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Updated Six Battle Pages

Last spring, I created a series of blog posts commemorating the 160th anniversary of events in Virginia in April, May, June, and July 1861. Many of these were battles and skirmishes that didn't have complete entries. I've since gone back and updated the battle pages, including: Skirmish at GlenvilleSkirmish at Bowman's PlaceEngagement at Mathias PointSkirmish…

Illustration of Benjamin F. Butler

Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818–1893) played a crucial but controversial role in the early Civil War. He was a lawyer and politician from Massachusetts. Despite having no military experience, he secured a rank as brigadier general of Massachusetts volunteers and was sent south the secure the railroads to Washington, DC. In Baltimore, Maryland, Butler suppressed a…

Illustration of Theophilus H. Holmes

Theophilus Hunter Holmes (1804-1880) was born in North Carolina and served as governor of that state from 1821 to 1824. He graduated from West Point in 1829 in the same class as Robert E. Lee, then served as an officer in the Mexican War. He resigned his commission in the U.S. Army during the Siege…

160 Years Ago Today: The Battle of Corrick’s Ford

Soon after Virginia seceded from the Unites States in May 1861 with the intention of joining 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…

160 Years Ago Today: The Battle of Rich Mountain

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 under the pretext of protecting unionists there. These western counties would later vote to secede from Virginia and form the state of West…

160 Years Ago Today: The Battle of Belington or Laurel Hill

Following an ignominious Confederate defeat at the Battle of Philippi in early June, Robert E. Lee’s adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett, took command of Confederate forces in western Virginia and fortified two key mountain passes: one at Laurel Mountain leading to Leadsville and the other at Rich Mountain to Beverly. Lt. Col. John…

160 Years Ago Today: A Skirmish at Glenville

It had been two months and 11 days since Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan invaded northwestern Virginia, and additional volunteer regiments arrived weekly to reinforce him. It had been over a month since Confederate forces fled from Philippi. Their commander, Col. George A. Porterfield, was replaced with Robert E. Lee’s adjutant general, Brig. Gen.…

160 Years Ago Today: Battle of Hoke’s Run or Falling Waters

On the morning of Tuesday, July 2, 1861, Union Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport, Maryland with two brigades totaling approximately 8,000 men. Confederate Col. Thomas J. Jackson’s 4,000-man brigade was ordered to delay the Federal advance toward Martinsburg, then a town in Virginia (today, West Virginia), approximately 13.5 miles south…

160 Years Ago Today: Skirmish at Bowman’s Place

It had been over a month since Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan invaded northwestern Virginia, and every week, additional volunteer regiments arrived to reinforce him. It had been over three weeks since Confederate forces fled from Philippi. Their commander, Col. George A. Porterfield, was replaced with Robert E. Lee's adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Robert…