Fairmont in Marion County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Battle for the Bridge
The Foundry Fight
— Jones-Imboden Raid —
Here, at the site of the Palatine foundry, a battle for possession of the suspension bridge took place on April 29, 1863. Confederate forces under Gen. William E. Jones attacked Fairmont to destroy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bridge upstream at present-day 12th Street. The suspension bridge (1852–1908) spanned
Jones divided his force, sending the main column up the Beverly and Fairmont Turnpike across the river to the railroad bridge, while the 12th Virginia Cavalry and the 35th Virginia Battalion fought their way across the suspension bridge to go upstream to the rail bridge. The Union garrison here had removed the floorboards, but the Confederates replaced them as they fought their way across. The Fairmont and Mannington Home Guards, with detachments from the 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, 23rd Illinois Infantry, 106th New York Infantry, and 6th West Virginia Infantry, opposed them. John Coffman, Jr., of Harrison County, was among the Federals killed, and Perry Watton of Palatine was wounded.
After capturing the foundry, the Confederates rode upstream to the railroad bridge. A trainload of Union reinforcements arrived from Grafton but was driven off. The railroad bridge was destroyed but was repaired a few weeks later. Jones paroled 260 Federal prisoners that night before leaving to attack Bridgeport.
“[Officers] in charge of working parties, commenced the task of destruction, and soon after
Erected by Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 28.933′ N, 80° 8.317′ W. Marker is in Fairmont, West Virginia, in Marion County. Marker is on Everest Drive just north of Merchant Street (West Virginia Route 73), on the left when traveling east. It is under the Jefferson Street bridge in Palatine Park. From downtown Fairmont, take the 3rd Street bridge across the river (the roadway changes name to Merchant Street) and make the first left onto an unnamed street that will wind you down to the riverbank and continue under the Jefferson Street bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fairmont WV 26554, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. High-Level / Million Dollar Robert H. Mollohan Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Attack on Fairmont (about 700 feet away); Confederate Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named High-Level / Million Dollar Robert H. Mollohan Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); A. Brooks Fleming House (approx. ¼ mile away); Fairmont (approx. 0.3 miles away); Marion County Courthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Boaz Fleming (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairmont.
More about this marker. This Civil War Trails marker has a photograph of the “Fairmont and Palatine Suspension Bridge ca. 1900” on the lower left, a portrait of General William E. Jones on the upper right, and a map of the route of the Jones–Imboden raid on the lower right.
The “Attack on Fairmont” marker is on the opposite shore.
Also see . . . Jones-Imboden Raid. “On April 29, at Fairmont, Jones waged the largest battle ever fought in that part of the state against a force of 500 regulars, home guards, and volunteers. There was some civilian involvement on both sides of the fight. The Confederates prevailed, burning the personal library of Francis H. Pierpont, governor of the Restored Government of Virginia, and exploding an iron railroad bridge across the Monongahela River.” (Submitted on July 26, 2009.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
More. Search the internet for Battle for the Bridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,225 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 26, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.