Vital Transportation Center

Vital Transportation Center (HM1E9S)

Location: Parkersburg, WV 26101 Wood County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 15.973', W 81° 33.95'

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McClellan Occupies Parkersburg

At the beginning of the Civil War, both sides recognized the strategic importance of Parkersburg. Besides its location on the Ohio River, the Northwestern Virginia Railroad branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike, and the Northwestern Turnpike all served the city and county.

Union Gen. George B. McClellan, commander of the Department of Ohio, was informed in May 1861 that Confederates were threatening the railroad. McClellan decided to protect the terminus at Parkersburg, and on May 27, he sent the 14th and 18th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, together with the Cleveland Light Artillery, to occupy the city. The units departed Marietta, Ohio, on steamboats and landed in Parkersburg to find the residents were glad to see them.

McClellan arrived with his staff from Cincinnati on June 22. He inspected the facilities here, including the future site of Fort Boreman, before moving east. Before the next month was over, he had fought and won battles at Rich Mountain and Corrick's Ford in western Virginia, defeating troops under Gen. Robert E. Lee's overall command—a trend that would be reversed a year later near Richmond. McClellan's reports to Washington proclaimed, "Our success is complete and secession is killed in this country."

The Union occupation of Parkersburg continued until the end of the war. About 30,000 troops arrived within three months of McClellan's departure, and over the course of the conflict many thousands more passed through. At the end of the war, Parkersburg became a center for transporting troops west for discharge.

(upper left) Gen. George B. McClellan Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper right) Union troops landing at Parkersburg, May 27, 1861, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Aug. 24, 1861 Courtesy Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
HM NumberHM1E9S
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 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 451187 N 4346472
Decimal Degrees39.26621667, -81.56583333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 15.973', W 81° 33.95'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 15' 58.38" N, 81° 33' 57.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 6454 Little Kanawha Connector, Parkersburg WV 26101, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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