Philippi in Barbour County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Battle of Philippi
—The First Campaign —
You are standing where Union guns opened up on Philippi on June 3, 1861, in the first land battle of the Civil War.
As Union forces attempted to secure the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at several points in the month before the battle, the Confederates moved quickly to post their own regiments along the line. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee ordered Col. George A. Porterfield to raise troops in western Virginia. He reached Philippi on May 30, 1861, where Capt. Albert G. Reger had formed a company. On the same day, Union forces under Col. Benjamin F. Kelley arrived in Grafton, fifteen miles north. On June 2-3, the Federals advanced
Dumont arrived first and ordered Col. James B. Steedman to post two six-pounder cannons here on Talbott Hill and then await the signal (a pistol shot) to open fire once the other column was in position. Supposedly, a nearby resident, Mrs. Matilda Humphreys, sent her youngest son, Newton Humphreys, to alert the Confederates. She fired her pistol when Union soldiers intervened and the gunners, thinking it was the prearranged signal, shelled Philippi before Kelley’s column arrived.
Col. Frederick W. Lander led Dumont’s troops down Talbott’s Hill and across the covered bridge in a charge, with Lander pelting down the muddy slope on his horse at breakneck speed. The Confederates fled. The battle resulted in only a few wounded; none were killed.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 9.486′ N, 80° 2.838′ W. Marker is in Philippi, West Virginia, in Barbour County. Marker is on Circle Drive East, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is located on the Campus of Alderson
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Philippi (a few steps from this marker); Birthplace - W.D. Zinn (about 500 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 •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 911 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 3. submitted on September 10, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.