Rowlesburg in Preston County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The B&O Railroad crossed the Cheat River at Rowlesburg, making it a strategic area which both the Union and Confederate forces wanted to control. The railroad linked the eastern and western Union forces with supplies of food, ammunition and troops.
On April 26, 1863, just weeks before the new state of West Virginia would enter the Union, 1,000 Confederate troops led by General W.E. "Grumble" Jones arrived, planning to destroy the railroad's bridges, viaducts and trestles in the area.
The Sixth West Virginia Infantry, 250 strong and local residents joined forces under the command of Major John Showalter. They prepared an ambush south of the town, lined up troops behind the railroad embankment to protect the bridge, piled railroad ties across the tracks, and readied the cannons atop Cannon Hill.
The Rebel troops attacked Rowlesburg from the south and from the eastern end of the railroad bridge across the river during the day.
The Union artillery, including the cannons, turned the Confederate forces back. Major Showalter's troops kept the Confederates from entering the town and from reaching
By nightfall, General Jones' troops had retreated and headed west.
The Confederates did not threaten Rowlesburg again, and railroad traffic through the Cheat River canyon was unimpeded for the remainder of the war.
Location. 39° 20.917′ N, 79° 40.265′ W. Marker is in Rowlesburg, West Virginia, in Preston County. Marker is at the intersection of Catherine Street (State Highway 72) and Buffalo Street, on the right when traveling west on Catherine Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rowlesburg WV 26425, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rowlesburg Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 1841 Mountain Howitzer (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle of Rowlesburg (approx. 0.2 miles away); B&O Viaducts (approx. 1.4 miles away); Battle of Rowlesburg: "The River Road" (approx. 2 miles away); Aurora (approx. 6.3 miles away); Gantz Sand (approx. 6.4 miles away); Old Stone Tavern (approx. 7.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rowlesburg.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 601 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.