Military Operations in Jefferson County, Virginia (Now West Virginia): 1861-1865



In 1910 the Jefferson County Camp, United Confederate Veterans made plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the War Between the States.  Ably led by Col. R. Preston Chew, the Camp set about to permanently mark locations throughout Jefferson County where skirmishes or battles took place during the Civil War.  Funds were raised by the Camp to place 25 concrete obelisks.  Each site would serve as a reminder to posterity of the sacrifices made by the men who fought there.

Image courtesy of Curt Mason

In 1911 it was decided to publish a pamphlet to accompany the concrete obelisks.  The pamphlet would provide a brief description of the action that took place at each site.  Again Col. Chew provided the leadership that resulted in the publication of Military Operations in Jefferson County Virginia (Now West Virginia) 1861-1865.  By reading accounts written by men who had first-hand knowledge of The War Between the States, it is possible to have a clearer understanding of their experience.  What follows is a summary of the accounts written about each site.  Direct quotes from the text are in italics.  Where possible full names of men mentioned in the account are given.  The spelling of local sites is as it appears in the pamphlet.

The pamphlet included a map that showed the locations of each of the concrete obelisks, numbered 1 through 25.  This map has been used as the basis for the map shown on this web site.  As of spring 2007, all markers had been found.  Their locations as of May 2007 are described and identified by latitude and longitude and with photographs depicting their settings.  However, it must be kept in mind that for a number of reasons the markers themselves may not be located at the site of the event they commemorate.  Many have been moved from their original locations, such as Marker #16, which was moved away from the Shenandoah River, apparently to ensure it was not swept away in a flood.  In some cases, the initial location itself was not intended to mark the actual spot of the event.  Where possible, we have identified such situations below.  However, individuals aware of the reasons for such discrepancies or of other situations affecting the accuracy of our descriptions are encouraged to contact us so that we might make the information public.

The booklet was published in 1911, and reprinted in 1960, 1994, 1996, 1999, and in 2004 by the Henry Kyd Douglas Camp, No. 199, Sons of Confederate Veterans.  The 2004 edition is available for purchase at selected locations in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

The Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission is grateful to the Henry Kyd Douglas Camp, No. 199 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for permission to post this information.