Kesler's Raid

Kesler's Raid (HM13V1)

Location: Rock Cave, WV 26234 Upshur County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 50.43', W 80° 20.322'

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Capture of Upshur County Militia

In September 1863, Confederate Maj. Joseph K. Kesler, 19th Virginia Cavalry, led a raid from Pocahontas County through Upshur County and Centerville (present-day Rock Cave). On September 2, Kesler's commander, Col. William L. Jackson, ordered him "with 200 men on foot, to proceed to Sutton and capture the force there and then return."

As Kesler made his way back to Pocahontas County from Sutton, he swept through Upshur County and, on September 12, captured Capt. Daniel Gould's company of Upshur County militia at Centerville. Gould's company was stationed at Centerville to protect the intersection of the Buckhannon and Little Kanawha Turnpike with the Hacker Valley Road. Allegedly Gould surrendered without firing a shot. The Confederates burned the nearby fortification as they marched away with their prisoners.

Of the seventy militiamen whom Kesler captured here, seven subsequently escaped, and twenty-five were paroled. For the remaining forty-three, however, the outcome was grim. They died in a variety of Confederate prisoner-of-war camps, including those at Belle Isle (Richmond), Virginia; Salisbury, North Carolina; and Andersonville, Georgia.

Kesler's "successful scout" earned him a letter of commendation from Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones on September 19. Jones conveyed to Kesler "his high appreciation of the gallantry, skill, and enterprise displayed by him in this expedition. The courage and good conduct of the officers and men deserve and receive the highest commendation. If all our soldiers emulate their good example, we shall ever be able to meet our barbarous foe with the confidence of victory."
HM NumberHM13V1
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 Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 1:54am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 557391 N 4299284
Decimal Degrees38.84050000, -80.33870000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 50.43', W 80° 20.322'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 50' 25.80" N, 80° 20' 19.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12808 Co Rte 20/13, Rock Cave WV 26234, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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