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Near Romney in Hampshire County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Engagement at Romney

Lew Wallace Storms the Bridge

 
 
Engagement at Romney Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 28, 2020
1. Engagement at Romney Marker
Inscription.  On the night of June 12, 1861, Col. Lewis Wallace led his 11th Indiana (Zouaves) Regiment from Cumberland, Maryland, by train across the Potomac River and into present-day West Virginia. He had learned that “several hundred” Confederate troops were in Romney, as he wrote in his official report, drilling and forcing Unionists into Confederate service. After detraining and marching across the mountains before dawn, Wallace and his men neared Romney about 8 A.M. on June 13 and encountered pickets who fired and ran into town to give the alarm.

As Wallace approached the covered wooden bridge that spanned the South Branch of the Potomac River in front of you, he “could distinctly see ... a battery of two guns, planted so as to sweep the road completely. I directed my advance guard to cross the bridge on the run, leap down an embankment at the farther entrance, and observe the windows of a large brick house [Sycamore
Engagement at Romney Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 28, 2020
2. Engagement at Romney Marker
Dale, across the river and upstream]. ... A warm fire opened from the house, which the guard returned, with no other loss than the wounding of a sergeant. ... I led a second company across the bridge, and ... soon drove the enemy from the house.” Wallace and his regiment set off in pursuit, but the Confederates fled together with most of Romney’s civilians. After searching the town for weapons and supplies, Wallace marched his men back to Cumberland, arriving at 11 P.M.

(sidebar) Lewis “Lew” Wallace was born in Brookville, Indiana, on April 10, 1827. He served in the Mexican War, left the army for a political and legal career, and raised the 11th Indiana Infantry regiment when the Civil War began. On July 9, 1864, he delayed Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early’s army at the Monocacy River in Maryland, giving the defenders of Washington, D.C., time to organize. After the war, he served as governor of New Mexico (famously offering Billy the Kid a pardon) and as minister to Turkey. He is best known as the author of the novel Ben Hur. He died in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on February 15, 1905.
 
Erected by
Current Bridge to Romney image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
3. Current Bridge to Romney
The South Branch (of the Potomac River) flows beneath it.
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. 39° 20.333′ N, 78° 46.783′ W. Marker is near Romney, West Virginia, in Hampshire County. Marker is on U.S. 50 near the South Branch of the Potomac River, on the left when traveling west. It is at the western end of the bridge. There is a pulloff that can hold two or three cars at the marker. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Romney WV 26757, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lew Wallace's Raid on Romney (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oriskany Sand (approx. 0.7 miles away); Mt. Pisgah Benevolence Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Indian Mound (approx. ¾ mile away); Fort Pearsall 1754 (approx. ¾ mile away); Confederate Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Indian Mound Cemetery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Captain George W. Stump (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Romney.
 
More about this marker. A large color photograph of a house captioned “Sycamore Dale” is reproduced on the lower left of the marker. In the center is an illustration captioned “Engagement at Romney, Sycamore Dale is at right.” from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, June 29, 1961. The sidebar in the right column includes a portrait of General Lewis Wallace.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This is the Major
New and Old Route 50 Bridges image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
4. New and Old Route 50 Bridges
When the new bridge is complete the old bridge will be dismantled. This is a popular wading and fishing spot.
General Lew Wallace marker in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
 
Also see . . .  Romney in the Civil War. “Col. Lewis (Lew) Wallace in command of the Eleventh Indiana (Zouaves) occupied Romney for a few hours on June 13, 1861. The next day Col. A.P. Hill occupied the town.” (Submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.) 
 
Engagement at Romney Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 5, 2010
5. Engagement at Romney Marker
This is a previous iteration of the marker. The information is identical with slightly different formatting.
“Engagement at Romney,” Sycamore Dale at Right image. Click for full size.
6. “Engagement at Romney,” Sycamore Dale at Right
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,654 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 29, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3, 4, 5. submitted on July 22, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   6. submitted on July 22, 2010.
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Oct. 28, 2020