War In West Virginia

War In West Virginia (HM13K3)

Location: Blue Grass, VA 24413 Highland County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 28.531', W 79° 41.953'

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A Decisive Campaign

— The First Campaign —

In the spring of 1861, Union forces rushed into northwestern Virginia to secure the vital Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, protect important turnpikes, and support Unionists against Confederates. Many residents in the northwest, although still part of Virginia, remained loyal to the Union. By late in May, Union Gen. George B. McClellan, commanding the Department of the Ohio, ordered troops to cross the Ohio River and secure western Virginia for the Union.

Here, during June and July 1861, McClellan's army won the early Union victories of the Civil War at Philippi (the war's first land battle), Rich Mountain, and Corricks Ford. The first Union battlefield hero, McClellan was summoned to Washington on July 22 after the stunning debacle at Manassas, Virginia, to take command of the Army of the Potomac. Federal troops occupied western Virginia at that time, as loyal delegates met in Wheeling to form the Restored Government of Virginia to counter the Confederate government in Richmond.

By August 1861, Southern forces threatened the Federal gains. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee attempted to reclaim western Virginia but failed, with Southern defeats at Cheat Summit Fort, Carnifex Ferry, and Camp Allegheny before the end of the year. The first campaign made Gen. George B. McClellan's reputation and damaged that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee—a situation reversed in 1862 when the fighting moved east. The "First Campaign" proved to be decisive: the western counties under Union control became the new state of West Virginia in 1863.
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Details
HM NumberHM13K3
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 7th, 2014 at 8:02pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 613466 N 4259378
Decimal Degrees38.47551667, -79.69921667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 28.531', W 79° 41.953'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 28' 31.86" N, 79° 41' 57.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 344-374 Mountain Turnpike, Blue Grass VA 24413, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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