"The Hancock Union Guards"
Wellsburg Herald, 31 May 1861.
On May 20, 1861, Sarah Grafton, on behalf of the ladies of the northern Ohio River town of New Cumberland, in Hancock County, presented a United States flag to the Hancock Union Guards when its men "mustered into the service of our country." She hailed them as "our countrymen and they are Virginians!" when they left to fight "for the defence of that which is dearer than life to us, our country's honor and the cause of right." She commended them "most earnestly to God, who rules the destinies of the children of man and who cares for you. May He protect and bless you always and give you a safe return to your homes in a free, happy and united country." The same issue of the Wellsburg Herald that printed Grafton's speech reported that when the men remaining in Hancock County, the northernmost county in the state, voted in the May 23 referendum on secession, 23 men voted for secession and 744 voted against.