Bond Cemetery

The Bond Cemetery is located at Brushy Run, West Virginia, at the intersection of Jake Hill Rd and US rt. 220, on a hill overlooking US rt. 220.

GPS coordinates: N38º50'11''    W79º14'55''

The cemetery is named after Captain John Samuel Bond, the leader of a local militia of Union supporters during the Civil War known as the Home Guard. Captain Bond's militia were specifically known as the 'Swamp Dragons'.

The cemetery is especially important to the Landes family because it is the final resting place of Jesse and Christina Landes, my great-great grandparents.

Go HERE for a listing of the graves in the Bond Cemetery.

Captain John Bond was the leader of a local militia of Union soldiers known as 'Home Guards' during the American Civil War, 1861-1865. Union supporting Home Guards in Pendleton County, VA (at that time before West Virginia became a state in 1863, and before Grant County separated from Hardy County in 1865), attacked Confederate works and small detachments during the war. The best known of these irregulars called themselves the 'Swamp Dragons' and were led by Captain Bond.

The Home Guard militias were a step above what were known as 'bush-whackers', who were merely citizens armed with their sporting guns. The Home Guard were more organized and armed by the United States, and sought to protect local citizens from the forays of Confederate troops who would often plunder local households for provisions such as bacon, beef, corn, and flour. In addition, Captain Bond's militia provided support for the continued carrying of the mail as well helping transport supplies from the rail line at Keyser, WV.

Here is a description of the Swamp Dragons from a publication, The Twenty-second Penssylvania Calvary and the Ringgold Battalian, 1861-1865, by Samuel Clark Farrar (1911):

A detail of seventy men under the command of Liutenants Crago and Vangilder was sent to capture a force of the enemy who was threatening the 'Swamp Dragos', a local compy of Union soldiers, or 'Home Guards' raised for home defence in the County of Pendleton. The force of the enemy was not found, but Captain Bond with his company of 'Dragons' was found lying in ambush, expecting an attack from the enemy. The command or scout remained with the 'Swamp Dragons' until morning, when as they were returning to camp leisurely, were met by a messenter telling them to hurry to camp, as Major Stephens had been attacked a Moorefield and his camp destroyed. The entire force of calvary was out all day, and Liutenant Denny, with a detanchment of his company, met and had a skirmish with the enemy.

Depending upon which accounts one might read (pro-Union or pro-Confederate), the Home Guard Swamp Dragons were either heroes or villians. For example, in a publication, Confederate Military History, p. 73, the Swamp Dragons were specifically called 'bushwhackers, deserters, and outlaws who harbored in the mountains and made predatory raids, in which the most feindish outrages were committed.'

They couldn't have been too 'feindish', because locally in the Brushy Run area, Captain Bond was thought highly of by local residents and continued to be a community leader after the end of the Civil War. He was a postmaster and ran a general store at Brushy Run, and even held the post of 'coroner.'

On March 1, 2016, a West Virginia Senate Resolution (54) was introduced by Senators Williams, Stollings, and Plymate to rename a bridge at Pansy, WV in honor of Captain Bond. Specific details of Caption Bond's activities during the Civil War are listed:

Captain Bond was a justice of the peace from 1852-1859 and was coroner for Pendleton County.

Captain Bond served in Company A, West Virginia State Troops from 1862 to 1863 as part of the loyal Virginia Troops, which were also known as the Home Guard.

Company A was made up of approximately fifty-three men from the area now known as Franklin Pike, but at the time was called North Mill Creek.

The local Home Guard was involved in several skirmishes around the Petersburg and North Mill Creek areas with the Confederate McNeill’s Rangers from the Moorefield area. They also were involved in transporting supplies from the closest railroad station at New Creek Station, now known as Keyser.

My great-grandfather, Daniel Landes mentioned Capt. Bond several times in his diaries:

July 8, 1880: Went to Petersburg in co with Capt Bond got some Announcements Struck. $3.00 Got of Father [Jesse Landes] 2.00 Got of Bond 1.25

Sept. 20, 1890: Wrote an Article of Agreement Between A. N. Kile and Mary S Dean Went down to Bonds to Reunion of Swamps Paid for Cake 15c Paid for oil 10c

© 2014, 2018 Daniel Landes, Nashville, TN
Site last updated: July 18, 2019