Battle Of Rich Mountain
Making McClellan's Reputation
— The First Campaign —
In the spring of 1861, Union forces rushed 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, Corricks 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.
In one of the first important Union victories of the Civil War, on July 11, 1861, Union Gen. George B. McClellan's forces defeated part of Confederate Gen. Robert S. Garnett's command here at the Hart Farm on Rich Mountain. Garnett was holding the area around Beverly, the junction of two important turnpikes: the Beverly and Fairmont and the Staunton and Parkersburg. Believing that the Rich Mountain defenses were virtually impregnable,
This small but important victory helped secure Union control of Virginia's western counties and contributed to the drive for West Virginia statehood, which was achieved in 1863. It also helped to catapult McClellan to command the Army of the Potomac.
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° 51.95′ N, 79° 56.017′ W. Marker is near Beverly, West Virginia, in Randolph County. Marker is on Rich Mountain Road (County Route 37/8) 5 miles west of Seneca Trail (U.S. 250), on the left when traveling west. On the grounds of the Rich Mountain Battlefield. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Beverly WV 26253, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 19, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.