Perry Bland of Lantz's Company were killed. The Union troops soon withdrew, leaving Pendleton with its first taste of war.

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