“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)

Moorefield Presbyterian Church

Confederate Sanctuary

Moorefield Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
1. Moorefield Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription. When the Civil War began, the Greek Revival-style Moorefield Presbyterian Church consisted of the main sanctuary that fronts on Main Street and the small chapel behind it. The chapel was constructed about 1847, and the sanctuary was completed in 1855.

The Rev. William V. Wilson, the minister, was an outspoken Confederate sympathizer as was his congregation, which was composed of Moorefield's prominent, wealthy residents. Many sons of the older congregants served in the county militia and in regular Confederate army units.

Even before the fighting began, Wilson urged the members to prepare for large-scale warfare to ensure success. Because his sentiments were well known to Union commanders, Wilson left in February 1862 and never returned. Instead, he served as a chaplain in the Confederate army, principally in the Shenandoah Valley.

Both sides utilized the church as a hospital during the war, and Union soldiers burned pews for firewood and stabled their horses inside. Because of the damage, the congregation suspended services from early in 1862 until mid-1865.

Merchant Samuel A. McMechen, who lived down the street to your left, struggled to keep the Sunday school operating. Leigh Allen, on his way to Sunday school on March 23, 1862, found Union cavalry here and turned back. When gunfire erupted in his path,
Moorefield Presbyterian Church Markers image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
2. Moorefield Presbyterian Church Markers
he ran into the woods with other townspeople and hid behind a log until evening, and then returned home. His aunt, who wrote of the episode, concluded that it was "quite a trial for a child of nine years."

The church was repaired after the war. The wings date to 1928 and 1855.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 3.702′ N, 78° 58.18′ W. Marker is in Moorefield, West Virginia, in Hardy County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street (U.S. 220) and Winchester Avenue, on the right when traveling north on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 South Main Street, 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. Presbyterian Church (here, next to this marker); Moorefield (a few steps from this marker); McMechen House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Maslin House (about 600 feet away); Gen. Joseph Neville / McNeill's Raid (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cemetery Hill
Moorefield Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
3. Moorefield Presbyterian Church
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Mill Island (approx. 1.7 miles away); Battle of Moorefield (approx. 4.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Moorefield.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a portrait of Rev. Wilson. In the upper center is a photo of the church from 1909. On the lower right is another photo of the church from 1880.
Categories. Churches, Etc.War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,000 times since then and 80 times this year. Last updated on , by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. 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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