This news comes to us from spring, 1861.
The familiar names?
To those living in the southwestern part of Southwest Virginia, the names are more than familiar. From Contested Borderland, by Brian D. McKnight, quoting from correspondence written at the time, by one W.H. Wampler, new recruit to the Stars and Bars:
The spring of 1861 "opend with grate escitement. There was nothing but ware [war] talked about. the noose [news] papers were full of ware [war] noose [news] and evrybody could see that the war was coming." He added, "it was the conversation in the home and at all the public gatherings and when you went to church it was war all the time. The people met and prayed for peace but the rumors grew stronger evry day." In spring, 1861 Wise County sent one company to the Confederacy. Shortly thereafter, recruiting began for another. Wampler described the scene:Kilgore and Wampler. Where have we heard those two names before?
"so they appointed a day when they wowld [would] meet and call for volunteers they met at Bigstone Gap evry body was on hand old and yowng some one made a speach and kindeled the martial fire in the boys so they unfurled the flag and floted it in the air a few times and unkel Rafus Kilgore commenced beating the raley [rally] on his old war drum and some one led the way and showted fall in boys so there was not a yowng man left but what had marched under the flag I went in with the rest of the boys."
From Big Stone Gap, the new company "went to Wise court house and commenced to drilling and preparing for the grate strugel of war."
- - -
* Contested Borderland, page 33.
** McKnight, an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, tells us that Wampler would "later serve as superintendent of schools and become a locally famous minister in Wise County, Virginia."
*** Grammar and syntax in the original.
**** It's unclear whether Kilgore and his company from Wise joined a regular Confederate regiment or one of the "home guards" units that sprang up early in the war that proved to be cumbersome - at times annoying - to the South's war effort. I have emails out.
***** There is no mention of a W.H. Wampler in the official Confederate pension records.