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Philippi in Barbour County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Philippi

The Federal Attack

 

—The First Campaign —

 
Philippi Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
1. Philippi Marker
Inscription. On June 2, 1861, Federal troops advanced on Philippi from the Baltimore & Ohio rail hub at Grafton in two columns of about 1500 men each.

The left column, under Col. Benjamin Kelley, took the train six miles east to Thornton, and then marched south over poor roads on the east side of the Tygart Valley River toward Philippi.

The right column, uncer Col. Ebenezer Dumont, rode the train south to Webster and followed the Fairmount-Beverly Turnpike to Talbott Hill (College Hill) where they placed cannons overlooking Philippi. Both columns slogged through torrents of rain and total darkness. Kelley's men became lost and arrived too late to cut off the Confederate retreat from the town.

"Cannon balls [were] crashing into their buts and stirring out the rebels like a stick into a hornet's nest."
-Whitelaw Reed, Cincinnati Gazette

After the two Federal cannon were placed on Talbott Hill, other units of Dumont's column moving up tried to stop Mrs. Thomas Humphreys from sending one of her sons to warn the Confederates. She fired a pistol. The Federal cannoners, thinking it was the signal that Kelley's troops were in place to cut off the Confederates, opened fire.

It was the first time in world history that an army used the railroad to bring divergent columns to converge upon an opponent.
 
Erected by
Area Civil War Sites image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
2. Area Civil War Sites
West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 9.483′ N, 80° 2.831′ W. Marker is in Philippi, West Virginia, in Barbour County. Marker is on College Hill Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located between Burbick Hall and Wilcox Chapel on the campus of Alderson-Broaddus College. Marker is in this post office area: Philippi WV 26416, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Philippi (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace - W.D. Zinn (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Land Battle (about 600 feet away); Historic Campbell School (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Philippi Covered Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Covered Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Philippi (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Philippi (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philippi.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Philippi Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
3. Philippi Marker
View of Philippi Today image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 24, 2010
4. View of Philippi Today
Looking from the hill toward downtown Philippi today.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,001 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 1, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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