Battle of Corrick’s Ford

The Battle of Corrick’s Ford was fought on Saturday, July 13, 1861 between Union forces commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris and Confederate forces commanded by Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett in Tucker County, West Virginia during the American Civil War. The battle was a Union victory, routing Confederate forces in western Virginia and resulting in approximately 670 total casualties, mostly Confederate.

Soon after Virginia seceded from the Unites States in May 1861 and joined the Confederacy, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, as commander of the Department of the Ohio, invaded western Virginia. On June 3, he sent Confederate militia fleeing from the town of Philippi, and in July, he smashed a Confederate force at Rich Mountain.

Following defeat at the Battle of Rich Mountain, Confederate Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett attempted to retreat from his camp on Laurel Hill to Beverly, but was misinformed about a Union presence there and fled northeast toward the Cheat River. “They have not given me an adequate force,” Garnett lamented. “I can do nothing. They have sent me to my death.” His words would be prophetic.

On July 13th, Garnett arrived at Corrick’s Ford on the Cheat River with 4,500 men. As they crossed, Union Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris’ brigade attacked, and while looking for another route to escape across the river, Garnett was shot and killed. His army abandoned its wagons, cannon, and supplies and fled.

Twenty Confederates were killed or wounded at Corrick’s Ford, including Garnett, who was the first general officer to fall in battle during the Civil War. Six hundred went missing and probably deserted. In contrast, Union forces sustained 53 casualties at Corrick’s Ford. McClellan was widely praised for his victory and was given command of the Military Division of the Potomac on July 26, 1861.

Opposing Forces






Pvt. Samuel Mills14th Ohio, Co. AX
Pvt. Daniel Mills14th Ohio, Co. AX
Pvt. John Neihouse14th Ohio, Co. AX
Sgt. Henry Reichelderfer14th Ohio, Co. CX
Pvt. Casper Sirolff14th Ohio, Co. DX
Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Vol. 1. Akron: The Werner Company, 1893.

Primary Sources


Boeche, Thomas L. “McClellan’s First Campaign” in America’s Civil War (January 1998): 30-36.

Lesser, W. Hunter. Battle at Corricks Ford: Confederate Disaster and Loss of a Leader. Parsons: McClain Printing Company, 1993.

Lesser, W. Hunter. Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the Front Line of a Nation Divided. Naperville: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2004.

Updated: 21 April 2023
Created: 12 February 2021

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