“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Hampshire County West Virginia Historical Markers

Blue's Gap Battle Marker image, Touch for more information
By Mike Wintermantel
Blue's Gap Battle Marker
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Augusta — Blue's Gap Battle
Confederate troops under Captain George F. Sheets were defeated by Colonel S. H. Dunning's 5th Ohio Infantry here, Jan. 7, 1862. North River Bridge and a number of buildings were burned by the Federals. — Map (db m126141) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Bloomery — “Caudy’s Castle”
Named for James Caudy, pioneer and Indian fighter, who took refuge from the Indians on a mass of rocks overlooking Cacapon River during the French and Indian War (1754–1763). From his position on the Castle of Rocks, he defended himself by . . . — Map (db m20850) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Bloomery — Bloomery Iron Furnace / Bloomery Gap Skirmish
(North Facing Side):Bloomery Iron Furnace The furnace was built, 1833, by Thomas Pastly and later was owned by Lewis Passmor. He placed a Mr. Cornwell in charge who operated it until 1848 when it was sold to S. A. Pancost. He and his . . . — Map (db m11019) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Bloomery — Fight at Bloomery GapA Futile Affair
Early in 1862, Confederate raids and attacks put Hampshire County and much of the surrounding area under nominal Southern control. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and nearby telegraph wires were severed, impeding Federal troop movements. A militia . . . — Map (db m30455) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Bloomery — Hampshire County / Virginia
Side A Hampshire County Oldest county; established by the Virginia Assembly, 1754. Formed from Frederick and Augusta. Lord Fairfax, owner, named it for the English shire of the same name. Ice Mountain and Hanging Rocks are among its . . . — Map (db m84798) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Capon Bridge — Fort Edwards
Troops from this fort under Captain Mercer were ambushed in 1756 and many were killed. The French and Indians later attacked the fort but the garrison, aided by Daniel Morgan and other frontiersmen, repulsed the assault. — Map (db m4556) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Capon Bridge — Northwestern Turnpike
In 1784, Washington proposed the Northwestern Turnpike as an all-Virginia route to the Ohio. Authorized in 1827 and started in 1831, it remains a monument to the skill of its engineers, Charles Shaw and Colonel Claudius Crozet. — Map (db m4623) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Capon Lake — Capon Lake Whipple Truss Bridge
First erected in 1874 as a two span bridge on US Route 50 near Romney, one span was moved here in 1938 and re-erected on a new foundation. the 17' wide by 176' long bridge is a Whipple-Murphy Truss. The state’s oldest extant metal truss, the bridge . . . — Map (db m92752) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Capon Lake — Capon Springs
Capon Springs bears Indian name meaning the "Medicine Waters." Discovered in 1765. Famous resort of early days. President Franklin Pierce, Daniel Webster, and his guest, Sir Henry Bulwer, the British Minister, were among guests. — Map (db m50808) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Capon Lake — Historic Whipple Truss
Built in 1874 on U.S. Rt. 50 near Romney and re-erected at the present site in 1938 in use until 1991. And made an historic site by the WVDOT in 1992. It is the oldest of the few Whipple Trusses left in WV. — Map (db m50809) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Gore — The Guns Of Jacob SheetzHunting of a Different Sort
The shop of Jacob Sheetz, a Hampshire County gunsmith, once stood ahead of you in the yard to the right of the house. In 1861, Sheetz found himself unusually busy converting ancient flintlock rifles to the modern percussion type. The long rifle . . . — Map (db m58647) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Hanging Rock — Ice Mountain
Huge natural refrigerator, five miles north along North River, where ice is found for several hundred yards on the hottest summer days. Raven Rock, on North Mountain, overs one of the finest views in West Virginia. — Map (db m25085) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Abandonment of Fort Mill Ridge
The Union troops at Fort Mill Ridge continued their duties until June 14, 1863. Then, in response to Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, Campbell's command was ordered to concentrate with the rest of their division at New Creek (Keyser). Confederate . . . — Map (db m25438) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — An Outpost in Enemy Territory
From the protection of the fort and their encampment along Mill Creek, Union soldiers were stationed at picket posts throughout adjacent valleys at key junctions, fords, and approaches. Patrols were sent through the country-side to feel for the . . . — Map (db m25433) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Construction of Fort Mill Ridge
