“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Moorefield in Hardy County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

McMechen House

Confederate Headquarters

McMechen House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Linda Walcroft, September 24, 2011
1. McMechen House Marker
Inscription. This house was constructed about 1853 for Samuel A. McMechen, merchant , father of five daughters and deacon of Moorefield Presbyterian Church up the street on your right. The attached McMechen Store, on the right, predates the house. A Confederate sympathizer, McMechen entertained Confederate officers at his house when they controlled Moorefield. When Union forces occupied the town, McMechen left for his cabin at Howard's Lick Spring (presently Lost River State Park) or for friends' homes in the Shenandoah Valley. Presumably he was away when Union Gen. John C. Frémont made his headquarters in the house in May 1862.

Confederate Gen. John McCausland, retreating after the unsuccessful attack on Washington, D.C. and the burning of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1864, was asleep upstairs when Union Gen. William W. Averell attacked his troops bivouacked four miles north of here about dawn on August 7. McCausland lost hundreds of horses, later hampering Confederate cavalry operations in the Shenandoah Valley.

Moorefield changed hands several times during the war as each side sought control of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, or advanced to or retreated from the Shenandoah Valley. Each army foraged for horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, wheat, corn, and dry goods in the countryside and in Moorefield.

Confederate Gen.
Marker in front of McMechen House image. Click for full size.
By Linda Walcroft, September 24, 2011
2. Marker in front of McMechen House
Fitzhugh Lee reported at the end of 1863 that few supplies could be found here.

At war's end, McMechen repaired his house, restocked his store, and helped the community recover. Resentment lingered, however. His wife, Mary Elizabeth McMechen, remarked in 1866, "We have been torn from Virginia by wicked force, but we are Virginians still."
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Location. 39° 3.752′ N, 78° 58.185′ W. Marker is in Moorefield, West Virginia, in Hardy County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (U.S. 220) and Winchester Avenue on North Main Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 N. Main St., Moorefield WV 26836, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Moorefield (within shouting distance of this marker); Presbyterian Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Moorefield Presbyterian Church (about 300 feet away); Maslin House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gen. Joseph Neville / McNeill's Raid (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cemetery Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mill Island (approx. 1.8 miles away); Battle of Moorefield (approx. 4.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Moorefield.
More about this marker.
Older Marker on McMechen House image. Click for full size.
By Linda Walcroft, September 24, 2011
3. Older Marker on McMechen House
"S. A. McMechen House Built in 1853, this home was occupied by officers of both sides as the fortunes of war changed. McCausland was staying here when Gen. Averell attacked his troops camped at Goings Ford and Old Fields."
Upper Left Photo is Samuel A. McMechen (1903), Courtesy Phoebe Heishman

Right photo shows "McMechen family, ca. 1900, left to right: Janie (in window), Carrie, Emma, Kate, Betty, Mary Elizabeth, and Samuel. Courtesy McCoy-McMechen Museum."
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 646 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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