West Virginia

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West Virginia in the Civil War

 

Belington

 

    Laurel Hill Civil War Battleground

    304-823-3327, 304-823-3123.  Take Rt 250 into Belington.  Turn at large wooden sign with picture of soldier and young maiden.  Go to top of hill and bear right onto Laurel Mountain Rd.  Follow this road for two and a half miles to battleground on right.

    Confederate forces, under the command of Col. Porterfield, began moving to Camp Laurel Hill in June 1861.  At that time Porterfield was relieved by Gen. Garnett.  Union soldiers, encamped in Philippi, and under the leadership of Gen. Morris, advanced toward the Bealington (now known as Belington) encampment following the Tygart River.  They crossed where Dingess Lumber Yard is now located, and also where the Veterans Bridge stands today.  After a brief encampment, Laurel Hill was besieged by these Union soldiers.  Fighting took place between Camp Bealington troops and Laurel Hill troops for at least six days - the longest battle in the Tygart Valley campaign. Union soldiers were ordered to fortify two roads: Staunton/Parkersburg Turnpike, and the Beverly/Fairmont Turnpike.  Confederates were under orders to take control or destroy the railroad.  After continued sniper fire, the Confederate Army retreated to where they thought back-up force would assist them.  Unfortunately, they mistook distant firing for the enemy and retreated farther into a web of surrounding Union forces.  Gen. Garnett was the first General to die in the Civil War.  This occurred at Corrick's Ford.

 

Beverly

 

    Rich Mountain Battlefield

    www.richmountain.org E-mail: richmt@richmountain.org

    304-637-RICH, Fax: 304-637-7424.  5 miles west of Beverly off US 219/250, on Rich mountain Rd.  Visitor Center on Files Creek Rd, Beverly, 1 block off US 219/250.  PO Box 227, 26253.  Open  year-round except when winter weather closes road.  Visitor Center times: summer Tu-Sun & holiday Mondays, 12-6, rest of year M-F 11-4.

    Union troops led by Gen. Williams S. Rosecrans flanked the Confederate Camp Garnett entrenchments guarding the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike at the base of RIch Mountain.  Following a difficult and roundabout march up the mountain, Rosecrans' forces surprised and routed the outnumbered Confederate outpost at the pass, thus taking control of the turnpike.  Col. Pelgram, in command at Camp Garnett, retreated following the battle, surrendering to the Federals in Beverly two days later.  Gen. George B. McClellan, the Federal Commander, claimed brilliant victory for this action, and his resulting fame led to his command of all Union forces within a few months.  

    Rich Mountain Battlefield Civil War Site consists of more than 400 protected acres including the battle site at the top of Rich Mountain (5 miles west of Beverly), the Confederate Camp Garnett (1.5 miles further west), and a section of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike (the Rich Mountain Backway) connecting the two sites. At Camp Garnett, earthworks, Confederate camp and positions are visible.  At the mountaintop battle site, union and Confederate positions are visible, as are barn and Hart house sites and veteran's rock carvings.  Both sites feature signage and interpretive and recreational trails.  Camp Garnett has a small picnic area.  Rich Mountain Visitor Center offers exhibits and information, rest rooms and gift shop, and is located in McClellan's Headquarters Building in Beverly.

 

    Mount Iser Cemetery

    (Butcher Hill Historic District)

    At least 62 Confederate soldiers and one civilian, many of them killed at the Battle of Rich Mountain, are buried in this small cemetery surrounded by Union Fortifications.

