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Near Romney in Hampshire County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Engagement at Romney
Lew Wallace Storms the Bridge
 
Engagement at Romney Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
1. Engagement at Romney Marker
 
Inscription. On the night of June 12, 1861, Col. Lewis Wallace led his 11th Indiana (Zouaves) Regiment from Cumberland, Maryland, by train across the Potomac River and into present-day West Virginia. He had learned that “several hundred” Confederate troops were in Romney, as he wrote in his official report, drilling and forcing Unionists into Confederate service. After detraining and marching across the mountains before dawn, Wallace and his men neared Romney about 8 A.M. on June 13 and encountered pickets who fired and ran into town to give the alarm.

As Wallace approached the covered wooden bridge that spanned the South Branch of the Potomac River in front of you, he “could distinctly see ... a battery of two guns, planted so as to sweep the road completely. I directed my advance guard to cross the bridge on the run, leap down an embankment at the farther entrance, and observe the windows of a large brick house [Sycamore Dale, across the river and upstream]. ... A warm fire opened from the house, which the guard returned, with no other loss than the wounding of a sergeant. ... I led a second company across
 
Engagement at Romney Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
2. Engagement at Romney Marker
 
the bridge, and ... soon drove the enemy from the house.” Wallace and his regiment set off in pursuit, but the Confederates fled together with most of Romney’s civilians. After searching the town for weapons and supplies, Wallace marched his men back to Cumberland, arriving at 11 P.M.

(sidebar) Lewis “Lew” Wallace was born in Brookville, Indiana, on April 10, 1827. He served in the Mexican War, left the army for a political and legal career, and raised the 11th Indiana Infantry regiment when the Civil War began. On July 9, 1864, he delayed Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early’s army at the Monocacy River in Maryland, giving the defenders of Washington, D.C., time to organize. After the war, he served as governor of New Mexico (famously offering Billy the Kid a pardon) and as minister to Turkey. He is best known as the author of the novel Ben Hur. He died in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on February 15, 1905.
 
Erected by Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 
 
“Engagement at Romney,” Sycamore Dale at Right Photo, Click for full size
3. “Engagement at Romney,” Sycamore Dale at Right
 
20.333′ N, 78° 46.783′ W. Marker is near Romney, West Virginia, in Hampshire County. Marker is on U.S. 50 near the South Branch of the Potomac River, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. It is at the western end of the bridge. There is a pulloff that can hold two or three cars at the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Romney WV 26757, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Indian Mound (approx. ¾ mile away); Fort Pearsall 1754 (approx. ¾ mile away); Captain George W. Stump (approx. one mile away); Fort Mill Ridge (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Civil War in the South Branch Valley (approx. 1.2 miles away); Construction of Fort Mill Ridge (approx. 1.2 miles away); Old Literary Hall (approx. 1.3 miles away); Romney in 1861–1865 / “Stonewall” Jackson (approx. 1.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Romney.
 
More about this marker. A large color photograph of a house captioned “Sycamore Dale” is reproduced on the lower left of the marker. In the center is an illustration captioned “Engagement at Romney, Sycamore Dale is at right.” from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, June 29, 1961. The sidebar in the right column includes a portrait of General Lewis Wallace.
 
Current Bridge to Romney Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
4. Current Bridge to Romney
The South Branch (of the Potomac River) flows beneath it.
 

 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This is the Major General Lew Wallace marker in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
 
Also see . . .  Romney in the Civil War. “Col. Lewis (Lew) Wallace in command of the Eleventh Indiana (Zouaves) occupied Romney for a few hours on June 13, 1861. The next day Col. A.P. Hill occupied the town.” (Submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 
 
New and Old Route 50 Bridges Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
5. New and Old Route 50 Bridges
When the new bridge is complete the old bridge will be dismantled. This is a popular wading and fishing spot.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,163 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on July 22, 2010.   4, 5. submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
 
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