Fight at Bloomery Gap

Fight at Bloomery Gap (HMKCG)

Location: Capon Bridge, WV 26711 Hampshire County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 23.24', W 78° 22.448'

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A Futile Affair

Early in 1862, Confederate raids and attacks put Hampshire County and much of the surrounding area under nominal Southern control. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and nearby telegraph wires were severed, impeding Federal troop movements. A militia brigade under Col. Jacob Sencendiver, 67th Virginia Militia, occupied Bloomery Gap to threaten the railroad and Union-occupied territory near the Potomac River. To drive them out, Gen. Frederick W. Lander led a mixed force of infantry and cavalry south from Paw Paw, Morgan County, on the afternoon of February 13. He intended to strike Sencendiver's position at dawn the next morning, but bad weather and high water delayed him long enough for the Confederate pickets to give warning.

Sencendiver hastily ordered the wagons packed and sent east, while posting the 31st Virginia Infantry to block Lander's advance. Lander led the charge of part of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry, overrunning and scattering the Virginians and capturing many officers and men as well as the wagon train. Sencendiver rallied the 67th and 78th Regiments, however, and recaptured the wagons. The Federals returned to Paw Paw while the Confederates marched to Pughtown, leaving the railroad and telegraph lines open for the day. Sencendiver soon reoccupied the gap.

Except for the loss of 67 officers and men as prisoners, Sencendiver reported only two men wounded. Lander, who requested that he be relieved because of ill health, reported casualties of two men and six horses. He also court-martialed Col. Henry Anisansel of the 1st Virginia Cavalry (US), whom he had ordered to capture the Confederate wagon train, for failing to do so. On March 2, before the court martial was concluded, Lander died of the lingering effects of wounds received earlier in the war. Anisansel resigned.

(Sidebar): Gen. Frederick W. Lander (1821-1862), a native of Salem, Massachusetts, was a civil engineer who surveyed the Lander Road from the Wyoming Territory to the Oregon Territory. The road was completed in 1859. When the war began, he served first as an aide to Gen. George B. McClellan, then obtained a general's commission and proved himself a capable leader. He was also an accomplished poet. Lander was severely wounded on October 27, 1861, at the Battle of Ball's Bluff in Virginia but continued to serve until he died.
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2010
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 7:58am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 726149 N 4363050
Decimal Degrees39.38733333, -78.37413333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 23.24', W 78° 22.448'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 23' 14.40" N, 78° 22' 26.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4842-4898 Bloomery Pike, Capon Bridge WV 26711, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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