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Beverly in Randolph County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The First Campaign

Civil War Begins in the Mountains of (West) Virginia

 

—The First Campaign —

 
The First Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 11, 2009
1. The First Campaign Marker
Inscription. West Virginia, born of a nation divided, was the setting for the first campaign of America's Civil War. Although still part of Virginia in 1861, many citizens of the west remained loyal to the Union, rather than the Confederacy. By late May, Union General George B. McClellan, commanding the Department of the Ohio, launched the first campaign, ordering troops to cross the Ohio River and secure "Western" Virginia for the Union.

Here, during June-July 1861, McClellan's army won the inaugural Union victories of the Civil War. Hailed as the North's first battlefield hero, McClellan was summoned to Washington on July 22, following a stunning Union debacle at Manassas, Virginia. Federal troops now occupied Western Virginia, as loyal delegates met in Wheeling to form the "Restored Government of Virginia," a Union government to oppose the Confederate one in Richmond.

By August 1861, Southern forces again threatened. Confederate General Robert E. Lee attempted to reclaim Western Virginia, but failed miserably. Troops of both armies remained to guard the mountain passes during that terrible winter. By 1862, conflict shifted east. The first campaign proved to be decisive: the western counties under Union control became the new state of West Virginia in 1863. The arduous conflict in these mountains forged armies and leaders-notably McClellan,
Markers next to the County Museum image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 11, 2009
2. Markers next to the County Museum
Lee, and Stonewall Jackson - who shaped the course of the Civil War.

"The history of that remarkable campaign would show, if truly portrayed, a degree of severity, of hardship, of toil, of exposure and suffering that finds no parallel."
Col. Samuel V. Fulkerson, C.S.A.
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 50.459′ N, 79° 52.521′ W. Marker is in Beverly, West Virginia, in Randolph County. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 219), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located next to the Randolph County Museum and Historical Society. Marker is in this post office area: Beverly WV 26253, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Beverly (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Beverly (here, next to this marker); Occupied Beverly (here, next to this marker); Blackman-Bosworth Store (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Beverly (a few steps from this marker); Robert Foyles & Family (a few steps from this marker); Randolph Co Jail - 1813 (a few steps from this marker); Beverly Public Square (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Beverly.
 
More about this marker. On the right side of the marker is a map of West Virginia with sites related to the Western Virginia campaign noted. This marker orients visitors to the early war campaign in West Virginia and is duplicated at several locations.
 
Also see . . .
1. War in the Mountains. Civil War Trails guide to the campaign sites. (Submitted on November 15, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. The Mountain Campaign of 1861-62. Page from the Rich Mountain Battlefield site. (Submitted on November 15, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 699 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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