 

Burnsville

 

    Bulltown Historic District

    304-452-8170, 304-853-2371, Fax: 304-853-2835.  Off I-79 at Exit 67, 13 miles north on US Rt 19 or Exit 91 off I-79, 2 miles south on US Rt 19.  HC 10, Box 24, 26335.  Open Mid-May - mid Oct 10-6 daily. W

    In 1863 Confederate forces led by William L. "Mudwall" Jackson, cousin of "Stonewall" Jackson, attempted to overtake Union fortifications on a knoll overlooking a key bridge that once crossed the Little Kanawha River along the Weston-Gauley Turnpike.  At the hilly site are Union trenches, the graves of seven Confederate soldiers and intact sections of the Turnpike.  The district also features the restored Cunningham farm that reflects the period living conditions of the area.  The Bulltown Historic Center, complete with costumed staff, features artifacts from the battle.

        

    Weston & Gauley Turnpike

    Contact same as Bulltown Historic District

   Completed in 1858, the pike provided a critical overland supply line.  It ran nearly 110 miles through what is now central WV, connecting the towns of Weston and Gauley Bridge.  Its most predominate use was during the Civil War era, and mmany skirmishes occurred along the turnpike. There are approximately 10 miles preserved on the Burnsville Lake Recreation Area for foot traffic only.

 

Cedar Grove

 

    Virginia's Chapel and Slave Cemetery

    US Rt 60

    This quaint chapel served as a Confederate hospital and Union stable during the war.  A slave cemetery is located behind the church.

 

Charleston

 

    Civil War Veterans Memorial

 

    Craik-Patton House

    304-925-5341.  2809 Kanawha Blvd E, 25311. Adjacent to Daniel Boone Park on Kanawha Blvd, 1 1/2 miles east of State Capitol.  Open Mid Apr-Oct Th-Sun 1-4 or by appointment.

    James Craik, grandson of Dr. James Craik, who was friend and personal physician to Pres. George Washington, built his house in 1834.  In 1859, the house was sold to Susan Patton, wife of George Smith Patton, great-grandfather to the famous Gen. George Patton of WWII fame.  After graduating from Virginia Military Institute, G. S. Patton came to Kanawha Valley to practice law and formed the Kanawha Riflemen and took them into the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy.  COl. Patton was mortally wounded in the Battle of Winchester.

 

    Spring Hill Cemetery

    Offering commanding views of the city, this cemetery includes a section with several Confederate soldiers' graves.

 

Charles Town

 

    Jefferson CO Courthouse

    E-mail: nantours@aol.com

    304-728-7713.  Corner of George and Washington Sts. Guided tours Apr-Nov Sat-Sun at 1, also guided tours of historic district 2-4. W, $

    Built on land donated by George Washington's youngest brother, Charles, this 1836 Greek Revival brick building served as the site for the famous trail of John Brown in 1859.  During the Civil War, it served as a barracks for Union Troops.

 

    Jefferson CO Museum

    304-725-8628.  Corner of Washington and Samuel Sts., Armory Complex.  Open M-Sat 10-4, 2nd week of Apr-Nov.

    The Jefferson CO Museum contains an important Civil War collection including several relics associated with the radical abolitionist John Brown including the wagon that carried him to his execution and his Provisional Constitution.  Also displayed is the battle flag of "Stuart's Horse Artillery."

 

    Zion Episcopal Church and Cemetery

    East Congress St

    Several prominent local Confederates are buried here including Gen. Robert E. Lee's cartographer, S. Howell Brown.

 

Clarksburg

 

    Jackson Cemetery

    East Pike Street, between Cherry St and Charleston Ave.

    This family plot is the final resting place of Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's great-grandparents, father and sister.

 

    Stonewall Jackson Birthplace

    304-842-7272.  Bridgeport/Clarksburg CVB, 109 Platinum Dr, Suite B, Bridgeport 26330.  Various sites around Clarksburg.

    The Stonewall Jackson Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, has placed a bronze plaque at 326-328 West Main St in Clarksburg to mark the birthplace of the Civil War General.  A statue of Jackson on horseback is located on the courthouse plaza in honor of its famous son.  Burial sites of Jackson family relatives can be found at Jackson Park & Cemetery on Pike St (take Joyce St, exit off US 50, turn left onto Pike, 1/2 block).

