Rebels Attack B&O Where No Rebels Should Be; Jackson Marches

Wednesday, June 19, 1861 Through the pre-dawn haze, two companies of Rebel troops from Tennessee peered out from the hills surrounding the small Piedmont town of New Creek [now called Keyser], along a bend in the Potomac River, 20 miles west of Cumberland. A small B&O Railroad depot was guarded by a 200 – 300Read More

Patterson Confused While Scott is Silent

Tuesday, June 18, 1861 As dawn rose behind him, Union General Patterson in Hagerstown, Maryland was filled with apprehension and questions. The night before, it was reported to him that 15,000 Confederates under General Johnston were marching from Martinsburg to attack him at Williamsport, a distance of only 15 miles. If true, General-in-Chief Winfield Scott’sRead More

Skirmishes at Boonville, Pooleville and Vienna; Johnston to Attack!

Monday, June 17, 1861 Missouri’s capital had fallen to the Union. Governor Jackson and General Price, pro-secessionists both, had fled with the state government and the Missouri State Guard, to Boonville, 40 miles up the Missouri River. When Union General Lyon discovered their new base, he and his 1,700 men steamed towards them. The campRead More

The Great Bloodless War in the East; Preparing for Blood in the West

Sunday, June 16, 1861 Troop movements in the face of an enemy can be just as confusing for the pursuer as they are for the pursued. As Confederate General Johnston’s men evacuated Harpers Ferry, making Bunker Hill , Virginia their new home, Union forces under General Patterson nuzzled into their positions around Hagerstown and Williamsport,Read More

Union Troops Move into Maryland, Confederates Take Defensive

Saturday, June 15, 1861 As Harpers Ferry still smoldered from the Rebel evacuation of the day before, Union General Patterson set into motion his advance from southern Pennsylvania into Maryland. The march was lead by General Cadwalader, who was ordered to attack Maryland Heights opposite Harpers Ferry. There, Patterson believed, the Rebels would make theirRead More

Harpers Ferry Burned and Evacuated!

Friday, June 14, 1861 As soon as Confederate General Johnston got the word that he could use his discretion on whether or not to evacuate Harpers Ferry, he ordered Colonel Thomas Jackson to ready his brigade to move to Winchester. Everything movable in the town that could be used for the army was to beRead More

Skirmish in Romney; Movement in Missouri

Thursday, June 13, 1861 Hearing that several hundred Rebel troops were drilling and “oppressing loyal citizens” in Romney, Virginia [now West Virginia], Union Colonel Lew Wallace and his 11th Indiana Zouaves, about 500 strong, took a train from Cumberland, Maryland to New Creek Station, 21 miles south. They began the 23 mile march east overRead More

Western Virginians Meet to Form a New State; War Against Missouri

Tuesday, June 11, 1861 Following the defeat of the Rebels at Philippi, the movers and shakers in western Virginia politics met to decide the fate of their counties. They had met previously in May and resolved to hold a secession convention of their own, should Virginia leave the Union. Over 400 delegates met on MayRead More

Scott Plans a Diversion in Force; Lee is Somewhat Unemployed

Saturday, June 8, 1861 Union General-in-Chief Winfield Scott had long been evolving his plans against Harpers Ferry and finally, they were coming together. General Patterson was beginning his movements from Chambersburg to Greencastle in southern Pennsylvania. To aide the troops in Pennsylvania, Scott added a regiment from Rhode Island, which, along with its attached battery,Read More

Lee Warns Johnston to Hold Harpers Ferry; The Union Advance

Friday, June 7, 1861 General Lee had received General Johnston’s letter arguing that his command at Harpers Ferry was in danger and should be moved south. Lee strongly disagreed, but to break the impasse, he demurred to President Davis in Richmond. Davis, said Lee, placed “great value upon our retention of the command of theRead More