Partisan Raid

Partisan Raid (HM1ECP)

Location: Ripley, WV 25271 Jackson County
Buy West Virginia State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 38° 49.152', W 81° 42.715'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Ripley Post Office

During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate supporters formed guerrilla bands. Each government denounced the other side's partisans as bushwhackers or common thieves but gave those on their own side an official military designation as cover. When Capt. George Downs, of Calhoun County, formed the Moccasin Rangers, for example the Confederate government designated the unit the 19th Virginia Cavalry.

On December 19, 1861, the Rangers raided Ripley. Union Lt. Owen G. Chase, 9th (West) Virginia Infantry who was in town that day recruiting for Federal forces had disarmed the residents and locked the weapons in the jail. He probably suspected many of the townspeople of being Confederate sympathizers. Chase then marched his recruits west of town.

That evening, Pvt. Daniel Duskey and twelve other Rangers came into Ripley, took the arms from the jail, looted J.L. Armstrong's store, and robbed local residents. When Postmaster John J. Wetzel refused to unlock the post office door, Duskey retorted that he had a key to unlock any door and kicked it down. The Rangers took everything of value, including all of Wetzel's clothing except what he was wearing.

Duskey and Jacob Varner, another Ranger, were captured a few weeks later. They were convicted of robbery as civilians, since the government did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rangers, and were confined in Albany N.Y. On November 25, 1862, Confederates captured Union Capt. William Gramm and Lt. Isaac A. Wade near Charleston and then held them in Richmond. President Abraham Lincoln pardoned Duskey and Varner on June 13, 1863, so that they could be exchanged for the officers.

"As the Judge, Jury, Marshal, District Attorney and Post Master General join in asking a pardon in this case, I have concluded to grant it. The Attorney General will please make it out & send it to me." —President Abraham Lincoln.

(upper left) Capt.George Downs Courtesy Ken Connell
(center bottom) Gov. Arthur I. Boreman visiting Duskey in prison in Wheeling Courtesy West Virginia State Archives
(lower right) Lincoln's pardon Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 25th, 2014 at 12:35pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 438196 N 4296954
Decimal Degrees38.81920000, -81.71191667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 49.152', W 81° 42.715'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 49' 9.12" N, 81° 42' 42.90" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-198 Court St N, Ripley WV 25271, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What historical period does the marker represent?
  2. What historical place does the marker represent?
  3. What type of marker is it?
  4. What class is the marker?
  5. What style is the marker?
  6. Does the marker have a number?
  7. What year was the marker erected?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?