“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Petersburg in Grant County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

Fort Mulligan

Protecting Looney's Creek (Petersburg)

Fort Mulligan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2012
1. Fort Mulligan Marker
Union Col. James A. Mulligan, 23rd Illinois Infantry, supervised the construction of Fort Mulligan between August and December 1863. Known locally as Fort Hill, the work protected the South Branch Valley and its Unionist residents and also served as an auxiliary depot for Federal camps occupied in October 1861 and May-June 1862. Federal troops manned the fort until 1864.

An earthen fortification, Fort Mullgan’s walls were lined with timber for additional strength. Abatis---trees felled so that their branches faced outward (a precursor of barbed wire)---outside the walls helped defend the fort against attacking infantrymen. The fort had at least three entrances and seven artillery emplacements. Four bombproofs (earthen shelters) within the fort protected arms, artillery shells, and gunpowder from bombardments.

Union Col. Joseph Thoburn ordered the evacuation of Fort Mulligan on January 31, 1864, when Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early’s army threatened an attack. Early’s men demolished the empty works. Although engagements occurred in the area for the rest of the war, the fort site was never again occupied.

Col. James A. Mulligan, 23rd Ill. Inf. image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
2. Col. James A. Mulligan, 23rd Ill. Inf.
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The oldest part of the Hermitage Inn, in front of you, was constructed in the 1840s for Dr. Jacob Kenny Chambers. During the Civil War, Federal officers occupied the house, which is located close to Fort Mulligan. Since 1881, the building has been in continuous use as a hostelry. The earliest guests arrived by stagecoach from Keyser and Cumberland, Maryland. Later, the inn's carriage met the daily train from Cumberland.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1863.
Location. 38° 59.581′ N, 79° 7.241′ W. Marker is in Petersburg, West Virginia, in Grant County. Marker is at the intersection of Virginia Avenue (U.S. 220) and Pine Street, on the right when traveling east on Virginia Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Petersburg WV 26847, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Petersburg (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tannery in Petersburg, WV (within shouting distance of this marker); Maple Hill Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); War in Grant County (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fairfax Line
Jubal A. Early image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
3. Jubal A. Early
(approx. one mile away); A Strategic Location (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Mulligan (approx. 1.1 miles away); Civil War Cannons (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Petersburg.
Hermitage Inn image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, October 14, 2017
4. Hermitage Inn
House was occupied by Federal officers during the Civil War due to its close proximity to Fort Mulligan.
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 632 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on October 1, 2020, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on January 28, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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May. 8, 2021