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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Millville in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Keyes' Switch Engagement

The Last of the Loudoun Rangers

 
 
Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2012
1. Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker
Inscription.  This is the site of the last Civil War engagement in Jefferson County and one of the last fights involving Col. John S. Mosby’s Rangers. It also marked the end of the Independent Loudoun Rangers, a small cavalry unit recruited in 1862 from Loudoun County’s Unionist residents to serve as “border police” and scouts for Federal forces. The opposing rangers had clashed once before at Point of Rocks during Gen. Jubal A. Early’s Washington Raid in July 1864.

On April 5, 1865, just four days before the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, Mosby mustered Co. H into his 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry in Loudoun County. He selected a Charles Town native, George Baylor, as the new company’s captain and ordered him to “go out and see what he could do.” Baylor, who had served previously in the Stonewall Brigade and the 12th Virginia Cavalry, rode west with his company and learned that the Loudoun Rangers were camped here.

According to Baylor’s account, at 10 A.M. the next morning he and his men charged into the camp and caught the Loudoun Rangers “completely
Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2012
2. Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker
off guard…The loss of the enemy was 2 killed, 4 wounded, 65 prisoners, 81 horses equipments; our loss, one wounded, Frank Helm of Warrenton.” Three days later on the morning of Lee’s surrender, Baylor’s company was routed in a Federal attack in Fairfax County. Mosby disbanded the Rangers on April 21, 1865, rather than surrender.
 
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.
 
Location. 39° 17.658′ N, 77° 47.052′ W. Marker is in Millville, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Millville Road, on the right when traveling south. The marker is close to the Railroad tracks. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 411 Millville Road, Millville WV 25432, 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. Setting the Trap (approx. 0.8 miles away); Setting the Trap / Jackson Arrives (approx. one mile away); Battle of Harpers Ferry / Jackson Arrives (approx. one mile away); Sheridan Dug In (approx. 1.4 miles away); Mountains, Men, and Maneuvers (approx. 1½ miles away); The Murphy Farm
Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2012
3. Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker
(approx. 1½ miles away); Battle of Harpers Ferry (approx. 1½ miles away); Flag Talk (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Millville.
 
Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 25, 2012
4. Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker
Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Glahn, October 30, 2016
5. Keyes' Switch Engagement Marker
A little better photo was taken in fall time, less shade on the writing.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 17, 2017. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 671 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 12, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   5. submitted on May 13, 2017, by William Glahn of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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