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


Westover Bridge


—Jones-Imboden Raid —

Morgantown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 12, 2014
1. Morgantown Marker
Inscription. On April 20, 1863, Confederate Gens. William E. “Grumble” Jones and John D. Imboden began a raid from Virginia through present-day West Virginia on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Taking separate routes, they later reported that they marched 1,100 miles, fought several engagements, captured 700 Federals, seized about 1,200 horses and 4,000 cattle, and burned 4 turnpike bridges, more than 20 railroad bridges, 2 trains, and 150,000 barrels of oil. Most bridges were soon repaired. Confederate losses were slight. By May 26, both commands had returned to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

(main text)
On April 27, 1863, Confederate Gen. William E. “Grumble” Jones and his cavalry occupied Morgantown, a Unionist stronghold. Alerted that the Confederates were approaching, the towns people concealed most of their livestock and personal belongings. Waitman T. Willey, a United States senator in the Restored Government of Virginia, fled Morgantown for Pennsylvania. The president of the local bank removed all of the cash and also went to Pennsylvania. The Confederate cavalrymen seized the few horses that were not well hidden, as well as all of the shoes, boots, and hats that they could find in the Morgantown stores.

Confederate Pvt. William L. Wilson, 12th Virginia Cavalry, wrote in his diary, “This
Morgantown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 12, 2014
2. Morgantown Marker
is the meanest Union hole we have been in.” (In 1882, Wilson became president of West Virginia University.)

The Confederates quickly rode out of Morgantown, but to the surprise of the residents, they returned the next day and seized more than 40 horses. The raiders then crossed the suspension bridge to Westover and marched on to Fairmont to destroy the railroad bridge there.

On April 27, 1863, on the Kingwood Pike, Jones’s column was fired on as it approached Morgantown. The Confederates soon captured three civilians who claimed they were merely hunting. Jones’s men accused them of bushwhacking. The men, Lloyd Beall, Andrew Johnson, and Albert Robey, were lined up and shot. Robey faked death and escaped after the Confederates rode away. Beall and Johnson are buried in local cemeteries. There headstones give April 27, 1863, as the date of death and bear the inscription “killed by Confederate Raiders.”

(lower left) Waitman T. Willey Courtesy Richard A. Wolfe
(upper center) Westover Bridge - Courtesy Richard A. Wolfe
(upper right) Union bushwackers attacking Confederate cavalrymen, engraving by Junius Henry Browne, 1865.
(lower right) Jones-Imboden Raid
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series.
Morgantown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 12, 2014
3. Morgantown Marker
This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 37.796′ N, 79° 57.561′ W. Marker is in Morgantown, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Garret Street and Moore Street. Touch for map. The marker is located along the Caperton Trail in Hazel Ruby McQuain Park. Marker is in this post office area: Morgantown WV 26505, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Iron Works (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Pottery (about 500 feet away); Old Stone House (about 600 feet away); Monongalia County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Monongalia Arts Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); VFW Post 548 Veterans Memorials (approx. 0.4 miles away); Monongalia County War Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Seneca Glass Company (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morgantown.
Categories. War, US Civil
Close up of map shown on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 12, 2014
4. Close up of map shown on the marker
Credits. This page was last revised on May 18, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 2, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 497 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on May 5, 2018, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 2, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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