Western Virginia june 3 September 13 i86i

Western Virginians had little in common with the rest of the state, and actively opposed secession. Steps were taken to organize a loyalist Virginia government in Wheeling, and to raise Virginia units to fight for the Union.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad crossed western Virginia; to control it was a strategic imperative for the Union, and by late May, Federal troops had occupied Grafton, a key junction The Confederacy responded by sending soldiers into the region to recruit and threaten the railroad These forces clashed at Philippi on June 3 Federal columns made a night march and converged at Philippi. Suprised and routed in a skirmish known as the "Philippi Races," the Confederates fled southward.

Both North and South responded vigorously, sending in reinforcements. Con federate Brigadier General Robert B. Garnett divided his small army, taking the larger force to Laurel Hill to guard the road to Philippi. Lieutenant Colonel John Pegram, with 1,300, held Rich Mountain on the vital Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. In early July, Major General George B. McClellan sent a force from Philippi to threaten Garnett at Laurel Hill. McClellan marched against Pegram at Rich Mountain. On July 11, Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans's column climbed Rich Mountain and overwhelmed the small Confederate force in the pass. With the Federals in his rear, Pegram was forced to abandon his position during the night.

Joseph Walker Mountain Man

Sergeant Oscar Ryder (left) of the 7th Regiment, Hew York State Militia.

The Federal victory at Rich Mountain rendered Garnett's Laurel Hill position untenable, and he evacuated on July 12. Garnett, believing McClellan was at Beverly, sought to extricate himself from the area by way of the Cheat River Valley. The pursuing Federals overtook Garnett at Carrick's Ford on the 13th; Garnett was killed and his small army escaped to Monterey. The Confederate government's response was prompt: on July 28, General Robert E. Lee left Richmond for western Virginia. Aiming to defeat Federal forces occupying the Tygart Valley and East Cheat Summit, Lee sent three columns down the valley one

Philippi

1 May 30,1861: Union troops arrive by rail from Wheeling and occupy Grafton st. cla1rs-

June 2: Two Federal columns march VILLE from Grafton to attack Confederates*' ' near Philippi.

Philippi

1 May 30,1861: Union troops arrive by rail from Wheeling and occupy Grafton

Federal troops occupied the^mction at Grafton, The -Confederate detachment Grafton withdrew: to

Philippi, pursued with forced Might marches by 3,000

(jT) Sept 9: Lee, now in command of '' Confederate foces in Western Vrigtl sends three columns against federals holding Tygart Valley and Cheat- -. Mountain, (see map top right)

Federal troops occupied the^mction at Grafton, The -Confederate detachment Grafton withdrew: to

Philippi, pursued with forced Might marches by 3,000

roads. Although the Federal tjjtjfz? attack miscarried, the Confederates fled sovithU/aiid in such haste that their flight became known as "Th'e rhilippi Races,

(jj) July 11:Rosecrans with one1

overwhelms Confederate forc^guar.din; Rich Mountain. Pegram abandons Camp Garnett.

i July 12: Garnett.evacuates Laurejjjiif - £ defenses.

(jT) July 13: in rearguard actio fiat Carriers

Pegram surrendersio McClellaii:

(jT) Sept 9: Lee, now in command of '' Confederate foces in Western Vrigtl sends three columns against federals holding Tygart Valley and Cheat- -. Mountain, (see map top right)

Sergeant Oscar Ryder (left) of the 7th Regiment, Hew York State Militia.

Washington

Cheat Mountain

September 10-13 1861

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