Alderson's Ferry

Alderson's Ferry (HM14B3)

Location: Alderson, WV 24910 Greenbrier County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 43.458', W 80° 38.586'

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Strategic Crossing

Here, where you are standing, you can see both sides of the Greenbrier River where Alderson's Ferry crossed. The ferry was named for Elder John Alderson who received the original charter from the Virginia Legislature in 1786. During the Civil War, the ferry played a significant role as both Union and Confederate forces used it to carry men and supplies across the river here. On June 22, 1862 for example, 1,600 Federal troops were ferried over the river here on an expedition into Monroe County.

Because of the importance of the ferry, occasionally engagements were fought here as each side sought to control the crossing or deny the ferry's use to the enemy. On July 12, 1862, Union Capt. William B. Harrison, leading two cavalry companies from Col. George Crook's brigade, engaged Confederate cavalrymen here. His command killed or wounded seven of them and captured about a dozen of their horses.

Gen. Rutherford B. Hayes, the future president of the United States, crossed his brigade over the river into Greenbrier County just upstream from here on May 18, 1864. It took twenty-four hours for the entire brigade to cross.

Hayes's brigade was part of Gen. George Crook's Army of the Kanawha, which camped here in May 1864. Dr. Thomas G. Clay, who operated the ferry, was taken into custody and detained for a day without Crook's knowledge. When Crook learned of it, he ordered Clays immediate release and directed that his property not be molested. Clay lived in the ferryman's house that stood on your right across the modern railroad tracks, just beyond the apartment building and the flat, grassy lot.
HM NumberHM14B3
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 14th, 2014 at 2:33pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 531451 N 4175286
Decimal Degrees37.72430000, -80.64310000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 43.458', W 80° 38.586'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 43' 27.48" N, 80° 38' 35.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 219 S Monroe St, Alderson WV 24910, US
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