Major General George B. McClellan assumed command of Union forces in western Virginia in June 1861. On June 27, he moved his divisions from Clarksburg south against Lieutenant Col. John Pegram's Confederates, reaching the vicinity of Rich Mountain on July 9.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General T.A. Morris's Union brigade marched from Philippi to confront Brigadier General R.S. Garnett's command at Laurel Hill.
On July 11, Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans led a reinforced brigade by a mountain path to seize the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike in Pegram's rear. A sharp two-hour fight ensued in which the Confederates were split in two. Half escaped to Beverly, but Pegram and the others surrendered on July 13.
Hearing of Pegram's defeat, Garnett abandoned Laurel Hill. The Federals pursued, and, during fighting at Corrick's Ford on July 13, Garnett was killed. On July 22, McClellan was ordered to Washington, and Rosecrans assumed command of Union forces in western Virginia.
Union victory at Rich Mountain was instrumental in propelling McClellan to command of the Army of the Potomac.
Principal Commanders: Major General George B. McClellan and Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans [US]; Lieutenant Col. John Pegram and
Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett [CS]
Forces Engaged: Brigades
Estimated Casualties: 346 total (US 46; CS 300)
McClellan's Own Story
Born in Philadelphia on December 3, 1826, George B. McClellan graduated from West Point in 1846 before serving in the Mexican War. At the start of the Civil War, McClellan was put in a position of leadership and after a successful campaign in Virginia he was given command of the Army of Potomac
Clash of Loyalties: A Border County in the Civil War West Virginia and Appalachia
The story of one county in the mountainous Northwest of Virginia, is a telling microcosm of the deep divisions which both caused the war and were caused by it. With a meticulous examination of census and military records this is a compelling account of the passion and violence which tore apart Barbour County and the Nation
Rebels At The Gate
The dramatic story of the first Union victories of the Civil War and the events that caused Virginians to divide their state. In a defiant act to sustain President Lincoln's war effort, Virginia Unionists created their own state government in 1861-destined to become the new state of West Virginia. Their actions blocked what should have been Confederate control of the territory and closed one of their key gateways to the Union states
The Perfect Steel Trap: Harpers Ferry 1859
Eye-witness accounts of the John Brown insurrection from people like Lee, Brown's family, and ordinary citizens. The information has been gathered by two of the raiders who escaped and live to tell about it Owen Brown and Osborne Anderson. The preparations, the raid, the trials, the executions and the aftermath of the event
Images of the Civil War in West Virginia
This amazing book has over 475 photographs, images, and drawings – all made during the Civil War or very soon thereafter, and all related to West Virginia. This is the largest collection of images ever put together on West Virginia during the war. In addition to photos, it includes broadsides, veteran reunions, and miscellaneous paper items. Many of these pictures are from private collections and have never before been published. Also includes a short chronology of battles and events, giving a reference for the images. The book is printed on high quality glossy paper. A must for all Civil War buffs
The Divided Family in Civil War America
In hundreds of border state households, brothers--and sisters--really did fight one another, while fathers and sons argued over secession and husbands and wives struggled with opposing national loyalties. Even enslaved men and women found themselves divided over how to respond to the war
Six Years of Hell: Harpers Ferry During the Civil War
While Harpers Ferry was an important location during the Civil War, in most Civil War books it's a sideshow of something larger. John Brown's raid, Lee's invasions of 1862 & 1863 as well as Early's 1864 raid are all covered in depth
A. P. Hill:
Lee's Forgotten General
Biography of the Confederacy's long-neglected hero whom Lee ranked next to Jackson and Longstreet. Although the name and deeds ot this gallant Virginian conspicuously punctuate the record of every major campaign of the Army of Northern Virginia
General A.P. Hill: The Story of a Confederate Warrior
A Confederate general who ranks with Lee, Jeb Stuart, and Stonewall Jackson. Drawing extensively on newly unearthed documents, this work provides a gripping battle-by-battle assessment of Hill's role in Antietam
Sources: U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.