 

Elkins

 

    Camp Allegheny

     304-636-1800, Fax: 304-636-1875.  From US 250 near VA/WV state line, turn south at sign on CO Rd 3, turn right at teh T junction, then go 2 more miles.  Monongahela National Forest, 200 Sycamore St, 26241.  Open year round, dawn to dusk. W

    At 4,400 feet above sea level, this camp, established by Confederate forces in the summer of 1861 to control the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, was one of the highest of the Civil War.  Soon after the October battle of Greenbrier River, troops withdrawing from Camp Bartow, at the foot of the mountain, joined the soldiers at Camp Allegheny.  This haunting, windswept encampment was successfully defended during a 7 1/2 hour battle on December 13, 1861, when Confederate Gen. Edward Johnson's troops repelled an attack by Union forces from Cheat Summit Fort under the command of Gen. R. H. Milroy.  However, the loss of men because of the harsh winter conditions and logistical nightmare of keeping the camp supplied contributed to the decision to abandon it in April 1862.  Earthworks, gun positions and chimney falls form the encampment are evident.

 

    Cheat Summit Fort

    304-636-1800, Fax: 304-636-1875.  Monongahela National Forest, 200 Sycamore St, 26241.  From US 250, near Cheat Bridge, turn South at sign, turn right at T junction, then go 1 mile to top of ridge.  Open year round dusk-dawn.

    Gen. George B. McClellan    ordered this pit and parapet fort to be built in 1861 to secure the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  The Confederacy's inability to take the fort in Sept. 1861 was central in the failure of Robert E. Lee's western Virginia Campaign.  IN the October battle of Greenbrier River, troops from Cheat Summit Fort, under Gen. R. H. Milroy, attacked Camp Bartow.  Neither side could claim victory, and the Union troops returned to Cheat Summit Fort, while the Confederates withdrew to Camp Allegheny.  In December of the same year, soldiers from Cheat Summit Fort attacked Camp Allegheny, but were driven back.  The site os also significant for, perhaps, the earliest use of telegraph technology in the Civil War.  The unique earthworks of this encampment remains.

 

Fayetteville

 

    Fayetteville Historic District

    304-574-0890.  PO Box 61, 25840.  

    The first "Indirect Artillery Firing" method, later used around the world, was first used by Confederate Sergeant Milton W. Humphreys on May 19-20, 1863.  During the Civil War, both Union and the Confederates came along the old Giles, Fayette and Kanawha Turnpike to attack Fayetteville.  A cemetery for the Confederate dead is located at the "Fleshman's Farm."

 

Fisher

 

    Fort Mill Ridge

    304-257-1313, Fax: 304-257-2415.   H. C. 85, Box54, 26818.

    The Fort as it exists today, was constructed Aug-Dec 1863, by troops under the command of Col. James A. Mulligan, from Chicago, IL.  Infantry, cavalry and artillery from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Illinois carried out the backbreaking labor.

 

Grafton

 

    Gen. McClellan's 1st Headquarters (Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum)

    304-265-5549.  Rt 2, Box 352, 26354.  US 119, 4 miles south of Grafton.  Open Apr-Dec 10-4, closed M.

    Birthplace of the founder of Mother's day, this house was the first field headquarters commandeered by Gen. George B. McClellan.  The house is situated adjacent to what was once the Wheeling-Staunton pike, connecting two of the larger cities in, then, Virginia.  Webster, the local community, was an important depot for both troops and supplies.  This "Back Door to the South" was strategic to both sides...  To the Union as an entryway to the South and to the Confederacy for invasion of the North.  The house serves as a museum to Anna Jarvis and a room is filled with McClellan memorabilia.

 

    Grafton National Cemetery

    304-265-2044.  431 Walnut St.  Rt 2, Box 127, 26354.  Open year-round dawn-dusk.

