The following letter from John Adams dated October 5, 1863 at Ceredo, WV to Governor Arthur I. Boreman offers insight into war conditions in Wayne County, WV.
Oct. 5, 1863
Rebel Capt. Bill Smith with about 175 men made a raid into Wayne Co. this last summer with the avowed purpose of pressing horses. He passed thro our Co. one way & returned another, coming entirely to the Ohio River. He took all the horses he could from the Union men, even those that were very old & poor. But at the premises of Secessionists, he posted guards. The facts now are the Secessionists ride about the county on their good horses & the Union people walk! They deride our new State & Government, never vote, but secretly assist all rebel raids. They can stay & live at home securely while our Union people hide about where they can. As the case is now in our Co. the Secessionists are secure on their farms, secure their crops, ride good horses, make money & in fact appear to be Lords of this Country. How long do you think the Union men here will endure this state of affairs? They are beginning to think that the Rebels ought to have different rights to what they now enjoy in the Co. We want all Rebels & their assistants hung or Sent out of our Co. never to return. Please write to us. I remain yours.
Source: West Virginia Adjutant Generals’ Papers, Union Militia 1861-1865, Ar 373, Box 28, Wayne County, Folder 2. Located at WV State Archives, The Culture Center, Charleston, WV.