Fort Fuller/Capture of New Creek Highway Historical Markers
Backstory and Context
During the Civil War, the United States most vital east-west connection was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This vital artery provided for a near constant flow of men and material between the Midwest and Atlantic states. Yet the B&O traveled right along the border between the United States and the Confederacy, with 188 miles located in northern and northwestern Virginia. Federal forces kept guard over much of the B&O throughout the war. Positioned along the North Branch of the Potomac River and the B&O line, the small village of New Creek (now Keyser, WV) in Virginia served as a critical supply depot and boasted significant fortifications throughout most of the Civil War.
New Creek was occupied in early in the Civil War, and the construction of fortifications began as early as August-September 1861. Cavalry troopers of the Ringgold Cavalry Company (later 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry) "broke the first sod for the earthworks and the fort, which was built here afterward."  The town's major fortification, initially known as Fort Fuller and later as Fort Kelley, was completed by late 1862. As one soldier reported in December 1862, "Fort Fuller, situated on a hill and in sight of our camp, is rapidly going forward to completion. It will be exceedingly strong when finished and will command this entire valley."  The fort was built of wooden walls which were covered with sloped earth (which helped to deflect artillery rounds).
Confederates threatened or overran New Creek repeatedly throughout the war. Two of the most serious attacks on the post occurred in 1864. On August 4, after raiding north into Pennsylvania and burning the town of Chambersburg, Confederate raiders under Generals John McCausland approached New Creek. The Rebels hoped they could damage the B&O Railroad.
1. Rada, Jr., James. "Keyser a strategic stronghold during Civil War." Cumberland Times-News. October 8, 2012. Web. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.times-news.com/news/local_news/keyser-a-strategic-stronghold-during-civil-war/article_6752279c-409c-5518-8886-9a06284189e0.html
2. Bocian, Meredith. "Baltimore and Ohio Railroad during the Civil War." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities. October 27, 2015. Web. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Baltimore_and_Ohio_Railroad_During_the_Civil_War#start_entry
3. Elwood, John William. Elwood's Stories of the Old Ringgold Cavalry, 1847-1865. Coal Center, PA: John W. Elwood, 1914. https://archive.org/details/elwoodsstoriesof00elwo
4. "Action at New Creek (4th) and engagement near Moorefield (7th), W.Va. Reports." Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Series 1. Vol. 43:1. Accessed June 17, 2020. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924080776929&view=1up&seq=22
5. "Skirmishes at Moorefield (27th and 28th), affair at New Creek (28th), and skirmish (28th) at Piedmont, W.Va. Reports." Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Series 1. Vol. 43:1. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924080776929&view=1up&seq=673
6. "Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood, November 28, 1864." Child of the Rebellion: An Archives and History Sesquicentennial Project. Web. Accessed June 16, 2020. http://www.wvculture.org/history/sesquicentennial/18641128.html
West Virginia Archives & History, http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers/sesqui/captureofnewcreek.html