Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Buehring H. Jones

Virginia / West Virginia

Buehring H. Jones was a teacher, lawyer, editor, and poet. Mary Meek Atkenson, in her laudable work on West Virginia writers, provides the following information about Jones:

Buehring H. Jones was born May 12, 1823, at Clifton, Kanawha County, Virginia [now West Virginia], and was carefully educated and instructed in religious principles. He married Miss Letitia Smythie of Lewisburg, Virginia, and for a time practiced law in Fayette County. Then he moved to Missouri and settled at Palymyra, where he practiced his profession until the breaking out of the war. He was opposed to secession at first and labored for the preservation of the Union, until the President adopted the policy of coercion.

Two days after he heard of the secession of Virginia he hastened back to Fayette County, raised a company of infantry, the 'Dixie Rifles', and June 23, 1860, entered the Confederate service. His company was put in the Sixtieth Virginia Infantry and he later became Colonel of the regiment. He took part in the seven day fight before Richmond, and was in the engagements at Mechanicsville, Cedar Run, and the expulsion of the Federals from the Kanawha Valley. In the battle of Piedmont he was captured and sent to Johnson's Island where he was kept in confinement until June 17, 1865, when he was released by order of the President.

Physically and financially ruined, he returned to Lewisburg, now West Virginia, where he collected a volume of Southern prison poems, including many of his own poems, hoping to profit by its sale. At the Constitutional Convention of West Virginia in 1871-2 he was made Clerk of the Convention, and died at his post, in 1873 (?).

[Mary Meek Atkeson, West Virginia Writers 1669-1913, at 213-215 (Master's Thesis, West Virginia University, 1913)]


Buehring H. Jones, The Sunny Land, or, Prison Prose and Poetry: containing the productions of the ablest writers in the South, and prison lays of distinguished confederate officers (Baltimore: Innes, 1868) [online text]


Buehring H. Jones, Memorial of the Federal Prison on Johnson's Island, Lake Erie, Ohio, 1862-1864 (Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1887)("containing a list of prisoners of war, from the Confederate States Army, and of the deaths among them; with "prison lays" by distinguished officers")


"Beuhring H. Jones," in Ella May Turner, Stories and Verse of West Virginia (1923) [republished in 19 West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia 115-117 (Richwood, West Virginia: Jim Comstock, 1974)(Supplemental Series)]