On March 16, 1863, Col. Campbell ordered his command to move their encampment from Romney to the fields adjacent to Mill Creek immediately west of Mill Ridge. Sheltered between the mountain to the west and the ridge, the camp was less vulnerable to . . . — Map (db m25203) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Control of the Mechanicsburg Gap
Federal Battery E, 1st (West) Virginia Volunteer Artillery was assigned to the command at Fort Mill Ridge. The Battery was armed with six 3-inch rifled cannons. It is believed that two of these cannons were positioned in the central redoubt. The . . . — Map (db m25315) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Engagement with McNeill's Rangers
In early April, 1863, a Confederate force led by Captain John H. McNeill's Rangers and four additional companies of Virginia cavalry left Rockingham County for West Virginia. At Moorefield, 20 miles south of Fort Mill Ridge, the force divided into . . . — Map (db m25353) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Fort Mill RidgeGeneral Information
Fort Mill Ridge is a Union fortification constructed between March and June, 1863, to defend the Mechanicsburg Gap and South Branch Potomac Valley. The remains of the fortification have been undisturbed over the past 135 years and are among the most . . . — Map (db m25084) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Interior of the Central Redoubt
The central redoubt consists of a square earthen platform or rampart, and earthen walls, or parapets. Cuts in the parapets, or embrasures, provided openings through which cannons could fire. The remains of the embrasures can be . . . — Map (db m25300) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — Mechanicsburg Gap / Col. Claudius Crozet
Mechanicsburg Gap Scenic canyon cut through Mill Creek Mountain by Mill creek. Here an old Indian trail was the pathway from the Valley of Virginia to the Alleghenies, then the Northwestern Turnpike, now the George Washington Highway Col. . . . — Map (db m19355) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — The Central Redoubt
The central redoubt house the fort's artillery. The square structure is approximately forty feet wide inside. The fort's entrance was located on the north, its least vulnerable side. Two artillery positions were constructed on each of the other . . . — Map (db m25244) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — The Civil War in the South Branch Valley
At the time of the Civil War, the South Branch Valley was comprised of many small, independent farms. The mid-19th century was a golden age of agriculture in the eastern United States, and the valley was among the most agriculturally productive . . . — Map (db m25186) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — The Ditch as a Second Line of Defense
Around the outside of the central redoubt is the ditch, a significant obstacle attackers would have to climb through to assault the redoubt. At Fort Mill Ridge, the ditch also appears to have been used as a trench from which defending . . . — Map (db m25324) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Mechanicsburg — The Great Raid
In late April 1863, the Confederates launched a major raid from Rockingham County into West Virginia. A primary goal of the raid was the destruction of the Cheat River Bridge of the B&O Railroad near the Northwestern Turnpike crossing the Cheat . . . — Map (db m25436) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Pinoak — Pinoak Fountain
Built by State Road Comm. and local artisans in 1932; land given by H.R. Edeburn. Crystal quartz quarried from behind nearby Bloomery iron furnace, and stone from hillside behind the fountain. Spring water, gravity fed from hill above, supplied area . . . — Map (db m391) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Camp WashingtonStrategic Position
In 1861, during the early part of the Civil War, Union Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley established Camp Washington here on the Washington Bottom Farm to secure the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in this area. Located between Romney and Cumberland, Maryland, . . . — Map (db m81398) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Captain George W. Stump"Stump's Battery"
This is Hickory Grove, the home of Adam and Mary Stump and their son Capt. George W. Stump, who led a company of the 18th Virginia Cavalry during the war. Capt. Stump was always heavily armed with a carbine and numerous revolvers; his men called him . . . — Map (db m58649) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Engagement at RomneyLew Wallace Storms the Bridge
On the night of June 12, 1861, Col. Lewis Wallace led his 11th Indiana (Zouaves) Regiment from Cumberland, Maryland, by train across the Potomac River and into present-day West Virginia. He had learned that “several . . . — Map (db m33450) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Fort Forman
