— 1862 Valley Campaign —
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
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 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 home 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.
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° 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. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Civil War Soldiers Monument (a few steps from this marker); 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 569 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on August 30, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 2. submitted on January 28, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.