April 23, 2011: With the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, West Virginia becomes an active participant in the history of that era of the United States. On June 3, 1863 the forces of the Union under the command of General George McClellan and the immediate command of Colonels Benjamin F. Kelley and Ebenezar Dumont met the forces of the Confederate Army under the command of Colonel George Porterfield at the covered bridge at Philippi, Virginia (it became Philippi, West Virginia on June 20, 1863) spanning the Tygart Valley River.

Jarvis House Webster, WV

Jarvis House - McClellan HQ

During the preparations for the battle, General McClellan made his headquarters at the Jarvis House in Webster. Many years later, Anna Jarvis would become the founder of Mother’s Day.

It is believed that the first battlefield amputations took place during this battle, both Confederate soldiers – VMI cadet, Fauntleroy Daingerfield and a college student, James E. Hanger who lost his leg. After recovering, James Hanger made himself a leg, hinged at the knee, from barrel staves. The Virginia State Legislature commissioned him to make the “Hanger Limb” for other wounded Civil War veterans – the beginning of the Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc.  

In addition to being the location of the bridge across the Tygart, Philippi had railroad and was near Grafton, a railroad center for the Baltimore & Ohio.

The Blue Gray Reunion will take place June 2, 2011 at Philippi, West Virginia at Noon.

Near the east end of the Philippi Covered Bridge is the Depot that is now a museum.

The Depot

Depot at east end of Philippi Bridge

The mummies at the Museum are featured on Innteractive Inns.

Come to the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast to find these and more of the history of the War Between the States in West Virginia.

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