Frontier outpost, Capt. William Forman (Foreman), in 1777, led a company from this county to the relief of Fort Henry at Wheeling. He, two sons, and others were killed in an ambush by Native Americans at the "Narrows" near Moundsville. — Map (db m19357) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Fort Pearsall 1754
“Fort Pearsall was on or in view of this site.” Job Pearsall built a fort as protection against the Indians in 1754 on Lot 16, granted by Fairfax in 1749 containing 323 acres, including part of Indian Mound Cemetery. On May 14, . . . — Map (db m2101) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Grapeshot Among the Pines
"Somehow they found out we were in the woods east of town. They took two cannon up the pike to where the Toll House now stands and fired several rounds of grapeshot among the pines." John Starnes Memoir The road passing before you is the Old . . . — Map (db m67937) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Hampshire County CourthouseSecession and Occupation
On May 23, 1861, Virginians voted in a statewide referendum to approve or disapprove the Ordinance of Secession that the convention in Richmond had passed on April 17. Here at the Hampshire County Courthouse, 1,188 out of 2,635 eligible voters . . . — Map (db m58656) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Hampshire County World War I Memorial
In honor of Hampshire's sons who gave their lives and their service in the World War "We are the dead, Short days ago we lived, Felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved." Lieut. Robert W. Gilkeson • Corp. James Cleveland Lee • Corp. Joshua . . . — Map (db m19345) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Indian Mound
The Indian Mound Cemetery which is 7 feet high and about 15 feet in diameter, is one of the largest remaining mounds in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. This mound has never been excavated but similar mounds of area dug by Smithsonian . . . — Map (db m19346) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Jackson's HeadquartersJohn B. White House — Jackson's Bath-Romney Campaign
(Preface): On January 1, 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson led four brigades west from Winchester, Va., to secure Romney in the fertile South Branch Valley on the North Western Turnpike. He attacked and occupied Bath on . . . — Map (db m58650) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Old Literary Hall
Literary Society of Romney organized in 1819, oldest in the state and one of the first in America. A splendid Public Library was accumulated which by 1850 was the largest in West Virginia. Destroyed during the War Between the States in 1862. . . . — Map (db m462) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Romney / Early Memorial
Romney. Incorporated as a town, 1762. Owned and laid off as a town by Lord Fairfax. Named for one of the five English Channel ports. Not far away was Fort Pearsall, built, 1756, as Indian defense. Town changed military control 56 times, . . . — Map (db m463) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Romney in 1861–1865 / “Stonewall” Jackson
Romney in 1861–1865. Sitting astride the natural invasion route from the Shenandoah Valley to the Potomac and the B&O Railroad, Romney was scourged by both armies. No great battles were fought here, but during the War the town changed . . . — Map (db m464) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Romney In The Civil WarStrategic Location on the Turnpike
Romney experienced many troop movements and skirmishes during the course of the war because of its location on the vitally important North Western Turnpike The road linked Winchester, near the northern end of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, with . . . — Map (db m58654) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — W. Va School for the Deaf and Blind
Established, 1870. The Classical Institute was donated by the Romney Literary Society as the initial building unit. Co-educational school giving academic and vocational training to the State's deaf and blind youth. — Map (db m459) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Romney — Wire Bridge EngagementFederal Attack on Romney
On October 24, 1861, Union Gen. Winfield Scott ordered Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley to strengthen his position at New Creek Station (present-day Keyser) on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and then march to Romney and occupy the town. Situated on the . . . — Map (db m81399) HM
West Virginia (Hampshire County), Three Churches — Mount Bethel Church
The Presbyterians established a church near here in 1792. At first called the Mountain Church in 1808, it became the nucleus of Presbyterian work in Hampshire County under the auspices of the Rev. John Lyle. The Rev. James Black reorganized the . . . — Map (db m19356) HM

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