This battle was an Union offensive to try to take a key bridge in the area and to smash the resistance of Confederate troops in this section of Western Virginia. On the morning of June 3, Union troops arrived at Philippi. Confederate partisans failed to post advance units throughout the area, meaning that the arrival of these troops largely caught the Confederates off guard.
Due to the rain and a lack of training, the Confederates had not set pickets during the night. As the Union troops moved towards the town, a Confederate sympathizer, Matilda Humphries, spotted their approach. Dispatching one of her sons to warn Porterfield, he was quickly captured. In response, she fired her pistol at the Union troops. This shot was misinterpreted as the signal to begin the battle. Opening fire, Union artillery began striking the Confederate positions as the infantry attacked. Caught by surprise, the Confederate troops offered little resistance and began fleeing south.1
The Confederate troops were surprised by this attack and Union troops poured into the city via a bridge and artillery fired as the infantry moved into the city. The Confederate troops being ill prepared, started retreating south. The fighting continued with few casualties and the Confederate troops retreated all the way until they reached Huttonsville 45 miles to the south. The aftermath of the battle resulted in four Union casualties and 26 Confederate casualties.