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Kanawha Valley Campaign

West Virginia - 1861

May 19-21, 2006: We started this trip at the Ohio River and followed the route of the Union Army into the Kanawha River Valley of Western Virginia (now part of the state of West Virginia). Our route:

• Point Pleasant, WV

• Barboursville

• Scary Creek

• Gauley Bridge

• Chimney Corner

• Cross Corners

• Carnifex Ferry

• Hawk's Nest State Park

• Kanawha Falls

• Sewell Mountain

We started this Civil War tour at a Revolutionary War Monument at Point Pleasant, WV. Here you could see both the Ohio River and the Kanawha River, which served as the highways for the Union Army to enter the Kanawha Valley. In July 1861, McClellan sent Cox there to secure the resources of the Kanawha Valley and, perhaps more importantly, to cross the valley and the mountains into Lexington and the Shenandoah Valley. This was one of four planned invasion routes into Virginia.

The Kanawha Valley was then part of Virginia but it was more pro-Union than eastern Virginia. The economy there was tied to the Ohio River Valley.

Union forces came on steamboats and headed east toward Charleston. In spite of Confederate resistance, they took the Kanawha Valley. The Confederate Army made two attempts to take it back but failed.

Click on any photo to see a large version or start here and page through all the pictures plus extras!

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Ohio river people at monument boat log building
Our tour began at Point Pleasant, WV, at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers
teacher sign about battle river creek
Lecture at Barboursville, site of engagement also known as Battle of Mud River, a Union victory Wyandotte River, Barboursville, WV Site of the Battle of Scary Creek
bridges kanawha river man holding picture
Bridges at Town of Gauley Bridge, WV, site of a Union camp. Kanawha River above the falls Illustration of West Virginia Mountains

New River Gorge

Next: More Photos of the Kanawha Valley Campaign Tour

2005 Tour : The Overland Campaign

Copyright 2006. Photos taken by Linda Walcroft.



   Dr. Poland's book The Glories of War provides a thorough examination of the Kanawha Valley Campaign.

    Civil War Memoirs of Two Rebel Sisters takes place during this campaign.

    Visit my Civil War book store

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Linda's blog for May 2006 mentions this trip