Civil War Events by State - West Virginia


Listing of all day-by-day events of the American Civil War related to the state of West Virginia.

The American Civil War crossed borders throughout many states as the nation was plunged into turmoil. Key battles were fought throughout the land with the most being recorded in the state of Virginia followed by the state of Tennessee. The war stretched into loosely established territories in the West as well and involved actions in international waters and support from foreign powers. In the end, the fractured country required decades of healing and its scars can still be seen today.

There are a total of (27) Civil War Events by State - West Virginia events in the CivilWarTimeline.net database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events are also included for perspective.


Day-by-Day Timeline of Events


June 3, 1861

In the war's first contact battle between the two sides, Union forces claim the victory over Confederate elements at Philippi in West Virginia. The retreat of the Confederates, under General Robert Garnett, is so fast the engagement is known as the "Philippi Races".

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June 4, 1861

Suffering defeat in the first true land battle of the war, Confederate forces clear out of Philippi, West Virginia.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
June 11, 1861

Union loyalists in Western Virginia arrange their own local government. The work lasts through June 19th.

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June 14, 1861

Acting governor of Virginia, John Letcher, calls on West Virginians to join the Confederate cause.

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July 11, 1861

Union forces are victorious over Condeferate elements at Rich Mountain in West Virginia.

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July 13, 1861

In Carrick's Ford (West Virginia), Confederate General Robert Garnett becomes the first officer-level casualty of the war.

  Flag signifying Confederate involvement on this date
September 10, 1861

Confederate forces enact a retreat of Carnifex Ferry in West Virginia

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September 10, 1861

Event person portrait
Union General William Rosecrans is wounded at the fighting in Carnifex, West Virginia.

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September 11, 1861

Confederate General Robert E. Lee attempts to take Union positions at Cheat Mountain in West Virginia. This marks Lee's first major foray in the war.

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February 13, 1862

West Virginia authorities pass a law that restricts slaves and people of color from being given permanent residency.

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May 12, 1862

Having chased Union forces off north of Franklin (West Virginia), Stonewall Jackson turns back towards the Shenandoah Valley.

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September 9, 1862

Special Orders 191 is given by General Lee, ordering a special column formation to be taken by his troops to increase the chances of overtaking Harpers Ferry and the Union forces garrisoned there.

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September 11, 1862

General Lee assigns General Longstreet to guard the approaches from the north while General Hill is given the task of the defending the approaches from the south of Harpers Ferry.

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September 11, 1862

General Jackson engages Union forces at Martinsburg and drives them back towards Harpers Ferry.

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September 12, 1862

The Battle of Harpers Ferry begins. Generals Miles and White lead a Union force of 14,000 against some 26,000 Confederate attackers under the command of generals Stonewall Jackson and A.P. Hill.

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September 15, 1862

General Jackson's forces open up with artillery strikes against Union forces at Harpers Ferry.

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September 15, 1862

The Battle of Harpers Ferry ends as a Confederate victory.

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September 15, 1862

General Dixon Miles quickly surrenders the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry.

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September 16, 1862

Having suffered a mortal wound at the Battle of Harpers Ferry, General Dixon Miles dies.

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June 20, 1863

West Virginia is formally adopted as the 35th state of the United States.

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June 22, 1863

West Virginia, a breakaway territory of Virginia proper, becomes the 35th state in the Union.

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June 30, 1863

West Virginia officially becomes a supporter of the Union cause in the Civil War and commits its resources to the conflict

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August 26, 1863

Union and Confederate cavalry elements meet one another at Rocky Gap outside of White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia. The clashes last until the 27th.

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May 10, 1864

Confederate forces, numbering 4,000, at Crockett's Cove, Virginia, stand their ground against a Union charge of 2,500 strong. The attackers are driven back into West Virginia. Confederate General William E. Jones claims the victory over Union General William Averell. The official battle results are listed as inconclusive.

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August 7, 1864

The Battle of Moorefield takes place in Hardy County, West Virginia. It is a Union victory for General William Averell over Confederate leader John McCausland. Union strength is 1,760 against 3,000 Confederates. Casualties are 42 against 488, respectively.

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August 21, 1864

The Battle of Summit Point, also known under the names of Flowing Springs and Cameron's Depot, takes place in Summit Point, West Virginia. It is an inconclusive engagement involving Union General Sheridan and Confederate Generals Anderson and Early.

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August 25, 1864

The Battle of Smithfield Crossing is another inconclusive engagement between the two sides in West Virginia. The fighting spans August 25th into August 29th.

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Battle of Franklin (1864)
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