Moorefield Presbyterian Church

Moorefield Presbyterian Church (HMW8T)

Location: Moorefield, WV 26836 Hardy County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 3.702', W 78° 58.18'

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Confederate Sanctuary

When the Civil War began, the Greek Revival-style Moorefield Presbyterian Church consisted of the main sanctuary that fronts on Main Street and the small chapel behind it. The chapel was constructed about 1847, and the sanctuary was completed in 1855.

The Rev. William V. Wilson, the minister, was an outspoken Confederate sympathizer as was his congregation, which was composed of Moorefield's prominent, wealthy residents. Many sons of the older congregants served in the county militia and in regular Confederate army units.

Even before the fighting began, Wilson urged the members to prepare for large-scale warfare to ensure success. Because his sentiments were well known to Union commanders, Wilson left in February 1862 and never returned. Instead, he served as a chaplain in the Confederate army, principally in the Shenandoah Valley.

Both sides utilized the church as a hospital during the war, and Union soldiers burned pews for firewood and stabled their horses inside. Because of the damage, the congregation suspended services from early in 1862 until mid-1865.

Merchant Samuel A. McMechen, who lived down the street to your left, struggled to keep the Sunday school operating. Leigh Allen, on his way to Sunday school on March 23, 1862, found Union cavalry here and turned back. When gunfire erupted in his path, he ran into the woods with other townspeople and hid behind a log until evening, and then returned home. His aunt, who wrote of the episode, concluded that it was "quite a trial for a child of nine years."

The church was repaired after the war. The wings date to 1928 and 1855.
HM NumberHMW8T
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, October 3rd, 2014 at 11:06pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 675664 N 4325585
Decimal Degrees39.06170000, -78.96966667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 3.702', W 78° 58.18'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 3' 42.12" N, 78° 58' 10.80" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 117-119 S Main St, Moorefield WV 26836, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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