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Near Mechanicsburg in Hampshire County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap

 
 
Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 27, 2009
1. Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap Marker
Inscription. Federal Battery E, 1st (West) Virginia Volunteer Artillery was assigned to the command at Fort Mill Ridge. The Battery was armed with six 3-inch rifled cannons. It is believed that two of these cannons were positioned in the central redoubt.

The 3-inch rifled cannon was an accurate field piece with a range of about a miles on level ground. This range was longer when the cannon was placed atop a ridge. From the elevation of the central redoubt, the cannon could fire into Mechanicsburg Gap to control the approach from the west. This also allowed control of the area near the South Branch of the Potomac River bridge and the River Road to the east.

The Mechanicsburg Gap was an important mountain pass through which ran the Northwestern Turnpike, today's Route 50. The Northwestern Turnpike was one of the few direct east-west routes through the mountains of West Virginia. Its control was important to the efficient movement of men and supplies in the region.

Tues May 19. the wether is fair. no strnge news today. Wed 20. this has been a vary warm day. I am on picket gard on the Winchester Road. Thur 21. vary warm today. I com off pickit today. we had battelling drill this eaving.
Diary of Joshua Winters, May 1863.
 
Location. 39° 19.444′ N, 78° 
Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 27, 2009
2. Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap Marker
47.644′ W. Marker is near Mechanicsburg, West Virginia, in Hampshire County. Marker can be reached from Fort Mill Ridge Park Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located at trail stop 5 on the tour of Fort Mill Ridge Park. Marker is in this post office area: Burlington WV 26710, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Central Redoubt (within shouting distance of this marker); Interior of the Central Redoubt (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ditch as a Second Line of Defense (within shouting distance of this marker); Construction of Fort Mill Ridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Abandonment of Fort Mill Ridge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civil War in the South Branch Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Mill Ridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); An Outpost in Enemy Territory (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsburg.
 
More about this marker. In the lower left is a drawing of a View of artillery on the ridgetop facing northeast toward Romney. On the right is another drawing: View of Mechanicsburg Gap showing artillery of the 1st (West) Virginia Volunteer Artillery. This sketch was made by Sergeant Major Lucian Gray just prior to the construction of Fort Mill Ridge.
View of the Gap Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 27, 2009
3. View of the Gap Today

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 979 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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