Camp Allegheny

Camp Allegheny (HMLY4)

Location: Blue Grass, VA 24413 Highland County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 27.97', W 79° 41.623'

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Confederate Outpost

Two miles west on the former Staunton-to-Parkersburg Turnpike is Camp Allegheny, the highest Civil War fortification east of the Mississippi. Its rolling meadows and spectacular views belie a punishing winter climate.

The turnpike was completed in 1839 to "benefit the state by retaining and increasing its western population, clearing and settling an extensive territory, and adding to the revenue...the formidable central range of mountains of Virginia, a county at present almost a wilderness and where comforts are unknown," according to Claudius Crozet, then Principal Engineer of the Virginia Board of Public Works.

In 1861, the road became an important strategic target for both armies. Confederates dug in at Camp Allegheny, overlooking the turnpike, to bar advances into the Shenandoah Valley after Union victories at Rich Mountain and Corricks Ford in July 1861. They held this vital position during Gen. Robert E. Lee's attack on nearby Cheat Mountain that September. The garrison here under Edward "Old Allegheny" Johnson was attacked by Federals led by Gen. Robert Milroy on December 13, 1861. The Confederate defenders won one of the hardest fought battles of the war's first year.

Southern soldiers endured a horrible winter at Camp Allegheny. Diseases swept through the exposed camp, killing scores of men whose unmarked graves still lie scattered across the mountaintop.

Abandoning Camp Allegheny in April 1862, Confederate survivors retreated east on the turnpike, toward Staunton, before joining Gen. T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The combined force marched west again, defeating Union forces under Milroy once more at McDowell on May 8, 1862. Though western Virginia remained in Union hands, Jackson's famous Valley campaign continued, ending in June with victories at Port Republic and Cross Keys.

"I want this fight whipped out here before winter [or] it will be so cold that we cannot stand it."
- Sheperd Green Pryor, 12th Georgia Infantry C.S.A., in a letter home from Camp Allegheny 1861.
HM NumberHMLY4
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 4:57am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 613960 N 4258347
Decimal Degrees38.46616667, -79.69371667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 27.97', W 79° 41.623'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 27' 58.20" N, 79° 41' 37.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 700 Mountain Turnpike, Blue Grass VA 24413, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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