    This cemetery was established in 1867 by congressional legislation to offer a final resting place for the men who died during the Civil War.  The remains of Union soldiers were removed from temporary graves in Fayette, Marion, Kanawha and Grant counties, Clarksburg, Wheeling and the Rich Mountain battle site, as well as several Union dead from Kentucky.  Of the 1,215 graves, 664 are unknown and some are Confederate soldiers.  Notably the grave of Private T. Bailey Brown, the first Union soldier to be killed by a Confederate, is located here.

 

Harpers Ferry

 

    Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

    www.nps.gov/hafe

    304-535-6298.  Harpers Ferry, WV, just off US 340.  PO Box 65, 25425. Open year-round; Winter 8-5, summer 8-6; closed Christmas Day.

    The First Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry was the site of abolitionist John Brown's 1859 raid.  The turmoil caused by this attack sent ripples throughout the nation.  Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during the war.  Stonewall Jackson achieved his most brilliant victory here in Sept. 1862, when he captured 12,500 Union Soldiers...the largest such surrender until WWII.  Ultimately, it became the base of operations for Union Gen. Philip Sheridan's invasions into the Shenandoah Valley in 1864.  Offering commanding views of the scenic confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry has been restored to the era, and brick sidewalks lead to quaint shops and restaurants.

 

    John Brown Wax Museum

    304-535-6342.  168 High St.  Open Mar 15-Dec 15  9:30-5, Dec 16-Mar 14 weekends 10-5 or by appt.

    This unique museum details John Brown's hatred of slavery, traces his violent exploits and depicts scenes from his daring raid on Harpers Ferry.

 

Hillsboro

 

    Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

    www.wvparks.com/droopmountainbattlefield

    304-653-4254.  HC 64, Box 189, 24946.  Off US 219, 5 miles south of Hillsboro.  Open 6-10, museum open daily Spring-Fall, Summer hours 8-3.  $

    A peaceful park with a panoramic view now marks the spot where one of West Virginia's largest and last important battles was fought on Nov. 6, 1863.  The decisive victory of union Forces under General William W. Averell over the Confederate army under Gen. John Echols ended serious efforts by the Confederacy to control West Virginia.  The park features a small museum, picnicking, scenic overlooks and hiking trails.

 

Lesage

 

    Jenkins Plantation Museum

    www.wvlc.wvnet.edu/culture/front.html

    304-762-1059.  8814 Ohio River Rd. Green Bottom on WV Rt 2, midway between Huntington and point Pleasant.  RR 1, Box 538, Lesage, 25537.  Open W, Th & Sat 10-4.

    Built in 1835 by the father of Confederate Gen. Albert Gallatin Jenkins, a notable leader of the 8th Virginia Cavalry, the house is in the traditional style of Virginia's Tidewater region.  This museum and its grounds afford visitors a glimpse of more than 150 years of West Virginia history.  Operated and maintained by the WV Division of Culture and History.

 

Lewisburg

 

    Confederate Cemetery

    The cemetery features a mass grave of 95 unknown Confederate soldiers who died during the Battle of Lewisburg on May 23, 1862.  The graves were laid out in a cross design on a hilltop on the edge of town.  There are also graves of three known CSA veterans interred after the war.

 

    Lewisburg Historic District

    304-645-1000, 800-833-2068.  Lewisburg CVB, Carnegie Hall, 105 Church St, 24901.

    Dating from the 18th century, this quaint town was the site of a Civil War battle on May 23, 1862, when Union forces attempted to sever railroad communications between Virginia and Tennessee.  There is a Confederate cemetery in town, a library which was used as a hospital with Confederate graffiti on the walls, a church with a   cannonball hole and a monument to the Confederate dead.  The North House Museum also offers Civil War enthusiasts artifacts and documents from that era, including a pack saddle used to break Robert E. Lee's famous horse, Traveller.  Walking tour guidebooks and brochures are available.

