Ripley in Jackson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Ripley Post Office
On December 19, 1861, the Rangers raided Ripley. Union Lt. Owen G. Chase, 9th (West) Virginia Infantry who was in town that day recruiting for Federal forces had disarmed the residents and locked the weapons in the jail. He probably suspected many of the townspeople of being Confederate sympathizers. Chase then marched his recruits west of town.
That evening, Pvt. Daniel Duskey and twelve other Rangers came into Ripley, took the arms from the jail, looted J.L. Armstrong’s store, and robbed local residents. When Postmaster John J. Wetzel refused to unlock the post office door, Duskey retorted that he had a key to unlock any door and kicked it down. The Rangers took everything of value, including all of Wetzel’s clothing except
Duskey and Jacob Varner, another Ranger, were captured a few weeks later. They were convicted of robbery as civilians, since the government did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rangers, and were confined in Albany N.Y. On November 25, 1862, Confederates captured Union Capt. William Gramm and Lt. Isaac A. Wade near Charleston and then held them in Richmond. President Abraham Lincoln pardoned Duskey and Varner on June 13, 1863, so that they could be exchanged for the officers.
"As the Judge, Jury, Marshal, District Attorney and Post Master General join in asking a pardon in this case, I have concluded to grant it. The Attorney General will please make it out & send it to me." —President Abraham Lincoln.
(upper left) Capt.George Downs Courtesy Ken Connell
(center bottom) Gov. Arthur I. Boreman visiting Duskey in prison in Wheeling Courtesy West Virginia State Archives
(lower right) Lincoln’s pardon Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ripley WV 25271, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ripley (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Ripley (here, next to this marker); Pfost-Greene Murders / Last Public Execution (within shouting distance of this marker); Brother Harry Ripley (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Ripley (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Staats Mill Covered Bridge (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Casto Hole (approx. 2.2 miles away); Cottageville (approx. 6˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ripley.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 414 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 12, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.