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

Buffalo Presbyterian Church

Mustering the Troops

Buffalo Presbyterian Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, July 13, 2019
1. Buffalo Presbyterian Church Marker
Inscription.  Here at Buffalo Presbyterian Church on May 13, 1861, Confederate Capt. William E. Fife mustered the Buffalo Guards, the militia company he had raised in 1859. The families of church members who served in the company included the Alexanders, Bronaughs, Bryans, Craigs, Fraziers, and Sterrets. Soon, the unit was designated Company A in Col. John A. McCausland’s 36th Virginia Infantry (Fife later rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel of the regiment). The company assembled in the church shortly before marching away, and a “Rev. Neely” delivered a farewell sermon. Later during the war, the pews were removed and stored in a nearby barn when the church served as a military hospital.

The 36th Virginia Infantry at first was posted in this area, at the time the western part of Virginia, and fought at the Battle of Carnifix Ferry on September 10, 1861. It was also at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. When the fort was surrendered in February 1862, the regiment was captured but soon exchanged. The Guards fought at Cloyd’s Mountain and Piedmont in Virginia in 1864. The unit’s last battle was at Waynesboro, Virginia,
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on March 2, 1865. Of 52 original Guards, 3 were killed, 6 were wounded, and 3 died later.

During the first half of the 19th century, Presbyterian membership grew in this part of the state. Ministers from neighboring Point Pleasant Church conducted services regularly in Buffalo between 1834 and 1855, when the Presbyterian governing body in Greenbrier recognized the need for a church building here. This structure was completed in 1857 and dedicated on August 22, with 20 charter members. The Greek Revival-style building, constructed with separate entrances for men and women as was typical for Presbyterian churches of the time, still has its original interior including a slave balcony and stairs. The organ, though not original, is more than a century old.
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. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
Location. 38° 37.078′ N, 81° 58.825′ W. Marker is in Buffalo, West Virginia, in Putnam County. Marker is on Lafayette Street (West Virginia Route 62) north of High Street, on the right when traveling north. It is in front of the church. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo WV 25033, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, July 13, 2019
2. Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Marker
are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Buffalo Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); “Lawnvale” / “Coin” Harvey (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Town of Buffalo (within shouting distance of this marker); Raiders in Buffalo (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Atkenson’s Gate (approx. 2.1 miles away); Indian Village / Excavations (approx. 2.3 miles away); Putnam County / Mason County (approx. 2.3 miles away); General McCausland (approx. 2.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buffalo.
Regarding Buffalo Presbyterian Church. Marker has two portraits and two other photographs. On the lower left is one captioned “Buffalo Presbyterian Church and the town, 1890.” In the center are portraits of William E. Fife and General John McCausland. In the sidebar on the right is a photo of “Buffalo Presbyterian Church, nearing completion, 1857.”
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 29, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 205 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 29, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Jun. 1, 2023