Parsons in Tucker County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Clash at Corricks Ford
Death of Garnett
The First Campaign
In the spring of 1861, Union forces into northwestern Virginia to secure the vital Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, protect important turnpikes, and support Unionists against Confederates. The two sides fought numerous engagements between June and December. They included Philippi (the war's first land battle), Rich Mountain, Corrick's Ford, Cheat Summit Fort, Carnifex Ferry, and Camp Allegheny. The many Union victories made Gen. George B. McClellan's reputation and damaged that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee—a situation reversed in 1862. Despite later Confederate raids, today's West Virginia remained largely under Federal control for the rest of the war.
Here at Corricks Ford on July 13, 1861, Confederate Robert S. Garnett became the first general killed in the Civil War.
Two days earlier, in one of the first important Union victories of the Civil War, on July 11, 1861, Union Gen. George McClellan's forces defeated part of Garnett's command on Rich Mountain. Elements of Garnett's command had been holding the area around Beverly, the junction of two important turnpikes—the Beverly and
Garnett's army wagons labored over the narrow mountain traces of Pheasant Mountain in a driving summer rain with the Federals in pursuit. The Confederates threw away tents, camp furniture, and supplies to lighten their load and block the path. The retreat continued through the night and into the next day. On July 13, 1,800 Federals under Capt. (later Gen.) Henry W. Benham caught Garnett's rear guard here at Corricks Ford, a river crossing on the Shavers Fork of Cheat River.
Garnett was killed while attempting to delay the Federal pursuit. The Confederates scattered after this bloody engagement, leaving their dead, a cannon, and most of their wagons stalled in the river.
"The rain was pouring in torrents and the clayey road almost impossible in many places, the spirit of the troops was such as to bear them most rapidly onward under all these trials, superadded to that of hunger with the great part of them for the previous fifteen or twenty hours."
— Capt. Henry W. Benham
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) 🚂, and the West Virginia Civil War Trails series lists.
Location. 39° 5.386′ N, 79° 40.912′ W. Marker is in Parsons, West Virginia, in Tucker County. Marker is on Poplar Street 0.1 miles south of Mill Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Poplar St, Parsons WV 26287, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Corricks Ford Battlefield (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Corrick House (about 500 feet away); Corricks Ford (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Corricks Ford Battlefield (approx. 0.2 miles away); This Stone Commemorates the Battle of Corricks Ford (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Corrick's Ford (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Corricks Ford Battlefield (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic Western Maryland Railway Depot / Parsons Railroad Depot (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parsons.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 70 times since then. Last updated on November 10, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 18, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.