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

Northwest Academy

Soldiers' Home

Northwest Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, August 1, 2012
1. Northwest Academy Marker
From 1861 through 1865, Clarksburg was temporary home to hundreds of Union soldiers. Although many tents and huts were erected to quarter he men, soldiers occupied every public building at one time or another. You are facing the site of one such structure, the Northwest Academy, which was used as a barracks, military prison, and hospital. Besides the school, every church in town sheltered sick soldiers, some of who did a great deal of damage to the buildings.

The soldiers viewed Clarksburg in different ways, Charles Leib, a Union quartermaster stationed here, wrote that the town “lies on the West Fork of the Monongahela River. On all sides loom up wild, desolate-looking hills, covered to their summits with the “forest primeval.” The town itself is only approached by streams before mentioned, and is laid out irregularly, with little regard to artistic taste or beauty. It is a motley collection of rickety frame houses, dirty-looking brick dwellings, and old stone buildings.”

In contrast, a soldier in the 22nd Ohio Infantry described Clarksburg as a “beautiful town…situated on the West Fork of the Monongahela River.
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The town is surrounded by miniature mountains…It is, we believe one of the oldest towns in West Virginia, not withstanding there are many tasteful residences. The streets are named and laid off regularly, unlike most of our Buckeye towns. The citizens are affable in their manners and generous and hospitable.”

Gordon Battelle was principal of Northwest Academy from 1843 to 1851. He became an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1847. In October 1861, Governor Francis H. Pierpont of the Restored Government of Virginia appointed him to visit the military camps in the mountain regions of western Virginia, where insufficient clothing, lack of necessary medical doctors, nurses, and medicines had been reported. Battelle examined camps at Philippi, Elkwater, Cheat Mountain, and elsewhere. The next month he became chaplain of the 1st West Virginia Infantry.
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 month for this entry is October 1861.
Location. 39° 16.83′ N, 80° 20.256′ W. Marker has been reported damaged. Marker is in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in Harrison
Northwest Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, November 7, 2021
2. Northwest Academy Marker
The marker has weathered significantly.
County. Marker is at the intersection of South Second Street and West Pike Street (West Virginia Highway 20), on the right when traveling north on South Second Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Chapel St, Clarksburg WV 26301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Towers School (here, next to this marker); John S. Carlile (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harrison County Soldiers Monument (about 600 feet away); Clarksburg Convention (about 600 feet away); Palace Furniture Building (about 600 feet away); The Immigrants (about 600 feet away); "Stonewall" Jackson (about 700 feet away); Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson Monument (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksburg.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 24, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 676 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 24, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   2. submitted on November 7, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker in context. • Can you help?

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May. 19, 2024