Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Friday, Oct. 25, 1861

The 8th Ohio, of which young Sgt. Thomas Francis Galwey is a member, captures Mechanicsburg in western Virginia, then Romney. (Romney is located in the extreme northeast of West Virginia, not far from Harpers Ferry.) Joining the 8th Ohio is the 4th Ohio and three regiments of loyalist western Virginia infantry, as well as the Ringgold Cavalry from Pennsylvania.

The people of Romney can be excused for growing exceedingly weary of the war. The little town will trade hands dozens of times during the conflict, and the local citizens will tire of trying to adjust to a change of authority every few months or oftener.

After this, the 5th Ohio will occupy Romney for a time, but soon it will revert to the Confederates, only to be retaken by Union forces, and so on, for the rest of the war.

Making up for lost time while he was in a meeting at Western Department headquarters in St. Louis, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant writes seven letters, including one to sister Mary. “I write in great haste having been engaged all evening in writing orders, and still having more to do,” he explains. Among his other concerns: modifying 4,000 foreign muskets "to make them serviceable," weighing a report that a regiment of cavalry is being organized in nearby Kentucky, and the need to congratulate the commanders who were victorious in the recent engagement at Fredericktown.

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