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: 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: 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…

160 Years Ago Today: Skirmish at New Creek

On June 11, 1861, Union Col. Lewis “Lew” Wallace, commanding the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment at Cumberland, Maryland, attacked several companies of ill-trained militia at Romney, Virginia (today West Virginia) along the South Branch of the Potomac River. The Confederates fled in disorder. This, and the threat of McClellan's army coming over the mountains from…

160 Years Ago Today: Action at Philippi

The “Battle” of Philippi was fought on Monday, June 3, 1861 between Union forces commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris and Confederate forces commanded by Col. George A. Porterfield in Philippi, Virginia during the American Civil War. The engagement, which was the first land action of the Civil War in Virginia, was a Union…

160 Years Ago Today: Grafton Occupied by Union Troops

For 36 days following adoption of a secession ordinance in Richmond, the federal government had respected Virginia's sovereignty, despite the seizing of federal property and facilities by secessionists and hostile exchanges of fire between U.S. Navy ships and Virginia shore batteries. That changed on May 23, 1861, when Virginia voters ratified secession by a large…

Page Added for Action at Greenbrier River

While I was browsing the Ohio muster rolls for detailed casualty lists, I came across a previously un-reported engagement near the Greenbrier River between a Union scouting party from Burdsall's Dragoons and Confederate guerillas in present-day Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The Union patrol was ambushed and suffered one killed, one mortally wounded, and two wounded.…