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Moccasin Rangers

186th Virginia Militia
3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line, Co. A
19th Virginia Cavalry, Co. A
“Moccasin Rangers” Co. A,  Captain George Downs. 
On July 15, 1861, 186th Virginia Militia forms with Company 1, Capt. Downs,  Co. 2, Capt. Spriggs, Co. 3, Capt. Joseph Kessler. And organized with the Virginia State Line in spring of 1862.  The 19th Cavalry Regiment was formed by Col. Jackson in April, 1863, using the 3rd Regiment, Virginia State Line- Mocassin Rangers- as its nucleus. It served in Jenkin's and W.L. Jackson's Brigade and confronted the yankees in western Virginia.
Col. William Lother Jackson & Major George Downs.
Peregrine Hays, former sheriff of Gilmer and Calhoun Counties, and George Silcott formed a militia company in the 186th Regiment, the "Moccasin Rangers".  George Downs was elected captain.  Daniel Dusky and Peter Saurburn were also members. 

Perry Conley and Nancy Hart, the "Lady Guerilla" had organized "The Guerrillas" in Calhoun County, but the members changed the name to Moccassin Rangers.  When Conley led his forces to
Nicholas and Braxton, Capt. Downs stayed in the Lower Kanawha. Capt. James Smith had also organized guerrilla forces. 
Some left the Moccasin Rangers disgusted with its marauding thieving ways.  The company was re-organized March 1862 by George Downs as partisan rangers, but was disbanded by General Heth as a band of robbers and plunderers. 

Capt. Downs and the Rangers were reassigned to Virginia State Line in 1862, but some members left to become Smith's and Parson's cavalry companies, and still others joined the
Nighthawk Rangers. The VSL disbanded in 1863, Moccasin Rangers then joined the new 19th Regiment.
Major George Downs
Not Forgotten
SAURBOURN (SAURBURN), Peter Augustus,  Captain, 3rd Virginia State Line.  Recruited men for the Moccasin Rangers. Listed as Captain on post war roster.  Killed in action 15 Dec. 1861 near Sinking Springs. Born Andernack, Rheinland, Prussia about 1818. Moved to the United States about 1840. Age 42, farmer, Calhoun Co. 1860 was a Deputy Sheriff and Postmaster at Big Bend, Va.  May 1859- July 1860.  Bethlehem Cemetery, Grantsville, W.Va   Misnomer: "Lowerburn", OR
Capt. Peter Saurburn
Not Forgotten
"Booger Hole: Bushwhackers, home guards and vagabonds frequented "The Hole."  Early settlers who camped in the remote holler, such as the Bug Hunters, had a outlaw past. 

Captain Perry Conley's renegades played havoc with some of Booger Hole's early settlers.  Conley, known as the "Quantrel of West Virginia," led the "outlaw" wing of the infamous Moccasin Rangers. Riding with Conley was the notorious lady guerrilla,  Nancy Hart. Nancy could outride and outshoot any man, and joined when yankees murdered her brother-in-law.
Murder In A Clay County Holler
James Rogers organized a home guard in Booger Hole.  Rogers and a neighbor Soloman Carpenter were patrolling the holler one night when they encountered the Moccasin Rangers.  Captain Perry Connolly and the Moccasins took Rogers and Carpenter up a nearby holler, tied them to a tree and riddled them with bullets.  This was also how the yankees had murdered Nancys brother-in-law William Price.  The Braxton Home Guards found Conley and Nancy Hart on Stinson in Calhoun, firing upon them. Some say Conley was shot and beat to death with gunbutts, maybe by his brother, in a encounter in May 1862.  Hart escaped to Nicholas County."  (Summersville)
The Trimble Letter
Capt. Smith Company Roster
Snake Hunters
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