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Newspaper Archive of
The Preston County Journal
Kingwood, West Virginia
June 22, 2011     The Preston County Journal
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June 22, 2011
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She also picked up stones, sticks and firewood and tossed it at them. Mrs. Humphreys finally rescued Oliver from the group soldiers, and no sooner than he was free from their grasp, she again placed him on the horse with directions to see Colonel Por- terfield and warn his men of the advance of the Union troops. For the second time the young messenger of war was dropped from the saddle, and Mrs. Hum-" phreys attacked the soldiers again. "Down with you oppressors! God bless the South!" the wom- an shrieked these words in a loud voice and a moment later drew a revolver from her blouse and fired directly at the group of Federalists. The ball missed its intended targets, but the report of the gunshot had its effect. Several of the Union men raised their guns to shoot back in self-defense and would have done so, if one the Union offi- cers hadn't stopped them. This gave Mrs. Humphreys and her son, Oliver, in the all the confu- sion, enough time to escape into the house and lock the doors. The Union Battery Command- er took the gunshot as the signal to begin firing and commenced doing so around 4:20 a.m., 10 minutes earlier than planned. Once the batter fired, with its loud noise, everyone was awak- ened and warned the enemy was near. Union Colonel Robert Milroy, who was supposed to cut off the rebel retreat, was de- layed 30 or 40 minutes because he took the wrong road, this was the miracle needed to allow the Confederates time to escape. A s St,ei] ab0ve, te atk wal 7 ade ;few minutes td NS and prematurely brought, about the battler, which would have been a Union rout and complete capture of Porterfield's army if not for the discharge of a gun. It was this mistaken signal - a pistol shot fired by Mrs. Matilda i- Buying ilunk Cars, Buying junk cars & hauling away Call 892-4490 or 457-1806 698-8419 (Terra Alta area) JC Auto. Salvage 24 john Prin Wrecker (304) 789-6047 & Rollback Services or (304) 698-8419 PHILIPPI JAMES EDWARD HANGER Part 3 Humphreys, that saved the day for the Southern boys and al- lowed them to escape. STRUCK BY A CANNONBALL The Confederate camp was located in the valley below. The cavalry was located in the lower end of town, near where the old B&O freight depot once stood. the infantry were stationed in the old Masonic building and other structures in town. The heavy firing of the cannon last- ed for about a half an hour. The newest enlistee, James E. Hanger, had been placed on patrol guard duty near the barn and when the noise of the can- non being fired on Talbott Hill alerted him, he went to the barn to get his horse. The first two cannon shots were canister 'and were aimed at the tents of the Upshur Greys lined up on the town commons. The first round sheared off the tops of a row of tents. The third shot was a 6 pound solid shot aimed at Garrett Johnson's stable in which the Churchville Cavalry had slept. The shot struck the ground, then ricocheted upward wand entered the stable, strik- ing young Harper as he tried to get his horse out. He had enlist- ed only a day earlier. After the cannon ball Struck the leg of young James, it passed through six thicknesses of two and a half inch oak plank stall partitions and partially penetrated the seventh. There its momentum was exhausted and the ball fell in the stall; but after striking the door post, it had glanced upward, and struck the last partition six or seven inches higher than where it first 2# Eour Service " 7 Dqys A Week Terra Alta & Surrounding Areas Wrecker, Wheel-Lift John Pritt & Rollback Services Fully Insured (304) 789-6047 Fast Response or (304) 698-8419 struck the stable. Hanger stated he had passed the previous night in the loft Garrett Johnson's barn with his brother and some of his friends and' was roused early in the morning by the firing. While trying to escape by horse from the stable, he was shot in the left leg. Realizing the severity of the injury, James sat down on a box, partially disrobed and used his linen to dress the wound. Then hobbling to the door, he saw several Union soldiers coming his way. Fearing that he might be shot, James climbed the lad- der and hid in the hay loft. Af- ter a period of time, he crawled back to the top of the ladder and fainted from exhaustion and loss of blood, on regaining con- sciousness, he heard soldiers below and called out for help. After the battle of Philippi, a number of Union soldiers from the 16th Ohio Volunteer Infan- try started for the Johnson barn to lie down, rest and search for plunder. About 4 hours after he had been wounded, soldiers upon entering the barn heard cries for help coming from the hayloft. G.W. Swartz, a soldier from Wooster, Ohio, climbed up the mow and discovered the appeal came from James E. Hanger. Dr. James D. Robison, also of the 16th Ohio Volunteer In- fantry, was then called for and it was soon discovered that he had a very dangerously wound- ed man, and whatever could be done to save his life had to be done at once. He had been greatly weakened by loss of blood. The leg had been shot off below the knee and Hanger was informed that to save his life it would be necessary to amputate it above the knee. The wounded leg was only hanging by a small part of skin. 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FRANK CARY Wednesday, June 22, 2011-Kingwood, WV-PRESTON COUNTY JOURNAL-3 of its hinges and carrying it to the loft, here young James was placed upon it and the opera- tion was performed without an- esthesia or little preparation by Dr. Robison. The leg had been removed seven inches below the hip bone. It took about 45 minutes to complete the sur- gery and construct a proper flap of the remaining skin over the stump. Later some heartless soldiers were seen viewing the removed leg by turning it' over with a pitchfork. The next day, Dr. Robison was forced to go to Grafton to attend to the severely wounded Colo- nel Benjamin E Kelley. Hanger was then placed in charge of Dr. George A. new, of the Seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer In- fantry. Dr. New had assisted Dr. Robison in the operation and dressed the leg after the surgery. Later he visited Hanger while he was staying at the Hire home and dressed the leg again until it was nearly healed. A witness to the surgery, J.L. Millikan saw and held the cannon ball that shattered Hanger's leg in his hands. He heard one of the sol- diers say he was going to keep it as a memory of the battle, but didn't know what became of it. Somehow it came into the pos- session of Hanger, who admit- ted years later he had it. After the surgery James was moved to the Philippi Method- ist Episcopal Church, which had been converted to a hospital and from here he was then tak- en to the home of Mrs. William Driveways. Patch Work Seal Coating Free Estimates All Work Guaranteed Over 25 Years Experience Church, Senior & Veteran Discounts I Oo Spring Discount ILicensed & Insured , [References Available Ice, Now! 30allm38 |WV#014237 Union soliders above Philippi and Cherry Hill Farm. McClaskey, a Southern sympa- ing that Hanger made his first thizer, where she cared for him. artificial leg, which he said was William McClaskey was at this mainly made of barrel staves. time in partnership with J.N.B. Cherry Hill served as a hospital Crum. Together they ran a gen- for much of the Civil War. Once eral store under the firm name of the McClaskeys were allowed McClaskey & Crum. Her chil- dren were Martha, Anna', Ella, Rebecca and later Eva, Rose, Isabella, Charles and Robert. When the McClaskeys had to vacate their home after Union forces took over the town, Hanger was taken to Cherry Hill Farm, home of Thomas Hire, who was living in the country in a brick house which later was known as the "Woodbine Farm," home of Lloyd Burner. It was here, while he was convalesc- to return to Philippi, format he home of Barbara Zinn, Hanger once again stayed with them for a while. William McClas- key was a Union prisoner at this time. After this, he was escorted to the Union prison camp at Camp Chase, in Columbus, Ohio, as a prisoner of war, and shortly thereafter was exchanged at Norfolk, Virginia, in late Au- gust of 1896 and returned to his home near Staunton. INSURANCE CENTERS INC. 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