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

War In West Virginia

A Decisive Campaign

 

—The First Campaign —

 
War In West Virginia CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 8, 2012
1. War In West Virginia CWT Marker
Inscription. In the spring of 1861, Union forces rushed into northwestern Virginia to secure the vital Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, protect important turnpikes, and support Unionists against Confederates. Many residents in the northwest, although still part of Virginia, remained loyal to the Union. By late in May, Union Gen. George B. McClellan, commanding the Department of the Ohio, ordered troops to cross the Ohio River and secure western Virginia for the Union.

Here, during June and July 1861, McClellan’s army won the early Union victories of the Civil War at Philippi (the war’s first land battle), Rich Mountain, and Corricks Ford. The first Union battlefield hero, McClellan was summoned to Washington on July 22 after the stunning debacle at Manassas, Virginia, to take command of the Army of the Potomac. Federal troops occupied western Virginia at that time, as loyal delegates met in Wheeling to form the Restored Government of Virginia to counter the Confederate government in Richmond.

By August 1861, Southern forces threatened the Federal gains. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee attempted to reclaim western Virginia but failed, with Southern defeats at Cheat Summit Fort, Carnifex Ferry, and Camp Allegheny before the end of the year. The first campaign made Gen. George B. McClellan’s reputation and damaged that of Confederate
West Virginia CWT Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, August 8, 2012
2. West Virginia CWT Markers
Gen. Robert E. Lee—a situation reversed in 1862 when the fighting moved east. The “First Campaign” proved to be decisive: the western counties under Union control became the new state of West Virginia in 1863.
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 28.531′ N, 79° 41.953′ W. Marker is near Bartow, West Virginia, in Pocahontas County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 250 and Old Pike Road (County Route 3), on the left when traveling west on U.S. 250. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bartow WV 24920, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Great Raid (here, next to this marker); Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike (a few steps from this marker but has been reported missing); Camp Allegheny (a few steps from this marker); West Virginia / Virginia (a few steps from this marker); Highland County / West Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker in Virginia); a different marker also named Camp Allegheny (approx. 0.7 miles away in Virginia); a different marker also named Camp Allegheny (approx. 1.3 miles away); Camp Bartow (approx. 5.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bartow.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a sketch entitled "Campaigning in the western Virginia mountains, 1861" Courtesy Becker Collection, Boston, Mass.

In the center are portraits of Gen. George B. McClellan Courtesy Library of Congress and Gen. Robert E. Lee, Harper’s Weekly, Aug.24, 1861

On the right is a map of The First Campaign, 1861
 
Also see . . .  Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location titled “The First Campaign” (Submitted on August 11, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 371 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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