The Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861, was one of the first engagements of the Civil War. Confederate troops at stationed at Camp Garnett, at the western foot of the mountain, had taken control of the mountain pass on the Staunton & Parkersburg Turnpike, which travelled east-to-west from Staunton, Virginia, on the Shenandoah River, to Parkersburg, West Virginia, on the Ohio River. Union forces stationed nearby outnumbered Confederates more than three-to-one and weilded superior artillery. However, their commander, Major General George B. McClellan, believed that the rebels had superior troops and fortifications and made an effort to cancel the attack. Despite his reticence, 22-year-old David Hart, a guide, and Brigadier General William Rosecrans engaged and defeated the Rebels. The 215-acre Rich Mountain Battlefield landmark extends along the crest of Rich Mountain, where the battle was fought, and includes the Confederate camp at the western base of the mountain.
Rich Mountain Battlefield