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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 50 History

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HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 50

(By Delegate Michael)

 

 

 

Requesting the bridge in Hardy County, West Virginia on Route 28, crossing the South Branch of the Potomac River North of Moorefield, bridge number 16-220-0.22, be named the “Captain John Hanson McNeill CSA Memorial Bridge.”

    Whereas, Captain John Hanson McNeill was the best known native of Hardy County to serve in the Civil War. The son of Strother and Amy Pugh McNeill, was born June 12, 1815, about a mile southeast of the present day bridge that carries State Route 28 across the South Branch of the Potomac River just North of Moorefield. His father died when he was only three and one-half years old and "Hanse", as he was called by family and friends, grew to manhood in the South Branch Valley. After his marriage to Jemima Harness Cunningham, Captain John Hanson McNeill took his family West, seeking more land. After several moves he settled in Daviess County, Missouri. There he purchased a five hundred acre farm where he raised the only herd of Shorthorn Durham cattle in that area. He became a well respected member of the community and was active in the Methodist Church, becoming a lay minister; and

    Whereas, Captain John Hanson McNeill, at the beginning of the Civil War commanded a company of cavalry and took part in at least four battles in Missouri. His son George, was killed at Lexington, Missouri and he was severely wounded. Sometime later he and his son Jesse were captured. They eventually escaped and made their way back to Hardy County where he organized a company of cavalry that would become known as "McNeill's Rangers". Many men from Hardy and surrounding counties served in it; and

    Whereas, Although officially a part of Colonel John D. Imboden’s Northwestern Brigade they often operated independently and became the scourge of Union supply lines in this area. They took part in larger campaigns such as Gettysburg, and the Jones-Imboden Raid through West Virginia. In early August, 1864, Captain John Hanson McNeill advised his commanding officers not to divide forces and camp on both sides of the South Branch near where the present bridge is located. They ignored him, resulting in the Confederates being surprised and defeated by Union forces with some of the most intense fighting taking place just downstream from the bridge. This was known as “The Battle of Moorefield” and was the largest battle to take place in Hardy County. In an early morning attack on October 3, 1864, Captain McNeill was wounded in a successful attack on a Union encampment at Meem's Bottom, Virginia. He died from his wound five weeks later on November 10, 1864 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was first buried there with full Military and Masonic honors. Several months later his men returned his body to Hardy County for reburial. He is buried in Olivet Cemetery in Moorefield next to the Monument to Confederate Dead, surrounded by the graves of other Confederate solders; and

    Whereas, Captain John Hanson McNeill, the best known native of Hardy County to serve in the Civil War, is remembered by the community in which he lived, by the founding of McNeill’s Rangers, Camp 582, Sons of Confederate Veterans over ten years ago. The camp is active in honoring Confederate soldiers and preserving history and being civic minded. The camp has been instrumental in preserving the memory of Confederate soldiers from Hardy County and seeking to honor Captain John Hanson McNeill with the naming of the bridge North of Moorefield, West Virginia. It is fitting that in a state, born out of the conflict known alternatively as the Civil War and the War Between the States, we should remember all of its sons who served and died in and as a result of that conflict, as we may remember and honor Captain John Hanson McNeill; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Division of Highways is hereby requested to name the bridge in Hardy County, West Virginia on Route 28, crossing the South Branch of the Potomac River North of Moorefield, bridge number 16-220-0.22, be named the “Captain John Hanson McNeill CSA Memorial Bridge”; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Commissioner of the Division of Highways is hereby requested to cause to be fabricated signs to be erected at each entryway of the bridge, containing bold and prominent letters proclaiming the bridge to be named the “Captain John Hanson McNeill CSA Memorial Bridge”; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates forward a certified copy of this resolution to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways and to the McNeill’s Rangers, Camp 582, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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