On this day in 1864: Capt. Conley of the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteers, escaped prisoner of war, describes the Union sympathizers with whom he is hiding in Transylvania County:
“We found them to be rugged stalwart mountaineers; most of them had little culture, but . . . seemed to be determined to die rather than serve in the rebel army. All the men who were liable to military duty and consequently to conscription, spent most of their time in the woods, only coming home for supplies. All of them were heavily armed. I met a number of men here who carried, each, two guns and two revolvers.
“Posses of rebels had frequently been sent in there to hunt up these people, but had almost invariably met with defeat, as these mountaineers would band together and ambush them. We were told that they also tried to capture them with bloodhounds, but that also proved a failure; as not one bloodhound brought in ever got out alive.
“I have never anywhere else known such bitterness as existed between neighbors here. The persecution and hardship that the Union men had been subjected to, very naturally, brought a spirit of retaliation. It was not unusual, as we learned, for persons to be waylaid, and assassinated when passing along the public highways.”