Major Civil War Events Impacting Spencer and Roane County
— The Blue and Gray Trail —
April 12, 1861—
Confederates attack Fort Sumter.
April 17, 1861—
Virginia Secession Ordinance adopted.
June 19, 1861—
Statewide vote on ordinance confirmed. Roane County voted in favor of secession, although majority of future West Virginia counties voted against it.
June 11, 1861—
Second Wheeling Convention adopted resolution to organize pro-Union Restored Government of Virginia.
June 24, 186l—
Large assembly of Roane Countians adopts resolutions of loyalty to the State of Virginia. Federal troops of the 22nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry then occupied Spencer briefly.
11-day siege of Spencer. (See sign on right)
Col. John C. Rathbone, Union Commander of the 11th (West) Virginia Infantry, established command post in Court House.
Major George C. Trimble led four companies from Spencer to Arnoldsburg, where battle with Confederate guerillas resulted in victory. Col. Rathbone, located in Parkersburg, sent an erroneous message to Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley in Weston that guerillas captured Arnoldsburg and Spencer. Kelley led a large force to Spencer and found it secure. Guerilla leaders deceive Rathbone intotemporary truce, which was rescinded by Kelley.
InSeptember most Union troops in the area were sent to defend against Lee's attacks in western Virginia, and Confederateguerillas operated more freely. Also, the Spencer WeeklyBulletin reported, "bands of horse thieves, belongingproperly to neither side,ravaged the county and killed unoffending citizens."
June 20, 1863—
West Virginia becomes 35th state. Home Guards established.
Battle of Bulltown, Braxton County, involves many Roane Countians.
May 9, 1864—
Many Roane County soldiers on both sides killed and wounded at Battle of Cloyd's Mountain. Gen. Jenkins killed.
April 9, 1865—
Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox.