Bob-n-Along, Feb. 10, 1999
Where did the Philippi Races get its name?
Today I'd like to make brief mention of an event in the rich history
of Barbour County -the Battle of Philippi, one of the first events of the
War Between the States.
Using as my reference the book "Milestones - A Pictorial
History of Philippi, West Virginia, 1844-1994," written by Jane K. Mattaliano,
with assistance from Lois G. Omonde. The skirmish occurred on June 3, 1861.
The excerpt follows:
"In 1861, the beginning of hostilities between the
Federal and Confederate governments sharply divided the residents of western
Virginia. Neighbors and even families in Philippi and Barbour County took
sides to espouse the causes of secession and non-secession."
"On May 28, Colonel George Porterfield and his Confederate
troops, or 'secessionists,' arrived in Philippi, where they camped on the
riverbank or were quartered in the courthouse or private residences.
Although the estimated numbers of these troops vary (from 750 to 2,000,
depending on which account is read), there is unanimous agreement
that they were poorly trained and equipped."
"At daylight on June 3, after an all-night
march from Grafton, two columns of Union forces, under the command of Colonel
Ebenezer Dumont and Colonel Benjamin Kelley, surprised the Confederates
who retreated toward Beverly. A combination of exhaustion of the troops,
weather conditions and a premature alarm prevented the capture of the Confederates,
whose hasty retreat gave the fray the title -The Philippi Races."
"Casualties were few: a chest wound to Colonel Kelley
was the only Union one, with two wounded Confederates, including young
J.E. Hanger, whose leg was amputated, making him the first amputee of the
Civil War. Despite its minor nature, the skirmish gained the title of the
first land battle of the Civil War."
That designation, 'Philippi, W.Va., Scene of First
Land Battle of Civil War,' appears on the famous Philippi Covered Bridge,
which crosses the Tygart Valley River. Persons interested in Mrs. Mattaliano's
book may contact her or personnel at the Philippi Municipal Building.
I've received at least two phone calls from
Bassel Hamrick and James Eakle, the contributors about the photograph
that appeared under the heading 'A Look Back in Time,' a feature that runs
daily on Page A2 of the Telegram.
Somehow, the picture was inadvertently flip-flopped and it appeared
as a mirror image of the actual scene. To clear things up, we plan
to re-run the photo on Monday, March 1, as it should appear. My apologies
to anyone I may have totally confused.
And ... an announcement. Richard Iaquinta of the
Washington Irving High School Class of 1964 has asked me to announce that
there will be another planning meeting for the WI Classes of 1963 and 1964
at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, at Robert C. Byrd High School, off W.Va. Route
98 in Clarksburg.
Anyone with additional addresses of 'lost' '63 or '64 classmates is
asked to bring that information to the meeting.
As a final note, Robert Copeland may have conveyed
a philosophy of mine best of all: "To get something done, a committee should
consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent."
Another column Friday.
BobnAlong, Feb. 10, 1999
Exponent Editorial Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1999
An export we really don't need or want
The City of New York is planning a major exporting
program in the next few years and West Virginia has joined four other states
in saying we don't want any. The export is municipal trash. The possible
recipients are West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
All five states made it abundantly clear to the city's mayor that his plan
is "an unacceptable policy."
Environmental officials from the five states sent
Mayor Rudy Giuliani a bluntly worded missive, saying his plan to ship 12,900
tons of trash out of state every day is 'unfortunate' and he should look
His honor announced recently that when the city's
Fresh Kills landfill closes in 2001, the Big Apple will be sending 3,900
tons of trash per day from Brooklyn, 2,600 tons a day from Manhattan and
6,400 tons daily from the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. And that's just
the residential trash. The plan also includes 4,000 tons of commercial
trash from office buildings and apartment complexes.
Here's Giuliani's rationale for shipping the city's
trash to other states: New York City, he says, is the cultural and financial
center of the world and greatly benefits all Americans. That's why we should
gladly accept their trash. And to think some people are touting this goofball
for president in 2000.
Virginia is likely to be the state to suffer the
most from the mayor's plan because it is already doing a lot of business
with the city. At present, about 1,700 tons of garbage are sent from the
Bronx by truck or rail to landfills in Virginia. After 2001, they could
be getting a lot more.
Pennsylvania's governor has proposed a three-year
freeze on permits for new landfills and caps on landfill capacity. For
West Virginians who have been dealing with this issue in the last decade,
that sounds awfully familiar. What the governor may find out is that certain
proposals don't pass muster in the courts. A lot of measures to stem the
flow of out-of-state trash are considered violations of interstate commerce.
And the mayor of New York knows that.
We can only hope that Mr. Giuliani can be persuaded
to come up with another plan for his trash. If not, he says he won't send
it to a community that doesn't want it. With that in mind we should let
him know, in no uncertain terms, that we don't want his trash. Not now.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial
board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser,
James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
Telegram Editorial, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1999
City of Grafton shows foresight in looking toward
Grafton is a city looking to the year 2000. City
Council voted last week to buy two new electrical generators for city hall
and city water pump stations - just in case computer-related problems appear
when year 1999 rolls over to year 2000.
We don't believe the world is going to come to a
cataclysmic end at the start of the millennium, or that lights will go
out all over the Western world and click civilization as we know
it will be no more. But we do believe the Y2K problem is serious and there
will be outages electrical and otherwise in many places.
Since no one knows for sure where the Y2K problems
will appear or how the best strategy is to be prepared.
That is what Grafton is doing by buying new generators. If city water
pump stations are without electricity for more than 24 hours, they may
run out of water. If city hall is without electricity, city government
is basically shut down.
Granted, water is vital to our lives in a way that
government is not. But government does perform some valuable duties and
would be missed after a while. City Manager Donna Hoyler emphasizes that
the generators are needed, regardless of the Y2K problem. The city needs
to be prepared so the lights do not stay out and the water does not stay
off during any electrical outage, whether it is caused by Y2K or severe
Whatever the reason, council's vote shows that the
people leading Grafton are looking ahead. Foresight rare in individuals
is even rarer in government. Grafton's leaders deserve a handshake for
Telegram Editorial Board member