“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisville in Ritchie County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)


Confederate Raid


—Jones - Imboden Raid —

Harrisville Civil War Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Debra Lynch Taylor
1. Harrisville Civil War Trail Marker
Inscription. (Preface): On April 20, 1863, Confederate Gens. William E. "Grumble" Jones and John D. Imboden began a raid from Virginia through present-day West Virginia on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Taking separate routes, they later reported that they marched 1,100 miles, fought several engagements, captured 700 Federals, seized about 1,200 horses and 4,000 cattle, and burned 4 turnpike bridges, more than 20 railroad bridges, 2 trains, and 150,000 barrels of oil. Most bridges were soon repaired. Confederate losses were slight. By May 26, both commands had returned to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

On May 6, 1863, Confederate Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones led his wing of cavalrymen to Harrisville from Weston. Near the western end of town, his men exchanged shots with the Harrisville Home Guard, which then fled. The Home Guard maintained control of the town during the war and was composed of 75 older men and young boys. Jones's men captured many of its members as they fled but soon released them from custody. The fast-moving raiders did not wish to have prisoners encumber them.

After the Confederates gained control of the town, they badly damaged the printing shop and Pierpoint's store, and wrecked the U.S. Post Office. They threw the postage stamps that the town's residents needed to mail letters and packages in the mud
Civil War Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Debra Lynch Taylor
2. Civil War Trail Marker
and trampled them. Jones and his men soon moved on to destroy Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tunnels and bridges, of which there were several in Ritchie County.

The Harrisville Baptist Church minutes for May 9 referred to the incident: "Church failed to meet in consequences of a raid of Rebel Cavalry to the supposed number of 1,500 that entered Harrisville at noon on Thursday."

(Sidebar): The Confederates raided present-day West Virginia to recruit new troops, "collect" cattle and horses, and destroy railroad bridges and tunnels. At Cairo, in Richie County, Jones's men captured a Federal garrison based there to guard the railroad. The stations along the railroad were centers of community. The Pennsboro Depot, constructed at an earlier station site in 1883, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 17.026′ N, 80° 58.135′ W. Marker is in Harrisville, West Virginia, in Ritchie County. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisville WV 26362, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pennsboro (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pennsboro B&O Depot (about 500 feet away); The Stone House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tollgate (approx. 3 miles away); a different marker also named Harrisville (approx. 6.8 miles away); Ephraim Bee (approx. 7˝ miles away); West Union (approx. 10.6 miles away); Beehive Inn (approx. 10.6 miles away).
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2011, by Debra Lynch Taylor of Pennsboro, west Virginia. This page has been viewed 606 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 26, 2011, by Debra Lynch Taylor of Pennsboro, west Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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