Civil War Charleston

A short driving tour of Charleston's Civil War highlights, including some of West Virginia's most important personalities and memorials, plus landmarks in the Battle of Charleston. Learn about Colonel George S. Patton, grandfather of the famous World War II general! Learn about the Union garrison commanded by Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes, future U.S. President! Charleston changed hands several times during the war, so there's plenty of Civil War history to see here.

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Entries on this tour

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Craik-Patton House
The Craik-Patton House is an 1834 Greek Revival residence constructed by attorney James Craik in 1834. It was later purchased by George S. Patton, Civil War Confederate colonel and grandfather of the famous Gen. George S. Patton from World War II. The house was originally known as Elm Grove, and was built in downtown Charleston. The National Society of Colonial Dames in America saved the Craik-Patton house after it had been moved twice by placing it on this location in 1973.
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Ruffner Log Cabin (Rosedale)
Located in Daniel Boone Park in Charleston, West Virginia, the Joseph Ruffner Log Cabin or “Rosedale” originally stood at 1538 Kanawha Boulevard. Built in 1803 by Joseph Ruffner, the log cabin is said to be one of the oldest extant houses in Kanawha County.
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Mountaineer Soldier Statue
In response to dedication of a statue honoring Clarksburg native and Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson at the old State Capitol in downtown Charleston, WV, veterans of the Union side received an equivalent statue by Henry Kirke Bush-Brown in 1912. The bronze statue depicts a pro-Union citizen militiaman carrying a flag, while the two reliefs on the base depict Mountaineer home life.
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Stonewall Jackson Statue
On the grounds of the WV State Capitol stands a statue to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, The artist, Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel, was commissioned by Daughters of the Confederacy to cast the high-plinth bronze sculpture while living in Rome. Ezekiel was a former Confederate soldier and VMI graduate.
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Lincoln Walks at Midnight
West Virginia sculptor created designed this statue featuring the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, deep in contemplation as he walks. The statue was dedicated in 1935 and is known now as "Lincoln Walks at Midnight." The statue is located in front of the south portico of the West Virginia State Capitol overlooking the Kanawha River and located in front of the capitol's main rotunda. For some, the statue depicts Lincoln on a restless night as he considers how to respond to West Virginia's application as a state and how it might help the Union cause in the midst of the Civil War. For others familiar with the poetry of Vachel Lindsay, the statue's title shares the name of Lindsay's poem which depicts Lincoln's restless spirit walking through Springfield in the midst of another conflict known in Lindsay's day as the Great War. Parking is limited, especially during times that the WV Legislature is in session.
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Union Soldier Statue
The statue is a memorial to the Union Soldiers and Sailors from West Virginia who fought in the Civil War. Funded by the State of WV and placed on the Capitol grounds in 1930, it faces Kanawha Blvd. east of the Governor’s Mansion.
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Kanawha Riflemen Memorial Park
Memorial park in Charleston is named in honor of the Kanawha Riflemen, a local militia group that served with the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.
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MacFarland-Hubbard House; West Virginia Humanities Council
The MacFarland-Hubbard House was built in 1836, and is one of seven remaining homes built in Charleston prior to the Civil War. The home has housed four prominent Charleston families since its construction, including the MacFarlands, the Rubys, the Crowleys, and the Hubbards. In 1861, the home was temporarily used as a Federal medical hospital, even though it was owned by a family with Confederate sympathies. Today the MacFarland-Hubbard House has been restored by the West Virginia Humanities Council, whose offices reside on the second floor.
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[Charleston's Civil War Trails Markers] Downtown Battlefield
Between September 6th and September 13th, 1862, Confederate forces pushed into the Kanawha Valley from western Virginia. When outnumbered Union troops pulled back from defensive positions near Fayetteville, a 10,000-strong Confederate force followed hot on the heels of the Federal retreat up the Kanawha Valley to Charleston. A brief but fierce fight took place throughout the city. Union troops withdrew across the Elk River and retreated north to Point Pleasant, but not before a large section of Charleston was burned to destroy military supplies. From the position of this marker, an observer would have been near the Union headquarters, and looked across the river toward attacking Confederate artillery.
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[Charleston's Civil War Trails Markers x2] Military Occupation & Presidential Presence
Two markers on the north bank of the Kanawha River near downtown Charleston discuss aspects of military occupation during the Civil War. Notable during 1863 was the presence in Charleston of future Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, both of whom served in the Union Army's 23rd Ohio Infantry Regiment, which was bivouacked across the river at Camp White. The former location of Camp White is visible from the marker.
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[Charleston's Civil War Trails Markers] Lightburn's Retreat
As Confederate forces closed in on Charleston, Union commander Colonel Joseph Lightburn recognized he was outnumbered and needed to extract his troops or face destruction. After a brief fight in the city, Lightburn's troops successfully withdrew across the Elk River and destroyed the bridge to prevent pursuit, setting the stage for a 50-mile retreat to Point Pleasant while guarding refugees and a supply train 700 wagons long.
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Charleston's Civil War Trails Markers: Baptism By Fire
To Arms!
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Glenwood
One of Charleston's oldest homes, this beautiful antebellum residence is located on the West Side directly across the street from Stonewall Jackson Middle School. It is possibly the only antebellum home with slave quarters still standing in the Kanawha Valley, a structure that is located directly behind the home and known as "The Quarters."
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Littlepage Mansion-Charleston Civil War Trail
Charleston, like the rest of western Virginia, was contested territory during the early years of the Civil War. Confederate troops attempted to capture and hold the city at several points of the war. A marker at this location tells the history of this first engagement in Charleston. In July of 1861, Henry Wise's Confederates attempted to build a small fort at this location in anticipation of a battle with Union troops under the command of General George McClellan. The owner of the property, Rebecca Littlepage, reportedly denied Wise's demands and successfully compelled the Confederates to both leave and spare her home from destruction as they had originally promised.
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Fort Scammon (Fort Hill)
Located at the site in Charleston now known as Fort Hill, Fort Scammon was constructed in 1863 to guard the juncture between the Kanawha and Elk rivers. Used for heavy gun emplacements, the Fort location controlled an easily-accessible tributary of the Ohio River as well as the surrounding countryside.

This tour was created by Kyle Warmack on 09/11/17 .

This tour has been taken 206 times within the past year.

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