Charleston in Kanawha County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Battle of Charleston
—Jenkins's Raid —
Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins led 550 cavalrymen on a 500 mile raid, Aug. 22-Sept. 12, 1862, attacking Federal forces, capturing prisoners, and destroying military stores. From Salt Sulphur Springs he rode along the Tygart and Buckhannon Rivers, taking 5,000 weapons in Buckhannon and occupying Weston. He captured the Union garrison at Spencer on Sept. 2, then took Ripley, where he seized funds from the 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.
As Confederate Gen. Albert G. Jenkins raided western Virginia, Union Col. Joseph A.J. Lightburn consolidated scattered Federal forces to defend important positions and resources. Not only Jenkins, but also Confederate Gen. William W. Loring, acting in concert with Jenkins, threatened Union positions. Leading a combined command of infantry, cavalry, and horse artillery, Loring struck at Federal forces in the Kanawha River Valley.
On September 13, 1862, part of Loring’s force caught up with Lightburn here as he withdrew down the valley. The Federals had occupied Charleston since April, and Lightburn had his headquarters at a log house at present-day 1536 Kanawha Boulevard (moved in 1976 to Daniel
The Confederates captured the Union garrison flag as the Federals retreated past here and across the Elk River Suspension Bridge. Batteries on both sides kept firing, and infantry skirmishes continued until dark. Confederate forces occupied the town with 18 killed and 89 wounded. The Federals reported 25 killed, 95 wounded and 190 missing.
"While we were watching ... a squad of Confederate skirmishers suddenly appeared. ... I had on a blue flannel suit and blue cap, and [Steele] Hawkins also had on a blue coat and cap. When we saw them we jumped up and they, thinking we were Federal soldiers, fired at us. ... I lost all interest in things down in town and started up the hill on the double." - Thomas E. Jeffries, who as a boy witnessed the battle
A pedestrian walkway on the bridge to your right crosses the river above the former site
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 38° 20.82′ N, 81° 38.136′ W. Marker is in Charleston, West Virginia, in Kanawha County. Marker is at the intersection of Kanawha Boulevard and McFarland Street, on the right when traveling south on Kanawha Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1005 Kanawha Bloulevard East, Charleston WV 25301, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Gas Well (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Lee (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Clendenin (approx. ¼ mile away); State Capitol (approx. 0.3 miles away); Charleston (approx. 0.3 miles away); Military Occupation (approx. 0.3 miles away); Presidential Presence (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Block (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 650 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 3, 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.