Philippi in Barbour County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Battle of Philippi
— The First Campaign —
You are standing where Union guns opened up on Philippi on June 3, 1861, in the first land battle of the Civil War.
As Union forces attempted to secure the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at several points in the month before the battle, the Confederates moved quickly to post their own regiments along the line. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered Col. George A. Porterfield to raise troops in western Virginia. He reached Philippi on
Dumont arrived first and ordered Col. James B. Steedman to post two six-pounder cannons here on Talbott Hill and then await the signal (a pistol shot) to open fire once the other column was in position. Supposedly, a nearby resident, Mrs. Matilda Humphreys, sent her youngest son, Newton Humphreys, to alert the Confederates. She fired her pistol when Union soldiers intervened and the gunners, thinking it was the prearranged signal, shelled Philippi before Kelley’s column arrived.
Col. Frederick W. Lander led Dumont’s troops down Talbott’s Hill and across the covered bridge in a charge, with Lander pelting down the muddy slope on his horse at breakneck speed. The Confederates fled. The battle resulted in only a few wounded; none were killed.
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. A significant historical date for this entry is May 30, 1861.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Philippi WV 26416, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Philippi (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace - W.D. Zinn (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Land Battle (about 600 feet away); Historic Campbell School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Benjamin F. Kelley (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Philippi (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Philippi Covered Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); In Memory of the Sago Miners (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philippi.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,646 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 3. submitted on September 10, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.