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…

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…

160 Years Ago Today: Engagement at Mathias Point

At the end of May, the Union Potomac Flotilla failed to silence a Confederate shore battery near Aquia Landing on the Potomac River. Nearly a month later, Flotilla Commander James H. Ward sought to clear Mathias Point of Confederate skirmishers, who were using the woods as cover to harass passing ships with small arms fire.…

160 Years Ago Today: Skirmish at Frankfort and Patterson’s Creek

In mid-June, Col. Lewis “Lew” Wallace, commanding the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment, arrived in Cumberland, Maryland across the Potomac River from Virginia with a mission to guard the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. His 11th Indiana routed a Confederate force out of Romney, Virginia on June 11, then withdrew. Confederate reinforcements under Col. Ambrose Powell Hill…

160 Years Ago Today: Action at Righter’s House

In late June 1861, the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (3 Months) led by Col. Thomas Morton was headquartered at Fairmont, Virginia along the Tygart River and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Marion County. Its mission was to protect that strategically important railway connecting Washington, DC with the Midwestern states. Company I of the 20th…