Kesslers Cross Lanes

Kesslers Cross Lanes (HM147A)

Location: Summersville, WV 26651 Nicholas County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 13.578', W 80° 55.938'

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"Battle of Knives and Forks"

In 1861, both Union and Confederate forces vied for control of Western Virginia. By July, Union Gen. Jacob D. Cox had driven Confederate Gen. Henry A Wise's army out of the Kanawha Valley and was advancing east on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike from Gauley Bridge to occupy more of the region.

Cox knew that Confederate Gen. John B. Floyd's force was also advancing and might flank his army. He dispatched Col. Erastus B. Tyler's 7th Ohio Infantry to Kesslers Cross Lanes to stop the movement. Many of Tyler's men had been recruited from Oberlin College, a Christian school located in Ohio, and were nicknamed the Praying Company for their continual reading of the Bible.

Cox camped on a small hill near Zoar Baptist Church on the evening of August 25, while Tyler occupied the intersection. Tyler, however, apparently neglected to post sufficient guards to warn of a Confederate attack. At 5 A.M. the next morning, while the young soldiers were eating breakfast, Floyd and 1,700 men approached the camp, surprised the Federals, and routed them. The Federals reported 15 killed, 20 wounded and 38 captured. The remaining troops ran for the Kanawha Valley. Instead of pursuing, Floyd withdrew to a fortified camp on the Patterson Farm on a hill above Carnifex Ferry on the Gauley River. Wise wrote later in a mocking report that the "battle of knives and forks at Cross Lanes had elated {Floyd} to such an extent, that he thought himself?capable of accomplishing impossibilities." He was soon found incapable of holding the ferry crossing, however.
HM NumberHM147A
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 Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 10:19am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 505925 N 4230926
Decimal Degrees38.22630000, -80.93230000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 13.578', W 80° 55.938'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 13' 34.68" N, 80° 55' 56.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5546 Summersville Lake Rd, Summersville WV 26651, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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