|Michael Egan in the book, "The Flying, Gray-haired Yank" quoted Captain Leib from his book, "Nine Months in the Quartermaster' Department in
Western Virginia, The Chances for Making a Million", with one of the most colorful descriptions of western Virginia bushwhackers;
"The bushwhackers are composed of a class of men who are noted for their ignorance, indolence, duplicity and dishonesty; whose vices and passions peculiarly fit them for the warfare in which they are engaged, and upon which the civilized world looks with horror, imagine a stolid, vicious-looking countenance, an ungainly figure, and an awkward, if not ungraceful, spinal curve in the dorsal region, acquired by laziness and indifference to maintaining an erect posture; garb of the coarsest texture of home-spun linen, or 'linsey-woolsey,' tattered and torn, and so covered with dirt as not to enable one to guess its original color; a dilapidated, rimless hat, or cap of some wild animal's skin, covering his head, the hair on which had not been combed for months; his feet covered with moccasins, and a rifle by his side, a powder-horn and shot-pouch slung around his neck, and you have the beau ideal of the West Virginia bushwhacker.
| "Thus equipped he sallies forth with the stealth of the panther, and
lies in wait for a straggling soldier, courier, or loyal citizen, to whom
the only warning given of his presence is the sharp click of his deadly
He kills for the sake of killing, and plunders for the sake of gain. Parties of these ferocious beasts, under cover of darkness, frequently steal into a neighborhood, burn the residences of loyal citizens, rob stores, tanyards and farm-houses of everything they can put to use, especially arms, ammunition, leather, clothing, bedding, and salt.
| "They do not stop at pillage, for oft times is their track marked with
blood. The leaders of some of these bands have acquired great notoriety by
their cold-blooded brutality and adroitness at theft; one of these is a man
who in days gone by enjoyed to a great degree the confidence of the people
of West Virginia. He, together with ex-Governor Wise, did much to make
bushwhacking respectable in the estimation of the depraved and ignorant.
"A notorious bushwhacker is Bill Parsons, or 'Devil Bill' as he is called. Bill is filthy in appearance, and, like the rest of his class, has low instincts, and is as ferocious as a hyena. It is said he has eleven wives, and it is a fact well known that one of them is his own daughter. He resides in Roane county, where he has been guilty of many gross outrages."
|DEVIL BILL PARSONS
Con't Pg. 2