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Clay Cook McDonald Pach Smoot Walker Workman

Memoranda on arrest of William Workman, Boone Virginia. 1862.

William Workman.-Aged forty; born in Boone and now lives there. Says no great division in his county on the Union and secession question until recently. Some men in his neighborhood made a stir, six or seven gathered together, filled a part of the road; never heard of a fortification until he was brought out; saw it then about two miles from where the road was obstructed. He says he has not been to Kanawha; has been to Peytona. Says after Boone Court-House was burned Mrs. Smoot wished him to get her husband released from confinement as a prisoner taken by the Federals at Boone Court-House. Says he went to Peytona, where he saw a captain of the Federal army, who went to Charleston and informed him on his return Smoot would be exchanged. Says afterward he heard Smoot and Miller, who was taken with him, had got back and he left home to see if he could do anything for them. He went over to Coal and turned up a small creek to get his breakfast. After breakfast he saw two companies of the Federal troops passing down the road and the cavalry was immediately behind them. He galloped on and saw Augustus Pach, who had been taken prisoner by them with his cattle. Some salutations passed and he told Pach the cavalry would be on him in a minute. He galloped on and went to Peytona. He says the Federals did not go to Peytona. Declares he does not know what became of the troops engaged in the battles. Says he saw some at Peytona who might have been there. Says the Federal troops he passed when Pach was released were all strangers to him. Says he returned from Peytona home Friday morning and was arrested on Sunday morning at home. States there were men passing through the neighborhood not belonging to either army who would press horses in the name of the army and take them for their own use. To put down these thieves and protect their property he says a company was formed in the neighborhood to which he belonged. Says his brothers, Floyd Cook, four Gunnoes, William Walker and others belonged to it. This man's examination impressed me with the belief he was a very cautious and cunning man; but his account of himself was very confused and unsatisfactory. I examined Mr. McDonald, who states he has no personal knowledge of Workman's conduct since the secession question arose, but says immediately after General Wise withdrew from the Kanawlia River it was generally believed Workman had gone to Kanawha and opened communications with the Federalists. The neighborhood was an unsound one. A company was formed there that placed obstructions in the road, fortified themselves on the head of Coal River and threatened to burn the town of Oceana. They took prisoners two of the militia scouts sent out to ascertain the state of things; took them inside of their breast-works and swore them. The scouts were Morris Cook and Henry Clay. One of these scouts professed to be a Union man and learned they expected the arrival of a regiment of Union men and that Workman had gone after them. I think this man ought not to be discharged, but if on further inquiry the evidence of Pach and the scouts can be obtained he should be brought to trial in the C. S. court at Wythe, or in county of Wyoming, Va.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 2, pg. 1450

Related documents:
Memoranda on James Morris Fayette, Virginia circa 1862.

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