 

    Old Stone Presbyterian Church

    200 Church St.

    Following the Battle of Lewisburg, May 23, 1862, the Old Stone Presbyterian Church was used as a hospital.  Several Civil War veterans are buried in the church cemetery.

 

Martinsburg

 

    Belle Boyd House

    www.bchs.org E-mail: bchs@intrepid.net

    304-267-4713.  126 East Race St, 25401.  Open M-Sat 10-4; Jan. last Sun before Christmas; also open 1-4 Sundays from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  Archives section only open W 6:30-9. W

    Famous Civil War Spy Belle Boyd spent part of her childhood in this house built in 1853 for her father, Ben Boyd.  During the war, she supplied information to Stonewall Jackson about enemy activities and was imprisoned twice before being banished to England.  The house has been preserved as a museum to honor this unique woman.  Sections of the house include the Belle Boyd Martinsburg Room, the Boyd Mason Civil War Museum of the Lower Shenandoah Valley, the Lincoln Room and the Ben Boyd Store, which offers local history books, pictures, maps and Civil War memorabilia.  The Archives Division features history and genealogy of Old Berkeley County with books dating from 1790s-present.

 

    Green Hill Cemetery

    485 East Burke St.

    Covering all sides of a cone-shaped hill, the 1854 cemetery is laid out in circles taken from a French design.  Among the graves are 30 unknown Confederate soldiers, as well as Capt. E. G. Alburtis, who commanded the Berkeley Company at Harpers Ferry during the John Brown raid.

 

Moorefield

 

    Olivet Cemetery

    Formally set aside as a cemetery in 1851, the shelling of Moorefield took place from this hillside in 1863.  A section of the cemetery is noted on a map as "Confederate dead," and features a large monument, which was erected by the Memorial Association in 1873.  The obelisk has plaques on each of the four sides recognizing the McNeill Rangers, Hardy Blues and Grays and the 18th  and 7th Virginia Cavalries.  The monument stands in the center of a double ring of gravestones.

 

Philippi

 

    Philippi Covered Bridge and Historic District

    304-457-1203, 304-457-4846.  Visitor's bureau/Artist's Colony, 5 Main St. 26416.  Located on US 250.  Open May-Oct M-Sat 11-4, Sun 1-4.

    The city of Philippiwas the site of the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861.  It was also the site of the first amputation of the war, performed on James Hanger.  built on 1852, the bridge was heavily utilized by both armies during the Civil War.  During the battle, Union troops took control of the bridge and used it as a barracks.  Severely damages by fire on 1989, the bridge has been restored to its original appearance. It is one of the few such covered bridges still in use as a part of the federal highway system.

 

Romney

 

    Fort Mill Ridge

    www.hamphirecounty.com E-mail: hampcodo@access.mountain.net

    304-822-4320.  PO Box 883, 26757.  2 miles west of Romney, on US 50.  Turn left onto road leading to Fancy Hardwoods, follow signs.  Open year-round.

    This well-preserved earthen fortification was built between March and June 1863.  Builders of the fort included the 54th Pennsylvania Infantry and the 1st West Virginia Infantry.  The site had previously been used by Confederate artillery to defend approaches to Romney.  When Col. Jacob M. Campbell (54th PVI) garrisoned Union forces at Romney, camps were set up at Mechanicsburg Gap.  This site was more easily defended by the fort commanding the Northwestern Turnpike which became Rt 50.

 

Shepherdstown

 

    Elmwood Cemetery

    The Elmwood Cemetery includes the graves of several Confederate veterans including Henry Kyd Douglas, staff officer to Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, and Gen William W. Kirkland

 

    Shepherdstown Historic District

    304-876-0910.  In WV eastern panhandle, 8 miles east of Martinsburg on WV Rt 34.  PO Box 1786, 25443.  Museum at 129 E German St.  Open Apr-Oct Sat 11-5, Sun 1-4.

