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American Battlefields
Rich Mountain  

Other Names: None

Location: Randolph County

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

Date(s): July 11, 1861

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan and Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans [US]; Lt. Col. John Pegram and
Brig. Gen. Robert  S. Garnett [CS]

Forces Engaged: Brigades

Estimated Casualties: 346 total (US 46; CS 300)

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 Pegramís Confederates, reaching the vicinity of Rich Mountain on July 9. Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. T.A. Morrisís Union brigade marched from Philippi to confront Brig. Gen. R.S. Garnettís command at Laurel Hill. On July 11, Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans led a reinforced brigade by a mountain path to seize the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike in Pegramís 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 Pegramís defeat, Garnett abandoned Laurel Hill. The Federals pursued, and, during fighting at Corrickís 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.

Result(s): Union victory

CWSAC Reference #: WV003

Preservation Priority: I.3 (Class B)

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