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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wheeling in Ohio County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
REMOVED
SEE LOCATION SECTION
 

The First Campaign

Civil War Begins in the Mountains of (West) Virginia

— The First Campaign —

 
 
The First Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
1. The First Campaign Marker
Inscription.  
West Virginia, born of a nation divided, was the setting for the first campaign of America’s Civil War. Although still part of Virginia in 1861, many citizens of the west remained loyal to the Union, rather than the Confederacy. By late May, Union General George B. McClellan, commanding the Department of the Ohio, launched the first campaign, ordering troops to cross the Ohio River and secure “Western” Virginia for the Union.

Here, during June-July 1861, McClellan’s army won the inaugural Union victories of the Civil War. Hailed as the North’s first battlefield hero, McClellan was summoned to Washington on July 22, following a stunning Union debacle at Manassas, Virginia. Federal troops now occupied Western Virginia, as loyal delegates met in Wheeling to form the “Restored Government of Virginia,” a Union government to oppose the Confederate one in Richmond.

By August 1861, Southern forces again threatened. Confederate General Robert E. Lee attempted to reclaim Western Virginia, but failed miserably. Troops of both armies remained to guard the mountain passes during that terrible winter. By 1862, conflict shifted east.
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The first campaign proved to be decisive: the western counties under Union control became the state of West Virginia in 1863. The arduous conflict in these mountains forged armies and leaders-notably McClellan, Lee, and Stonewall Jackson-who shaped the course of the Civil War.

”The history of that remarkable campaign would show, if truly portrayed, a degree of severity, of hardship, of tail, of exposure and suffering that finds no parallel.”
Col. Samuel V. Fulkerson, C.S.A.
 
Erected by 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 July 1861.
 
Location. Marker has been permanently removed. It was located near 40° 3.842′ N, 80° 43.3′ W. Marker was in Wheeling, West Virginia, in Ohio County. Marker was on 16th Street (State Highway 2) east of Market Street. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 1528 Market St, Wheeling WV 26003, United States of America.

We have been informed that this sign or monument is no longer there and will not be replaced. This page is an archival view of what was.
 
Other nearby markers.
The First Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
2. The First Campaign Marker
View looking west along 16th Street, showing the historical marker in front of the south side of the building, and in the background on the street corner is the "Old Custom House" historical marker.
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Wheeling Custom House (here, next to this marker); Old Garibaldi (here, next to this marker); The Athenaeum (a few steps from this marker); Francis H. Pierpont (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Athenaeum (a few steps from this marker); Old Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore and Ohio Passenger Station (within shouting distance of this marker); B & O Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wheeling.
 
More about this marker. The sign is no longer at Independence Hall.
 
Also see . . .  The Mountain Campaign of 1861-62 in Western Virginia. Rich Mountain website entry (Submitted on February 1, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
The First Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, July 27, 2010
3. The First Campaign Marker
View from across 16th Street of the south side of the Old Custom House (Independence Hall) with the featured historical marker being just to the right of the orange construction lift. There is also a view of the Old Custom House historical marker at the corner of 16th Street and Market Street.
The First Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 3, 2021
4. The First Campaign Marker
A little worn now.
The First Campaign Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2013
5. The First Campaign Marker
The marker has been taken down while a new iron fence is installed. Here it lies on the ground behind Independence Hall.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 28, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,115 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on May 25, 2022, by Drew A Gruber of N/a, N/a. Photos:   1. submitted on August 19, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   2, 3. submitted on August 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   4. submitted on July 7, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio.   5. submitted on January 4, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024