The Great Raid

The Great Raid (HM13K5)

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

N 38° 28.532', W 79° 41.952'

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Path of Destruction

— Jones-Imboden Raid —

In March 1863, Confederate Gen. John D. Imboden presented Gen. Robert E. Lee a plan to invade the northwestern counties of Virginia. Imboden's goals were to destroy Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bridges and trestles, recruit young men for the Confederate army, and attack Union garrisons at Beverly, Philippi, and Buckhannon. Lee approved the plan, which also called for Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones to wreck the railroad line to the north, with Imboden attacking Federal positions at Beverly and vicinity. On April 20, Imboden departed from Buffalo Gap, about ten miles northwest of Staunton, with 3,365 men. They passed near this spot two days later. Jones and his 3,000 men left camp near Harrisonburg on April 21.

By the time they returned to Buffalo Gap on May 25, Imboden's men had traveled more than 400 miles and Jones's command more than 700 miles. Together and separately, the raiders had occupied Beverly, Philippi, and Buckhannon, captured 700 Federals, seized about 1,200 horses and 4,000 cattle, and burned 4 turnpike bridges, more than 20 railroad bridges, 2 trains, and 150,000 barrels of oil. They also occupied Morgantown, thereby causing a brief panic in western Pennsylvania. Most bridges were soon repaired, and by May 17, the railroad line was restored. By May 26, both commands had returned to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Casualties were approximately 800 for the Federals and fewer than 100 for the Confederates. Although about 500 young men joined the Confederate forces during the raid, both Lee and Imboden overestimated the loyalty of the residents to old Virginia.

(sidebar)
On April 20, the day that Gem John D. Imboden began his part of the raid, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that all conditions for West Virginia statehood had been fulfilled. The new state, the only one to have separated from another state, formally entered the Union on June 20, 1863.
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Details
HM NumberHM13K5
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 Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 10:52pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 613467 N 4259380
Decimal Degrees38.47553333, -79.69920000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 28.532', W 79° 41.952'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 28' 31.92" N, 79° 41' 57.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 374-376 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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