Thursday, December 13, 2007

Battle of the Top of Allegheny

Here's a timely Pocahontas County historical reference courtesy of On This Day in West Virginia History: The Battle of the Top of the Allegheny on December 13, 1861. Ambrose Bierce was a Union soldier during this battle, and revisited Bartow in 1903, before writing A Bivouac of the Dead, which I blogged about last year.

Here's the beginning of the West Virginia Division of History and Culture article, originally published in 1928: It's worth a visit.

This is an article about the Battle of the Top of Allegheny, fought in. Pocahontas County, December 13, 1861, between the forces of the Union under Gen. R. H. Milroy, and the forces of the Confederacy, under Gen. W. W. Loring, Col. Edward Johnson, commanding.

The two commands had camped within sight of each other since the 13th day of July, the day that the Federal forces had occupied the place at White's on Cheat Mountain. For five months the hostile camps; had watched the smoke rising from the camp fires, across one of the big valleys of West Virginia. Each camp was in the high altitude of more than four thousand feet above the sea level.

The Federal advance had been here blocked and the summer and fall had been passed with battles and skirmishes and an extraordinary effort was planned by Milroy. Both armies were on the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike, a famous stage road which enjoyed in its time much of the travel that afterwards was accommodated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The Federal camp was known officially as Camp Cheat Mountain Summit. The Confederate camp was known officially as Camp Baldwin, named in honor of a Confederate colonel of that name. Between the two for a good part of the time, and until the winter fastened down was Camp Bartow, named after a Confederate general who was killed at the first battle of Bull Run. This was at the ford of the East Fork of Greenbrier River at Travellers Repose, now the town of Bartow.

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