Narrative of the Service of Col. Porterfield. 83
ordered to Grafton, Virginia, to receive into the service of the State, from the northwestern counties, such volunteers as might offer their services for the defence of that section.
By reference to Volume II, Series i, Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, it will be seen that Alonzo Loring, of Wheeling, David Goff, of Beverley, and F. M. Boykin, of Weston, had been commissioned as field-officers by the Governor of Virginia and as- signed to duty in the northwestern part of this State, with written instructions from General R. E. Lee prior to my assignment thereto. I would call attention to the instructions given these gentlemen, especially those to Major Boykin, in regard to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Major Loring had served in the Mexican war, been sheriff of Ohio county, and was a gentleman of influence in the city of Wheeling. Major Goff was a leading citizen of Beverley and the county of Randolph. Major Boykin was a native of eastern Vir- ginia, a graduate of the military institute, and at that time a citizen of Weston. These officers were all paralyzed in their action, and completely silenced by the predominance of the Union sentiment in that part of the State of which they were residents. I neither saw nor had a line from either of them after my arrival at Grafton. Major Loring remained a quiet citizen in Wheeling. Major Goff the same in Beverley. Major Boykin left western Virginia and went to the east before my arrival. I had been informed that they would co-operate with me, and had expected to find them at iheir posts with some force already organized. On the contrary, upon my arrival I found myself alone in a county hostile to the South, without an officer of any experience to help me, then or afterwards; without money or sup- plies of any kind, or the means of getting anything to aid in organ- izing a military force. My letters to Colonel R. S. Garnett of May 1 4th and i6th, will show what progress had been made at those dates.
The extent of the Union feeling may be ascertained by reference to the letters of General R. Latham to Hon. Simon Cameron, Secre- tary of War, dated May 8th, and Major Boykin to General Lee, May 10, 1861. Whilst one of my first companies was rendezvoused at Fetterman, about a mile north of Grafton, on the night of May 22d it was attacked by a Union party from Grafton, and in an affair oi the pickets Bailey Brown of the Union party was killed. This was on the 22d of May. He was, perhaps, the first victim of the war in Virginia. And yet the Richmond authorities would not believe the fact that from two-thirds to three-fourths of the population of the