Return Home

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 at alternatives.
    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. Not ever.

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 Y2K problems

    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 weather.
    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 theirs.

Tim Langer
Telegram Editorial Board member

Return Home

Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999