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Near Gauley Bridge in Fayette County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Christopher Q. Tompkins / Gauley Mount

 
 
Christopher Q. Tompkins side of marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 14, 2019
1. Christopher Q. Tompkins side of marker
Inscription.  Born 1813 in Matthews County, VA. Tompkins was an 1836 graduate of West Point. A prominent industrial businessman in the Kanawha Valley before the Civil War, from May to November 1861 he was colonel of the Confederate 22nd Virginia Infantry. Resigning his commission, he moved to Richmond and used his knowledge to aid war manufacturing efforts. He died May 1877 in Richmond.

Located 3 miles east of Gauley Bridge, Gauley Mount was home to Christopher and Ellen Tompkins. Except for a brief period in 1862, the estate served as a major Union encampment during the Civil War, with Ellen and the children there through late 1861. Gen. Floyd’s decision to fire artillery at the camp in 1861 led Col. Tompkins to resign from the 22nd Virginia Infantry.
 
Erected 2016 by West Virginia Archives and History.
 
Location. 38° 8.22′ N, 81° 10.354′ W. Marker is near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is on Midland Trail (U.S. 60) 9.7 miles west of West Virginia Route 16, on the right when
Gauley Mount side of marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 14, 2019
2. Gauley Mount side of marker
traveling west. It is 9.7 miles west of Chimney Corner, which is the intersection with State Route 16, and 2.5 miles east of Gauley Bridge’s Main Street, which is the intersection with State Route 39. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gauley Bridge WV 25085, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gauley Bridge (approx. 2.1 miles away); Battles For The Bridges (approx. 2.1 miles away); Gauley Bridge War Memorial (approx. 2.3 miles away); Camp Reynolds (approx. 2½ miles away); Hawk's Nest Tunnel Disaster (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hawk’s Nest (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hawk’s Nest Tunnel (approx. 2.7 miles away); Salt Sand (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gauley Bridge.
 
Also see . . .  Loyalty and Civil Liberty in Fayette County During the Civil War. Article by Lou Athey. Excerpt:
When Confederate Colonel Christopher Q. Tompkins assumed field command of the Twenty-second Virginia Infantry, his wife Ellen Wilkins Tompkins and their younger children remained on their estate at Gauley Mount about three miles east of Gauley Bridge. A lavish estate with a large dwelling, a huge barn, numerous outbuildings, some serving as slave quarters, and a vineyard tended by a German-born vine dresser provided comfort for the Tompkins after they had moved to the county from Richmond. Once the Union army forced General
Christopher Q. Tompkins / Gauley Mount Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 14, 2019
3. Christopher Q. Tompkins / Gauley Mount Marker
Wise to retreat, the Tompkins estate fell into Union hands. Colonel Tompkins then wrote directly to Union generals Jacob Cox and William Rosecrans requesting protection for his wife, family, and estate. Both Union generals made generous efforts to protect and provide for the Tompkins family and estate.

Gauley Mount became a major campsite for Union forces operating in the county. A few Union soldiers complained about the favorable treatment of the Tompkins, perhaps irritated by constant requests for services from Ellen Tompkins, but they may have benefited from Confederate reluctance to fire upon the estate owned by one of their officers. In October 1861, it became apparent that Gauley Mount would not be soon returned to Confederate control, so the Tompkins family moved to Richmond protected by safe passage orders issued by Union General Rosecrans. Union pickets manning the outposts on the turnpike to Lewisburg must have been startled to see a caravan passing eastward comprised of a male wagonmaster supervising a carriage, two four-horse-drawn wagons, a cart of furniture, and Ellen Tompkins with two sons, three female slaves and their five children, two puppies, and a two chickens.
(Submitted on August 18, 2019.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for Christopher Q. Tompkins / Gauley Mount.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 18, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 18, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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