Destruction at the Courthouse

Destruction at the Courthouse (HM13UY)

Location: Buckhannon, WV 26201 Upshur County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 59.628', W 80° 13.896'

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The Raiders Strike

— Jenkins's Raid —

(Preface): Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins led 550 cavalrymen on a 500-mile raid from Salt Sulphur Springs, Aug. 22-Sept. 12, 1862, attacking Federal forces and destroying military stores. He captured and paroled 300 Union soldiers, killed or wounded 1,000 others, destroyed about 5,000 small arms, and seized funds from a U.S. paymaster. At Ravenswood, he forded the Ohio River and raised the Confederate flag in Ohio on Sept. 4. He captured Racine, recrossed the river, and ended the raid at Red House on the Kanawha River.

On August 30, 1862, after Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins's cavalry defeated the town's Union defenders here, they marched the prisoners to the courthouse and made them haul weapons and ammunition outside and burn them. Bonfires of guns, store goods, furniture, wagons, and personal property burned on Main Street, during the night of August 31. A Federal brass cannon was thrown into the courthouse well. The prisoners were then marched to the Federal commissary in the Southern Methodist church on West Main Street (now the Upshur County History Center). They carried out thousands of pounds of bacon, many bushels of corn and oats, and hundreds of sacks of green coffee and burned them. In 1886, Sheriff J.J. Morgan while cleaning the courthouse well, found a container with half a gallon of rifle balls that had been dumped there.

The county's first courthouse, built in 1855, served as an armory and suffered abuse throughout the war. In December 1861, Capt. Lot Bowen organized Co. E, 3rd West Virginia Cavalry. Union Gen. William W. Averell later visited the Federal forces occupying the town. The courthouse and church buildings were commandeered for storage and housing. On January 23, 1865, the desperate county court, angered by the unending damage to the building, passed a resolution: "Whereas, the military authorities have taken possession of the courthouse and mutilated and destroyed the interior?by tearing away the Bar and breaking up and burning the seats?Be it resolved the Sheriff present to Commander of this Post, this appeal asking him to move the troops under his command out of the courthouse.."
HM NumberHM13UY
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 Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 3:12am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 566543 N 4316369
Decimal Degrees38.99380000, -80.23160000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 59.628', W 80° 13.896'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 59' 37.68" N, 80° 13' 53.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 27 W Main St, Buckhannon WV 26201, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Nearby Markersshow on map
Buckhannon / Frontier Days
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The History Center
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McClellan's Buckhannon Camp
0.54 miles
Jenkins in Buckhannon
0.78 miles
The Bassel House
1.3 miles
Population Center
3.95 miles
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Upshur Militia
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Kesler's Raid
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Gen. Lightburn
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