Barboursville Engagement

Barboursville Engagement (HM1EDV)

Location: Barboursville, WV 25504 Cabell County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 24.6', W 82° 17.7'

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Fighting for the Kanawha Valley

Confederate Gen. Henry A. Wise's army occupied the Lower Kanawha Valley in June 1861. Union Gen. George B. McClellan assigned the task of driving them out to Gen. Jacob D. Cox, who massed his troops in Gallipolis, Ohio. Cox planned to cross the Ohio River, occupy Point Pleasant, and push up the Kanawha River to Charleston. He launched a three-prong drive on July 11, and the first clash of consequence occurred here at Barboursville on July 14.

Union Lt. Col George Neff, leading the column from Guyandotte with four companies of Col. William E. Woodruff's 2nd Kentucky Infantry, confronted a sizeable Confederate force here. Besides county militiamen, two other units defended Barboursville from a hill overlooking the Mud River; the Sandy Rangers, under Capt. James Corns, and the Border Rangers, under Capt. James Ferguson. Albert G. Jenkins, subsequently the commander of the 8th Virginia Infantry and later a general, had recruited the Border Rangers. As the Federals neared the covered bridge, the Confederates opened fire. The Kentuckians fixed bayonets and charged up the hill, driving out the defenders. One of them, who had never seen a bayonet, wrote that "I loaded and fired till the Yankees began to load with butcher knives, then I thought it was time to be going." Casualties were light on both sides. The Federals raised the Stars and Stripes over the courthouse and then marched on to join the main force. Three days later, they fought again at Scary Creek, and Wise subsequently withdrew from the Kanawha Valley.

(upper right) Lt. Col. George Neff — Courtesy Library of Congress
Gen. Albert G. Jenkins — Courtesy Library of Congress
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 Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 6:34pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 386936 N 4252100
Decimal Degrees38.41000000, -82.29500000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 24.6', W 82° 17.7'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 24' 36.00" N, 82° 17' 42.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 615-699 Main St, Barboursville WV 25504, US
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