Dry Creek Battle - White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member gparkes
N 37° 48.131 W 080° 17.141
17S E 562883 N 4184107
Quick Description: At a small gas station, there are a pair of markers. One marker tells of the battle that took place here during the American Civil War.
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 7/1/2010 11:12:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM95FC
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 5

Long Description:
Marker at the site reads:

Dry Creek Battle

A two-day encounter, August 26-27, 1863 between General Sam Jones' Confederates and General W.W> Averell's Federals. Action is also known as Howard's Creek, White Sulphur Springs and Rocky Gap. Losses: 350.

West Virginia Historic-Commission 1963

In early August 1863, U.S. General William W. Averell launched a series of raids into the South Branch Valley. He would visit the towns of Wardensville, Moorefield, Petersburg, and Franklin. This was a punishment raid for the people of these counties and towns who were still loyal to Virginia and the confederacy. His men were all mounted and were allowed to take from the citizens as many horses as they could manage. While at Petersburg, Averell received orders from General Benjamin Kelly to extend his raid into the Greenbrier Valley and to the town of Lewisburg. There he would secure the law library of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The court had met there for sixty years prior to the war and it was decided that these books should be taken to the new state capitol in Wheeling.

In the small village of Huntersville, the then Pocahontas county seat, was located at Camp Northwest, commanded by Col. William L. Jackson. Jackson, cousin to the famous Stonewall Jackson, commanded the 19th Va. Cavalry and was keeping tabs on Averill’s movements. Col. Jackson had a secure courier route down the Anthony’s Creek Road to Lewisburg and had requested from Echols’ reinforcements to defend against this union force bearing down on the Greenbrier Valley.

The First Brigade Army of the Southwest also known as Echols’ Brigade was stationed at Lewisburg. Command of this unit fell to Col. George S. Patton filling in for the often ill Gen. Echols. On the morning of August 25, Patton, who was the grandfather of WWII Gen. George Patton, started his forces North from Lewisburg to Frankford where he turned on to the Anthony’s Creek Rd. He commanded the 26th Battalion Va. Inf., (Edgar’) Chapman’s Battery, The 22nd Va. Inf., the 45th Va. Inf., and the 37th Battalion of Va. Cavalry (dismounted). The brigade would march about 19 miles when they received word that Col. Jackson had been struck at Huntersville, Camp Northwest burned and Jackson had been driven from the county. General Averell was now moving west on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike.

Patton turned his forces around and headed for the James River Turnpike down present day Rt. 92. His men would march all night with Edgar’s Battalion in the lead when they arrived at present day Pleasant Valley.

General Averill had arrived at Callaghan’s and turned right on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike. His lead element was two companies of the of the 8th and 2nd West Virginia Mounted Infantry commanded by Captain Paul Von Koenig, a German who it is said was hated by his own men. Maj. Gibson’s Independent Cavalry Battalion followed along with Ewing’s Battery, the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry and the 3rd West Virginia Mounted Infantry, about 1300 men.

On the morning of August 26, these forces came together in this quiet little community and they would do battle for nearly two days. Edgar’s Battalion made contact first and deployed a skirmish company to hold Averell at bay until he could construct a barricade from fence rails with the rest of the battalion. As other units came into line on both sides the battle heated up with Averell’s men mounting charge after charge trying to break through the barricade. A spirited artillery duel between Chapman’s battery and Ewing’s lasted all day, disabling one of the federal guns. The battle lasted until dark with men on both sides resting on their arms. General Averell had expected supplies and more men during the night but he received neither. By morning Patton had received the 8TH Va. Cavalry and the 23RD Battalion Va. Infantry to reinforce his lines. General Averell realizing he could not succeed, began an orderly retreat. He had sent his engineers ahead to notch the trees so only a couple of strokes of the ax would fell the trees and block the road behind his army.

The two-day battle had cost the union forces 218 men including 26 killed, 125 wounded, and 67 captured. Patton had lost 167 men including 20 killed, 129 wounded, and 18 missing. Captain Paul Von Koenig, the German, was among the first to die, maybe by his own men. He is buried at the intersection of Rt. 92 and Rt.60.

Information copied from The White Sulphur Rifles at http://www.battleofdrycreek.com/civil_war_reenactment/american_history/civil_war_battle/history.aspx

Name of Battle:
Dry Creek Battle

Name of War: American Civil War

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Date(s) of Battle (Beginning): 8/26/1863

Date of Battle (End): 8/27/1863

Parking: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Post a photo of you and/or your GPS in front of a sign or marker posted at the site of the battle.

In addition it is encouraged to take a few photos two of the surrounding area and interesting features at the site.
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