Commanding officer: Captain John Hanson McNeill
Officers: Lt. Jesse C. McNeill, Lt. I. S. Welton.
McNeill was born 1815 in Moorefield, West Virginia. His father had emigrated from Scotland to America in 1722. He grew up in the South Branch Valley, mild-tempered and industrious. In 1848 he moved to Boone County, Missouri, and later to Daviess County.
In 1861 McNeil and three of his sons joined General Price’s forces. After being wounded and imprisoned he fled and returned to Hardy County and organized the company that was to be called McNeills Rangers under the authority of the Partisan Ranger Act. He was to lead in all 210 men, a small but effective force.
The base for the operations of the rangers was Hardy County, adjacent Hampshire County and nearby Maryland. The objectives of the rangers was to create as much general havoc among the Federal troops in the area, disrupt traffic on the B & O Railroad and forage for beef cattle to supply the Confederate armies in the Shenandoah Valley. One of the main feats of the company was the capture of Federal Generals Crook and Kelley.
In October 1864 Captain McNeil was mortally wounded. Jesse McNeill took over as a leader. He was so successful in recruiting new men to the company that Confederate Generals reacted and in February, 1865, the charter of McNeill Rangers was revoked. But the company continued fighting as guerrilla band. The majority of the rangers surrendered in May 1865.