Private Thomas Taylor (right), Company K, 8th Louisiana Infantry

'g Sept 12: Rust, leading the attack on Cheat Mountain, loses his nerve and retreats, (see inset map above)

10) July 11-25: Federals, lead by Jacob D. Cox, advance by way of Kanawha River and occupy Charleston.

fn) July 29: Cox's forces advance and occupy gorge at Gauley Bridge,

Aug 26: Confederates cross Gauley River at Carnifax Ferry and rout Federals at Cross Lanes.

'{3 Sept 2-10: Rosecrans, having succeeded McClellan, marches three brigades from Clarksburg to Cross Lanes.

(^4) Set 10: Rosecrans attacks Confederates at Carnifax Ferry. Confederates fall back to Meadow Bluff, Lee orders his troops into winter quarters.

utwitted, outmaneuvered, and outgeneraled."

The Richmond Examiner commenting on Lee's withdrawal from Western Virginia

1861: the coming of war brigade established a roadblock on the west summit of Cheat Mountain, while Colonel Albert Rust's force prepared to overwhelm the Federals on the east summit. On September 12, Rust, who was to trigger the attack, lost his nerve. Lee's Cheat Mountain campaign unraveled, and he recalled his troops.

Following a Confederate victory at Cross Lanes in late August, Rosecrans with 6,000 men left Clarksburg to support Federal forces that had thrust up the Kanawha Valley. On September 10, Rosecrans attacked and defeated 2,000 Confederates in earthworks at Carnifax Ferry on the Gauley River. The Confederates retreated south to Meadow Bluff.

With the advent of cold weather, Lee gave up all thoughts of offensive operations and ordered his troops into winter quarters. The Confederacy had lost trans Allegheny Virginia, which in 1863 would become West Virginia.

Soldiers! I have heard there was danger here. I have come to place myself at your head and share it with you. I fear now but one thing - that you will not find foemen worthy of your steel."

Gen. George McClellan, upon his arrival at Philippi

Gen. George McClellan, upon his arrival at Philippi

Private Thomas Taylor (right), Company K, 8th Louisiana Infantry

Virginia june 10 - october 12 i86i

The transfer of the Confederate capital to Richmond guaranteed that Virginia would become a major battleground of the Civil War. Large numbers of Federal troops soon began to concentrate on Virginia's northern border and at Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads. The first clash occurred on June 10, 1861 near Fort Monroe, when Major General Benjamin Butler sent a 4,400-strong Federal force to attack a Confederate outpost at Big Bethel. Sharply repulsed by Colonel D. H. Hill's 1,400 defenders, the Federals withdrew in confusion. Losses were slight on both sides, totaling only 76 Fed erals and 11 Confederates, but the action received inordinate attention because it was the first significant clash of the war

Activity now shifted to northern Virginia, where in mid-July Brigadier General Irvin McDowell led 37,000 Federal troops from Washington toward the rail hub at Manassas Junction. Facing him behind Bull Run was General Beauregard with 21,000 men. McDowell expected Brigadier General Robert Patterson to hold General Joseph Johnston's 11,000 Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley. Unknown to McDowell, Patterson failed to restrain Johnston, whose troops began to join Beauregard by rail. On July 21, McDowell feinted toward Beauregard's front while turning his left flank. Initially successful, McDowell's attack pushed Confederate defenders southward until they rallied on Henry House Hill. There, the timely arrival of Confederate reinforcements combined with Federal fatigue to collapse McDowell's line by mid-afternoon. Shielded by a battalion of regulars, the Federal volunteers withdrew in great disorder. Fortunately for McDowell, the Confederates were too disorganized to pursue, permitting the Federals to escape to the safety of the Washington defenses. McDowell lost 2,896 men while Beauregard's and Johnston's commands suffered a total of 1,982 casualties.

The final major clash of the year in Virginia occurred on the upper Potomac River at Ball's Bluff on October 21. Ordered to make a demonstration across the Potomac in support of another Federal probe, Colonel Edward Baker incautiously led his brigade into a trap sprung by Confederate Brigadier General Nathan Evans. Forced to fight with the river at his back, Baker was killed and his brigade routed. Again, Federal casualties totals greatly exceeded Confederate. Clearly, the road to Richmond would be neither short nor cheap, and both sides began to prepare for a long war.



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