Rich Mountain, WV
Operations in Western Virginia (June-December
Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and Brig. Gen. William S.
Lt. Col. John Pegram and
Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett
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,
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.
1 National Park
- having a decisive influence on a
campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war
having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign
having observable influence on the
outcome of a campaign
having a limited influence on the
outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important
3 Casualties are
someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.