Second New Creek Skirmish?

In late June, the small town of New Creek (today, Keyser, WV) along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was the scene of a brief skirmish between Maryland Home Guard and three Confederate companies, who ultimately burned the railroad bridge over the Potomac River. Accurate information on this skirmish is scarce, but while researching it, I came across a second engagement at New Creek in mid-July.

After the departure of Col. Lew Wallace and his 11th Indiana Regiment from Cumberland, Maryland, two Pennsylvania regiments took his place. On Saturday, July 13, 1861, two companies crossed the Potomac River and occupied New Creek. The following morning, a troop of Confederate cavalry rode into town and a sharp fight erupted.

A Confederate lieutenant named R.P. Bonton was allegedly killed. Other sources spell his name Booton or Wooten. I haven’t been able to find his true identity, but the Confederate unit involved was said to be Macon Jordan’s company of Col. McDonald’s Regiment. This was probably Col. Angus W. McDonald, Sr., whose regiment of cavalry occupied Romney, Virginia after A.P. Hill’s infantry left on June 21st.

Captain Macon Jordan commanded Company D, 7th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry. According to the NPS Civil War soldiers database, there was a First Lieutenant R.S. Booton in the 7th VA Cav, but he was in Company I.

Clearly, a deep-dive is in order.

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