Buckhannon in Upshur County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Destruction at the Courthouse
The Raiders Strike
— Jenkins's Raid —
Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins led 550 cavalrymen on a 500-mile raid from Salt Sulphur Springs, Aug. 22-Sept. 12, 1862, attacking Federal forces and destroying military stores. He captured and paroled 300 Union soldiers, killed or wounded 1,000 others, destroyed about 5,000 small arms, and seized funds from a U.S. paymaster. At Ravenswood, he forded the Ohio River and raised the Confederate flag in Ohio on Sept. 4. He captured Racine, recrossed the river, and ended the raid at Red House on the Kanawha River.
On August 30, 1862, after Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins’s cavalry defeated the town’s Union defenders here, they marched the prisoners to the courthouse and made them haul weapons and ammunition outside and burn them. Bonfires of guns, store goods, furniture, wagons, and personal property burned on Main Street, during the night of August 31. A Federal brass cannon was thrown into the courthouse well. The prisoners were then marched to the Federal commissary in the Southern Methodist church on West Main Street (now the Upshur County History Center). They carried out thousands of pounds of bacon, many bushels
The county’s first courthouse, built in 1855, served as an armory and suffered abuse throughout the war. In December 1861, Capt. Lot Bowen organized Co. E, 3rd West Virginia Cavalry. Union Gen. William W. Averell later visited the Federal forces occupying the town. The courthouse and church buildings were commandeered for storage and housing. On January 23, 1865, the desperate county court, angered by the unending damage to the building, passed a resolution: “Whereas, the military authorities have taken possession of the courthouse and mutilated and destroyed the interior…by tearing away the Bar and breaking up and burning the seats…Be it resolved the Sheriff present to Commander of this Post, this appeal asking him to move the troops under his command out of the courthouse..”
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 January 1861.
Location. 38° 59.628′ N, 80° 13.896′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 38 West Main Street, Buckhannon WV 26201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Veterans Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Buckhannon / Frontier Days (a few steps from this marker); Operation Desert Storm Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Honor Roll (a few steps from this marker); Upshur County Courthouses / Rainbow Restaurant (within shouting distance of this marker); In Tribute to and in Memory of Buckhannon Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. (within shouting distance of this marker); C.E. Mylius Building (within shouting distance of this marker); J.A. Davis Ice Cream Parlor / 1894 Fire on West Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Buckhannon.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 24, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 604 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 24, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 2. submitted on August 6, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3. submitted on September 2, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.