New Clue in Ravenswood Mystery Skirmish

Yesterday, I posted about a mystery skirmish mentioned in Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's July 5, 1861 report to Assistant Adjutant-General E. D. Townsend that supposedly took place around present-day Ravenswood, West Virginia along the Ohio River in early July 1861. The engagement is not listed in any source that I am aware of.…

The Civil War in America, Engagement between the 71st New York and an Alabama Regiment at the Battle of Bull Run. Illustration for The Illustrated London News, 31 August 1861.

Mystery Skirmish Near Ravenswood?

Just when I thought I'd found every early Civil War skirmish in Virginia and West Virginia, I came across several references to an engagement near what is today Ravenswood, West Virginia along the Ohio River in Jackson County. Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan mentions it in his July 5, 1861 report to Assistant Adjutant-General…

Geographic Fronts and Their Battles

Maneuvers and battles in Virginia prior to the Battle of First Manassas were centered around control of major waterways. Virginia had three main waterways that defined its antebellum borders: the Ohio, Potomac, and Chesapeake rivers. Whoever controlled these rivers could rapidly transport troops and supplies and prevent the enemy from crossing over into friendly territory.…

Organization of Virginia Militia Units in June 1861

Robert E. Lee's General Orders Number 24, issued at the Headquarters of Virginia Forces in Richmond on June 1, 1861, sought to clarify Virginia's militia organization as it continued to mobilize throughout the state. A Civil War Era regiment consisted of smaller units called companies raised from the same general geographic area (sometimes several adjacent…