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

An Outpost in Enemy Territory

 
 
An Outpost in Enemy Territory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 27, 2009
1. An Outpost in Enemy Territory Marker
Inscription. From the protection of the fort and their encampment along Mill Creek, Union soldiers were stationed at picket posts throughout adjacent valleys at key junctions, fords, and approaches. Patrols were sent through the country-side to feel for the enemy, investigate rumors of Confederate activity, and gather hay and other provisions for use at the camp.

Eastern West Virginia was a hotly contested guerilla area during the Civil War, and Fort Mill Ridge was an isolated outpost. Surprise attack could come from any direction.

While patrols and picket duty were usually tedious and uneventful, sudden attack by raiding parties or bushwackers could occur at any time. The rugged nature of the terrain made ambushes easy and pursuit difficult.

During the period that Fort Mill Ridge was occupied, the primary base for Confederate operations was Rockingham County in the southeastern Shenandoah Valley. From this base, Confederates launched raids into West Virginia. Two primary raids were undertaken in the spring of 1863.

Well Anne I have just com off of dress praid and I will finish your letter. we drill one hour every morning before breckfist. we ar on gard every third day. I guess they ar about dun with the fort and the intrenchments, then our deuty wont bee so heavy.
June 6, 1863 letter of Private Joshua Winters.
An Outpost in Enemy Territory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 27, 2009
2. An Outpost in Enemy Territory Marker

 
Location. 39° 19.407′ N, 78° 47.601′ 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 7 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. Engagement with McNeill's Rangers (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ditch as a Second Line of Defense (within shouting distance of this marker); Interior of the Central Redoubt (within shouting distance of this marker); The Central Redoubt (within shouting distance of this marker); Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Construction of Fort Mill Ridge (about 300 feet away); The Great Raid (about 300 feet away); Abandonment of Fort Mill Ridge (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Mechanicsburg.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a wartime sketch of picket duty on the Northwest Turnpike east of Romney by Alfred Waud. On the right is a photo of a Yankee forager with rebel chickens.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
View of the Outer Trenches near the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, November 27, 2009
3. View of the Outer Trenches near the Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 739 times since then and 3 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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