Rich Mountain, WV

Date(s): July 11, 1861

Campaign(s): Operations in Western Virginia (June-December 1861)

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

Commanders:

  • Union: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans

  • Confederate:  Lt. Col. John Pegram and Brig. Gen. Robert  S. Garnett

Principal Forces: Brigades

  • Union:

  • Confederate:

Description:

  • Maj. Gen. 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 Lt. Col. John Pegram’s Confederates, reaching the vicinity of Rich Mountain on July 9th.

  • Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. T. A. Morris’ Union brigade marched from Philippi to confront Brig. Gen. R. S. Garnett’s command at Laurel Hill.

  • On July 11th, Brig. Gen. 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.

Slide Presentation: None

Classification2: B

Casualties3:

  • Union: 46

  • Confederate: 300

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Websites: 

Lodging and Restaurants: West Virginia Tourism

Recommended Resources:


1 National Park Service summary.

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 12/07/2012