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

McCoy House

Union Headquarters


—1862 Valley Campaign —

McCoy House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2012
1. McCoy House Marker
Inscription. (Preface): Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's unsuccessful attack on Union forces at Kernstown on March 23, 1862, alarmed Federal officials, who assigned additional troops to the Shenandoah Valley to guard against a Confederate assault on Washington, D.C.. In May and June, Jackson's "foot cavalry" marched 350 miles; defeated three Union armies in engagements at McDowell (May 8), Front Royal (May 23), Winchester (May 25), Cross Keys (June 8), and Port Republic (June 9); inflicted twice the number of casualties it suffered; and tied down 60,000 Federal troops. The campaign made Jackson the Confederacy's foremost hero.

After the Battle of McDowell on May 8, 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s army pursued the retreating Federals. The Union force under Gens. Robert C. Schenck and Robert H. Milroy fled about thirty miles to Franklin. They set the woods on fire as they went to delay the Confederate pursuit. The smoke reduced visibility to two hundred yards, and burning trees fascinated the soldiers. One of Jackson’s staff members wrote, “At night the light was exquisitely beautiful. These dead trees were columns of fire.”

On reaching Franklin, Schenck established a defensive line on the hill west of William McCoy’s house in front of you, where he had made his headquarters
McCoy House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2012
2. McCoy House Marker
at McCoy’s invitation before the battle. Gen. John C. Fremont’s army reinforced Schenck and Milroy, and together they prepared for a Confederate attack. Jackson, however was more concerned about being trapped between Fremont’s army and Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks’ force in the Shenandoah Valley. After some skirmishing, Jackson marched away from Franklin to the Valley on May 12. He likewise set the woods afire and left a cavalry detachment behind in the smoke to make noise and convince the Federals that he and his army were just a mile to the south of here. The ruse worked. On May 27, Fremont’s army withdrew down the South Branch Valley.

"The whole [Union] army said to be twenty thousand strong were encamped two weeks in and around Franklin and having many sick and wounded nearly every in town has been converted into a hospital. ...One Lieutenant from Ohio died in our house. ... Yesterday morning the whole army of Gen. Freemont [sic] commenced a hasty retreat... leaving 125 sick and wounded." - William McCoy, May 28, 1862
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 38.484′ N, 79° 19.878′ W. Marker is in Franklin, West Virginia, in Pendleton County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and Chestnut Street on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 South Main Street, Franklin WV 26807, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Pendleton County World War I Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Franklin (within shouting distance of this marker); Devonian Shale (approx. 1.6 miles away); Confederate Prayer Service (approx. 1.8 miles away); Murder of Ambrose Meadows (approx. 2.6 miles away); Destruction of Saltpeter Works (approx. 3.4 miles away); Trout Rock Fort (approx. 3.4 miles away); Propst Lutheran Church (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 461 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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