    Established in the 1730s as Mecklenburg, Shepherdstown is the oldest town in WV.  In the wake of the Battle of Antietam, only five miles away, the town became a vast hospital for Robert E. Lee's retreating Confederate Army.  On Sept. 20, 1862, the last significant battle of the Maryland Campaign occurred at Boteler's Ford, about a mile down the Potomac River from the town.

 

Summersville

 

    Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park

    www.wvparks.com/carnifexferrybattlefield

    304-872-0825.  Rt 2, Box 435, 26651.  From US 19, south of Summersville, west on WV Rt 129, past the scenic Summersville Dam & Lake to Carnifex Ferry Rd.  Open year round, dawn to dusk. W

    On Sept. 10, 1861, Union Troops led by Brigadier Gen. William S. Rosecrans engaged the Confederates and forced them to evacuate an entrenched position on the Henry Patterson farm which overlooked Carnifex Ferry.  The Confederate commander, Brigadier Gen. John B. Floyd retreated to the south side of the Gauley River and eastward to Meadow Bluff near Lewisburg.  This battle represented the failure of a Confederate drive to gain control of the Kanawha Valley.  As a result, the movement for West Virginia Statehood proceeded without serious threat from the South.  Relics of the battle ore housed in the restored Patterson House, which marked the division of the Union and Confederate lines.  The park also offers picnicking, hiking trails and a battle re-enactment in September.

 

Weston

 

    WVU Jackson's Mill Historic Area

    E-mail: chardman@wvu.edu

    301-269-5100, 800-287-8206, Fax: 304-269-3409.  2miles from US 19 between Jane Lew and Weston.  From the north take the Jane Lew Exit #105 from I-79 to US 19 and follow signs, south to the heritage area.  From south, take Weston Exit #99 to US 33/19 and follow signs.  WVU Jackson's Mill State 4-H Conference Center, Rt. 1, Box 210-WVU, 26452. Open Memorial Day-Labor Day, Tu-Sun 10-5, Sept-oct & May, weekends only.  Closed Nov-Apr.

    The site of Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's boyhood home, this historic area has evolved into a "community" of 18th and 19th century buildings in addition to being the site of the state 4-H Conference Center.  Jackson spent several years working on this homestead for his Uncle Cummins Jackson after the death of his father and prior to his enrollment at West Point Academy.  A large two and a half story mill is the last of the buildings original to the Jackson family and was built  of lumber produced from teh family sawmill.  The building serves as a museum housing agricultural, milling and homestead artifacts f the 18th century.  A cemetery on the grounds holds the graves of Jackson's grandparents.

 

Wheeling

 

    West Virginia Independence Hall Museum

    www.wvlc.edu/culture/front.html

    304-238-1300, Fax: 304-238-1302.  1528 Market St, 26003.  Open year-round 10-4, closed Sundays in Jan & Feb and all state holidays. $, W

    Beautifully restored, this National Historic Landmark served as the capitol building of the restored government of Virginia during the Civil War and became the birthplace of WV on June 20, 1863.  The separation of WV from the Commonwealth of VA was the only territorial change that directly resulted from America's greatest conflict.  It was a time of loyalty oaths, treason trials and sabotage.

    WV Independence Hall Museum was originally built to be Wheeling's federal Custom House in 1859.  It housed the post office, custom office and the Federal District Court.  After Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, meetings were held in the building to form the Restored (Union) Government of Virginia.  The vote approving the creation of the new state of West Virginia was held in the courtroom and the state's first constitutional convention held deliberations in that room.  The governor and other state officials had offices in the building, and the legislature met on the third floor.  Exhibits explain the creation of the state and other uses of the building through the years.  Operated and maintained by the WV Division of Culture and History.

 

White Sulphur Springs

 

    Marker

    At Greenbrier Resort near Hilltop Tennis Courts.  Greenbrier CO.

    A simple marker indicated the burial of 16 unknown Confederate soldiers who died of wounds received at the Battle of Dry Creek Aug 26-27, 1863.