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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Parkersburg in Wood County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Vital Transportation Center

McClellan Occupies Parkersburg

 
 
Vital Transportation Center Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 13, 2014
1. Vital Transportation Center Marker
Inscription. At the beginning of the Civil War, both sides recognized the strategic importance of Parkersburg. Besides its location on the Ohio River, the Northwestern Virginia Railroad branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike, and the Northwestern Turnpike all served the city and county.

Union Gen. George B. McClellan, commander of the Department of Ohio, was informed in May 1861 that Confederates were threatening the railroad. McClellan decided to protect the terminus at Parkersburg, and on May 27, he sent the 14th and 18th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, together with the Cleveland Light Artillery, to occupy the city. The units departed Marietta, Ohio, on steamboats and landed in Parkersburg to find the residents were glad to see them.

McClellan arrived with his staff from Cincinnati on June 22. He inspected the facilities here, including the future site of Fort Boreman, before moving east. Before the next month was over, he had fought and won battles at Rich Mountain and Corrick’s Ford in western Virginia, defeating troops under Gen. Robert E. Lee’s overall command—a trend that would be reversed a year later near Richmond. McClellan’s reports to Washington proclaimed, “Our success is complete and secession is killed in this country.”

The Union occupation of Parkersburg
Vital Transportation Center Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 13, 2014
2. Vital Transportation Center Marker
continued until the end of the war. About 30,000 troops arrived within three months of McClellan’s departure, and over the course of the conflict many thousands more passed through. At the end of the war, Parkersburg became a center for transporting troops west for discharge.

(captions)
(upper left) Gen. George B. McClellan Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper right) Union troops landing at Parkersburg, May 27, 1861, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Aug. 24, 1861 Courtesy Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 15.973′ N, 81° 33.95′ W. Marker is in Parkersburg, West Virginia, in Wood County. Marker is on Little Kanawa Connector north of Ann Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is located in Blennerhassett Point Park. Marker is in this post office area: Parkersburg WV 26101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Escape to Freedom (a few steps from this marker); Women of Courage (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Blennerhassett Hotel
Albert J. Woofter Dedication of Blennerhassett Island Point Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 13, 2014
3. Albert J. Woofter Dedication of Blennerhassett Island Point Park
(within shouting distance of this marker); Railroads (within shouting distance of this marker); Blennerhassett Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Parkersburg (within shouting distance of this marker); The Point (within shouting distance of this marker); W.H. Smith Hardward Co (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Parkersburg.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 218 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 8, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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