Battle of Moorefield-Where the Fighting Started - Old Fields WV
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Don.Morfe
N 39° 07.878 W 078° 57.132
17S E 677002 N 4333343
Quick Description: The Confederate cavalry brigade of Gen. Bradley T. Johnson bivouacked in the fields to your left on August 7, 1864. Willow Wall (built ca. 1830), visible to your left down the road, was Johnson’s headquarters.
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 8/24/2020 5:48:16 PM
Waymark Code: WM131BZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
Views: 1

Long Description:
Battle of Moorefield-Where the Fighting Started--The Confederate cavalry brigade of Gen. Bradley T. Johnson bivouacked in the fields to your left on August 7, 1864. Willow Wall (built ca. 1830), visible to your left down the road, was Johnson’s headquarters. Johnson’s brigade and that of Gen. John McCausland (bivouacked closer to Moorefield) had taken part in Gen. Jubal A. Early’s raid on Washington, D.C., and had burned Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in retaliation for Federal “depredations” in the Shenandoah Valley, which had likewise been in retaliation for Confederate “atrocities.” Union Gen. William W. Averell, whose command was in pursuit, surprised the Confederate pickets north of here by attacking with “Jesse Scouts” (Federal soldiers in Confederate uniforms). He drove Johnson’s men south through here toward Parson’s Ford. Averell captured four cannons, more than 400 men with their weapons, and—about as bad for the Confederates at this stage of the war—an equal number of hard-to-replace horses. Early claimed that “this affair had a very damaging effect upon my cavalry for the rest of the campaign” in terms of both morale and horses. That campaign ended with the loss of the Shenandoah Valley, the “breadbasket of the Confederacy.”

This community, remarkably undamaged by the fight, was home to the Van Meter and McNeill families. Isaac “Big Ike” Van Meter lived at Fort Pleasant (constructed 1833, behind you and to your right) and enlisted in Co. F, 7th Virginia Cavalry, in the summer of 1862. The unit fought in the Shenandoah Valley and in several other campaigns. According to Van Meter, “We did not surrender at Appomattox, but came home, giving Grant’s army leg bail to save our horses and private effects, and then surrendered in squads at New Creek or elsewhere, when more convenient.”

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The other buildings that you see around you include Old Fields Church (1812), the second-oldest church in West Virginia; the Garrett Van Meter House (1835); Buena Vista (1836), built for William T. Van Meter, killed in Gen. Wade Hampton’s “Beefsteak Raid” behind Union lines near Petersburg, Va., in 1864; and Traveler’s Rest (1856), constructed for Garrett Van Meter’s three unmarried sisters: Ann, Rebecca, and Susan Van Meter.
Type of site: Battlefield

Address:
On U.S. 220
Old Fields, WV USA
26845


Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Phone Number: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

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