Morgantown (HM1E5F)

Location: Morgantown, WV 26505 Monongalia County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 37.796', W 79° 57.561'

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Westover Bridge

— Jones-Imboden Raid —

On April 20, 1863, Confederate Gens. William E. "Grumble" Jones and John D. Imboden began a raid from Virginia through present-day West Virginia on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Taking separate routes, they later reported that they marched 1,100 miles, fought several engagements, captured 700 Federals, seized about 1,200 horses and 4,000 cattle, and burned 4 turnpike bridges, more than 20 railroad bridges, 2 trains, and 150,000 barrels of oil. Most bridges were soon repaired. Confederate losses were slight. By May 26, both commands had returned to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

(main text)
On April 27, 1863, Confederate Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones and his cavalry occupied Morgantown, a Unionist stronghold. Alerted that the Confederates were approaching, the towns people concealed most of their livestock and personal belongings. Waitman T. Willey, a United States senator in the Restored Government of Virginia, fled Morgantown for Pennsylvania. The president of the local bank removed all of the cash and also went to Pennsylvania. The Confederate cavalrymen seized the few horses that were not well hidden, as well as all of the shoes, boots, and hats that they could find in the Morgantown stores.

Confederate Pvt. William L. Wilson, 12th Virginia Cavalry, wrote in his diary, "This is the meanest Union hole we have been in." (In 1882, Wilson became president of West Virginia University.)

The Confederates quickly rode out of Morgantown, but to the surprise of the residents, they returned the next day and seized more than 40 horses. The raiders then crossed the suspension bridge to Westover and marched on to Fairmont to destroy the railroad bridge there.

On April 27, 1863, on the Kingwood Pike, Jones's column was fired on as it approached Morgantown. The Confederates soon captured three civilians who claimed they were merely hunting. Jones's men accused them of bushwhacking. The men, Lloyd Beall, Andrew Johnson, and Albert Robey, were lined up and shot. Robey faked death and escaped after the Confederates rode away. Beall and Johnson are buried in local cemeteries. There headstones give April 27, 1863, as the date of death and bear the inscription "killed by Confederate Raiders."

(lower left) Waitman T. Willey Courtesy Richard A. Wolfe
(upper center) Westover Bridge - Courtesy Richard A. Wolfe
(upper right)Union bushwackers attacking Confederate cavalrymen, engraving by Junius Henry Browne, 1865.
(lower right) Jones-Imboden Raid
HM NumberHM1E5F
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 7th, 2014 at 4:31pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 589308 N 4387202
Decimal Degrees39.62993333, -79.95935000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 37.796', W 79° 57.561'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 37' 47.76" N, 79° 57' 33.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 675-727 Caperton Trail, Morgantown WV 26505, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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