On April 28, 1863, a raiding force under Confederate General William E. Jones confronted Union forces under Captain Chamberlain and militia forces under Major Parish in an engagement over the control of the bridge at Fairmont and that section of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. An estimated force of 4,500 Confederate soldiers defeated the 235 federal soldiers, blew up the suspension bridge, raided the town, and left to continue attacks towards Bridgeport.
Early on the 28th of April, 1863, Fairmont and Mannington Home Guards, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and the 6th West Virginia Infantry defended their holding of the bridges in and around Fairmont West Virginia. Their manpower was estimated to be between 200 and 250 men between the military and militia forces.
The attack was made by Confederate General William E. Jones with his 12th Virginia Cavalry and 35th Virginia Battalion. Jones split his forces, sending the main column south-east from Barrackville, towards the suspension bridge across the Monongahela River towards Palatine. This force met resistance by groups of men hiding behind whatever cover they could find, fences, trees, haystacks, etc., which slowly retreated during the fighting. Jones' forces eventually crossed the bridge and took control of the railroad and a foundry on the other side. The other portion of Jones' forces went further south to capture the railroad bridge. A train full of Federal reinforcements arrived from Grafton but were repelled by Jones' then recombined forces. Jones then continued the raid towards Bridgeport.
The first bridge was destroyed (but rebuilt a few weeks later), the town was raided for food, money, and horses. Governor Pierpont's personal library and law library were taken out to the street and burnt. It was reported that the Confederate raids took about 500 horses from the area, mostly from Confederate sympathizers, thinking they had nothing to fear.