McCoy House

McCoy House (HM13U3)

Location: Franklin, WV 26807 Pendleton County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 38.484', W 79° 19.878'

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Union Headquarters

— 1862 Valley Campaign —

(Preface): Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's unsuccessful attack on Union forces at Kernstown on March 23, 1862, alarmed Federal officials, who assigned additional troops to the Shenandoah Valley to guard against a Confederate assault on Washington, D.C.. In May and June, Jackson's "foot cavalry" marched 350 miles; defeated three Union armies in engagements at McDowell (May 8), Front Royal (May 23), Winchester (May 25), Cross Keys (June 8), and Port Republic (June 9); inflicted twice the number of casualties it suffered; and tied down 60,000 Federal troops. The campaign made Jackson the Confederacy's foremost hero.

After the Battle of McDowell on May 8, 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's army pursued the retreating Federals. The Union force under Gens. Robert C. Schenck and Robert H. Milroy fled about thirty miles to Franklin. They set the woods on fire as they went to delay the Confederate pursuit. The smoke reduced visibility to two hundred yards, and burning trees fascinated the soldiers. One of Jackson's staff members wrote, "At night the light was exquisitely beautiful. These dead trees were columns of fire."

On reaching Franklin, Schenck established a defensive line on the hill west of William McCoy's house in front of you, where he had made his headquarters at McCoy's invitation before the battle. Gen. John C. Fremont's army reinforced Schenck and Milroy, and together they prepared for a Confederate attack. Jackson, however was more concerned about being trapped between Fremont's army and Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks' force in the Shenandoah Valley. After some skirmishing, Jackson marched away from Franklin to the Valley on May 12. He likewise set the woods afire and left a cavalry detachment behind in the smoke to make noise and convince the Federals that he and his army were just a mile to the south of here. The ruse worked. On May 27, Fremont's army withdrew down the South Branch Valley.

"The whole [Union] army said to be twenty thousand strong were encamped two weeks in and around Franklin and having many sick and wounded nearly every in town has been converted into a hospital. ...One Lieutenant from Ohio died in our house. ... Yesterday morning the whole army of Gen. Freemont [sic] commenced a hasty retreat... leaving 125 sick and wounded." - William McCoy, May 28, 1862
HM NumberHM13U3
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 12:51pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 645226 N 4278304
Decimal Degrees38.64140000, -79.33130000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 38.484', W 79° 19.878'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 38' 29.04" N, 79° 19' 52.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-104 S Main St, Franklin WV 26807, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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