Calhoun County in the Civil War from 1927
Part II
By Louis E. Ayers


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 2/24/1927

Skirmish on Sycamore

A scouting party under the command of Capt. James L. Simpson, of Company C 11th West Virginia Infantry, had halted at the noon hour, at the home of Judge McDonald, on the divide between the right and left hand forks of Sycamore Creek.  Capt. Simpson, with five men arranged to dine with the hospitable Judge, and the remainder of the scouting party, about twenty-five in number, scattered out among the residents along both branches of the stream, with the object of securing dinner.

Capt. Perry Connolly, the noted partisan leader, with about sixty men, was lurking in the timber surrounding the McDonald home, and seized the propitious moment, while the federal scouts were scattered, to wipe out Capt. Simpson and the portion of the squad remaining with him.  The Captain and his men had just seated themselves at table, when a volley was poured into the house from all points of the compass.  Capt. Simpson, led his men out into open and returned the fire, which was spiritedly maintained for several minutes.  The detached parties of Simpson's command hearing the heavy firing, rallied to the assistance of their leader, and in a short time the skirmish ended with the withdrawal of Connolly's command.  Here occurred one of those horrors for which partisan warfare is noted.  One of Capt. Connolly's men was severely wounded and had been unable to join his comrades in their retreat.  He had propped himself against a rail fence, and when the federal troops found him, instead of rendering the aid that humanity dictates in an instance of this kind, some four or five men fired on him killing him instantly.  This as I recall the story, was the only casualty occurring during this engagement.

Capt. James L. Simpson, was from Parkersburg, W. Va., and rendered distinguished service, throughout the war, being promoted to the rank major before it closed.  He has been dead several years.  Some of his descendants still reside in Parkersburg.
Capt. Perry Connolly was a native of Roane county, and achieved distinction as a leader of irregular troops.  He died from wounds received in action in Webster county, West Virginia.