A correspondent of the Indianapolis Journal writing from Martinsburg, Va., illustrates the Union feeling observed along the march from Paw Paw:
At North Mountain House we experienced the first genuine Union feeling we have met with since we have been in Virginia. Every house top had on it the flag of the Union. – At this station, three days before, there were rebel pickets. The genuine Union feeling of the people of North Mountain I will illustrate by a real occurrence. It seems that the young ladies of North Mountain House have a very large Union flag, which it was necessary that they should keep concealed so the rebels would not get it. The young ladies after a mature thought, concluded to have it worn as a skirt, and selected Miss Mattie Cookers as the most proper person. Thus encompassed she lived and moved until Capt. John Wilson’s company of the 13th arrived in town. When it was know that we were United States soldiers she took the flag from its place of concealment and stood undauntedly waving it while the Captain’s company gave it three times three, and the band to enliven the scene, gave the people Yankee Doodle. An old lady who was present said to us afterwards that Miss Cookers ought to have taken it from its place of concealment before we came up, for now that we had found out where the Union ladies kept their flags concealed we would be looking for them all the time. We met another old lady there, en route for a neighbor’s on a visit but she could not go any further, for she must stay and see the dear soldiers, and that, for her part, she hadn’t felt so happy since Parson So-and-so had a revival at her house before secession.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, March 29, 1862, p. 1