Philippi (HMMKV)

Location: Philippi, WV 26416 Barbour County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 9.483', W 80° 2.831'

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The Federal Attack

— The First Campaign —

On June 2, 1861, Federal troops advanced on Philippi from the Baltimore & Ohio rail hub at Grafton in two columns of about 1500 men each.

The left column, under Col. Benjamin Kelley, took the train six miles east to Thornton, and then marched south over poor roads on the east side of the Tygart Valley River toward Philippi.

The right column, uncer Col. Ebenezer Dumont, rode the train south to Webster and followed the Fairmount-Beverly Turnpike to Talbott Hill (College Hill) where they placed cannons overlooking Philippi. Both columns slogged through torrents of rain and total darkness. Kelley's men became lost and arrived too late to cut off the Confederate retreat from the town.

"Cannon balls [were] crashing into their buts and stirring out the rebels like a stick into a hornet's nest."
-Whitelaw Reed, Cincinnati Gazette

After the two Federal cannon were placed on Talbott Hill, other units of Dumont's column moving up tried to stop Mrs. Thomas Humphreys from sending one of her sons to warn the Confederates. She fired a pistol. The Federal cannoners, thinking it was the signal that Kelley's troops were in place to cut off the Confederates, opened fire.

It was the first time in world history that an army used the railroad to bring divergent columns to converge upon an opponent.
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 Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 11:58pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 582322 N 4334748
Decimal Degrees39.15805000, -80.04718333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 9.483', W 80° 2.831'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 9' 28.98" N, 80° 2' 49.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1-11 Circle Dr E, Philippi WV 26416, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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