Beverly in Randolph County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Randolph County Jail
Conﬁning the “Bogus State Sheriﬀ”
—Jones-Imboden Raid —
On the morning of April 24, 1863, Confederate Capt. Joseph French Harding, Co F, 31st Virginia Infantry, led a scouting party from Gen. John D. Imboden’s command toward Beverly. Encountering Sheriff Jesse Frank Phares on the same mission for the town’s Union Garrison, Harding fired and wounded Phares as he fled back to Beverly. Phares was brought to the jail in front of you. A surgeon reported that Phares’s “left hip was entered by musket-ball, which passed upward through the region of the lower part of the left lung and out near the stomach. “Imboden wrote that he found the “bogus State Sheriff of Randolph County…in an almost dying condition, although he will probably recover. By
The next morning, Harding visited Phares at the jail and “found him doing quite well.” On a subsequent visit, Harding wrote, “I was armed and supposed my appearance was somewhat brigandish, for certainly Mrs. Phares was badly frightened at it, and it took assurance of both her husband and myself to quiet her. The sheriff wanted me to stay for breakfast but I declined because of the still evident uneasiness of his wife.”
Harding came home to Randolph County after the war. He was elected sheriff in 1876 and helped Phares get a pension.
(Sidebar): On January 20, 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee instructed Gen. John D. Imboden to arrest Union government officials whenever possible and to "render the position of sheriff as dangerous a position as possible." The New York Times reported on February 6, 1863, that when Imboden arrested the sheriff of Barbour County, Union Gen. Robert H. Milroy retaliated by arresting fifteen pro-Confederate county residents and announcing that they would be executed if the sheriff were not released. If Milroy carried out his threat, Imboden replied, he would arrest and execute thirty Unionists. The newspaper reported Imboden's stated intentions: "Within the limits of the pretended state of
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 50.412′ N, 79° 52.506′ W. Marker is in Beverly, West Virginia, in Randolph County. Marker is at the intersection of Walnut Street Extended and Court Street on Walnut Street Extended. Touch for map. The marker is located on Walnut Steet, a short distance south of Court Street. Marker is in this post office area: Beverly WV 26253, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1841 County Jail (a few steps from this marker); David Goff House (within shouting distance of this marker); Bushrod Crawford Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Hill Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Randolph Co. Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Beverly Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Blackman-Strader (within shouting distance of this marker); Beverly Public Square (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beverly.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 515 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 3. submitted on September 10, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.