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

Kanawha Riflemen

Hometown Boys in Gray

 
 
Kanawha Riflemen Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 6, 2013
1. Kanawha Riflemen Marker
Inscription.  A memorial dedicated to the Kanawha Riflemen stands across the road behind you, on the exact route of the James River and Kanawha Turnpike. Former Confederate Gen. John McCausland, the last surviving Confederate general officer, attended the dedication ceremony in 1922. This was the town cemetery during the Civil War. The graves, except those in the small Ruffner family plot, were later moved to Spring Hill Cemetery Park.

Capt. George S. Patton, grandfather of Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., of World War II fame, formed the Kanawha Riflemen as a county militia company in 1856. Patton, a lawyer, had moved to Charleston that year. Like other “elite” militia units of the antebellum period, Patton's company was privately financed and equipped, and included in its ranks many socially prominent sons of area salt makers. Patton was a strict disciplinarian who drilled the men extensively in what was then open land where the memorial now stands.

After the Civil War began, the Kanawha Riflemen were mustered into Confederate service as Co. H, 22nd. Virginia Infantry (formerly 1st Kanawha Regiment) in July 1861. As a major, Patton
Marker detail: Capt. George S. Patton image. Click for full size.
Courtesy West Virginia State Archives
2. Marker detail: Capt. George S. Patton
Click or scan to see
this page online
fought with the regiment at Scary Creek, where he was wounded in the shoulder, captured, paroled and exchanged. After recovering, he rejoined the regiment and soon was promoted to colonel. He was mortally wounded at the Third Battle of Winchester (Opequon) on September 19, 1864, captured, and died on September 25. The regiment continued to serve in the Shenandoah Valley until disbanded in the spring of 1865.

Kanawha Riflemen – Company Orders No. 1
1. In compliance with the requisition of a Proclamation of the Governor of Virginia dated at Richmond the 19th of April 1861, this command will hold itself in readiness for marching orders.
2. In case such orders shall arrive, each one must provide himself with the following articles at least in addition to dress and fatigue uniforms, to wit: two shirts, four collars, two pair of socks, two pair of drawers, one blacking brush and box, two pair white Berlin gloves, one quart tin cup, one white cotton haversack, one case knife, fork and spoon, two towels, two handkerchiefs, comb and brush, and toothbrush. Some stout linen thread, a few buttons, paper of pins and a thimble in a small buckskin or cloth bag…
5. By the liberality and patriotism of the residents of Charleston (one of them a lady) flannel cloth (grey) has been furnished for fatigue Jackets, and provisions made for cutting them, all members
Kanawha Riflemen Marker (<i>wide view west along Kanawha River; unrelated marker in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 6, 2013
3. Kanawha Riflemen Marker (wide view west along Kanawha River; unrelated marker in background)
of the company are hereby required at once to have their measures taken and Jackets cut by Mr. James B. Noyes, tailor. Many ladies have kindly undertaken to make them up. All members of the company are required to have their Jackets finished by Wednesday afternoon next at the latest.
George S. Patton, Captain
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
 
Location. 38° 20.275′ N, 81° 37.227′ W. Marker is in Charleston, West Virginia, in Kanawha County. Marker is on Kanawha Boulevard East, 0.1 miles west of Elizabeth Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, overlooking the Kanawha River, directly across Kanawha Boulevard from Kanawah Riflemens Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Charleston WV 25311, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Ruffners (a few steps from this marker); Slavery in West Virginia (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); 45th US Colored Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away); State Capitol (approx. ¼ mile away); The 35th Star (approx. ¼ mile away); Executive Mansion
Marker detail: "To Arms" broadside, May 30, 1861 image. Click for full size.
Courtesy West Virginia State Archives
4. Marker detail: "To Arms" broadside, May 30, 1861

Men of Virginia!
Men of Kanawha!
To Arms!

The enemy has invaded your soil and threatens to overrun your country under the pretext of protection.

You cannot serve two masters. You have not the right to repudiate allegiance to your own State. Be not seduced by his sophistry or intimidated by his threats. Rise and strike for your firesides and altars. Repel the aggressors and preserve your honor and your rights. Rally in every neighborhood with or without arms. Organize and united with the sons of the soil to defend it. Report yourselves without delay to those nearest to you in military position. Come to the aide of your fathers, brothers and comrades in arms at this place who are here for the protection of your mothers, wives and sisters. Let every man who would uphold his rights, turn out with such arms as he may get and drive the invader back.

C. Q. Tompkins,
Col. Vn., Vol’s. Comdg.
Charleston, Kanawha, May 30, 1861
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Limestone • Sandstone • Silica (approx. 0.3 miles away); Coal (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high posts.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Kanawah Riflemen
 
Also see . . .  John McCausland. McCausland spent time abroad after the war in self-imposed exile but eventually returned to his home in the Kanawha Valley, West Virginia. He was coolly received by his neighbors and gradually became a recluse. He was the penultimate Confederate general to die. (Submitted on November 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Plaque Next to the Kanawha Riflemen Marker image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, August 8, 2021
5. Plaque Next to the Kanawha Riflemen Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 311 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   5. submitted on August 12, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Jan. 21, 2022