Keyes' Switch Engagement

Keyes' Switch Engagement (HM14D0)

Location: Bolivar, WV 25425 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 17.658', W 77° 47.052'

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The Last of the Loudoun Rangers

This is the site of the last Civil War engagement in Jefferson County and one of the last fights involving Col. John S. Mosby's Rangers. It also marked the end of the Independent Loudoun Rangers, a small cavalry unit recruited in 1862 from Loudoun County's Unionist residents to serve as "border police" and scouts for Federal forces. The opposing rangers had clashed once before at Point of Rocks during Gen. Jubal A. Early's Washington Raid in July 1864.

On April 5, 1865, just four days before the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, Mosby mustered Co. H into his 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry in Loudoun County. He selected a Charles Town native, George Baylor, as the new company's captain and ordered him to "go out and see what he could do." Baylor, who had served previously in the Stonewall Brigade and the 12th Virginia Cavalry, rode west with his company and learned that the Loudoun Rangers were camped here.

According to Baylor's account, at 10 A.M. the next morning he and his men charged into the camp and caught the Loudoun Rangers "completely off guard?The loss of the enemy was 2 killed, 4 wounded, 65 prisoners, 81 horses equipments; our loss, one wounded, Frank Helm of Warrenton." Three days later on the morning of Lee's surrender, Baylor's company was routed in a Federal attack in Fairfax County. Mosby disbanded the Rangers on April 21, 1865, rather than surrender.
HM NumberHM14D0
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 6:32am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 259894 N 4353132
Decimal Degrees39.29430000, -77.78420000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 17.658', W 77° 47.052'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 17' 39.48" N, 77° 47' 3.12" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 436 Millville Rd, Bolivar WV 25425, US
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