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Position of McClellan's Advance at the Battle of Philippi, Western Virginia (recto).
Civil War drawings collection, approximately 1861-1865.
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400
June 3, 1861
Drawing: Graphite on ivory paper. 7 13/16 x 10 5/8 in. Scene of Union troops' camp on a hillside above Philippi, with tents, wagons and horses gathered and soldiers lounging. The rebel's camp is labeled, '17 miles distant,' as are the different positions and commanders of Union regiments. Inscribed at upper center: 'Position of McClellan's Advance / on the Heights Round Philippi / Gen. Morris, Commanding.'
The Battle of Philippi was fought on June 3, 1861 as part of a two-prong attack against the Confederate forces in Philippi, [West] Virginia. Federal forces under General George B. McClellan, planning to deceive the enemy into believing their objective was Harper's Ferry, departed by train to the east. They de-trained at the small village of Thornton and marched south on a back road. Meanwhile, the 7th Indiana combined with the 6th Indiana near Webster, with a total of 1,400 men, and marched directly south from Webster to execute a double envelopment of the Confederates. Before dawn on June 3, the two Union columns converged on Philippi, after an overnight march in rainy weather. Union forces began firing their artillery, which awakened the sleeping Confederates. After firing a few shots at the advancing Union troops, the Southerners broke lines and began running frantically to the south, some still in their bed clothes, which caused journalists to refer to the battle as the 'Races at Philippi.' The Union victory propelled the young General into the national spotlight, and he was soon in command of all Union armies. The battle also inspired protests in the western part of Virginia against secession. A few days later in Wheeling, the Wheeling Convention nullified the Virginia ordinance of secession, split the state, and named Francis H. Pierpont governor of West Virginia.
New-York Historical Society
United States. Army. Indiana Infantry Regiment, 7th (1861-1864)United States. Army. Indiana Infantry Regiment, 9th (1861-1865)United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 9th (1861-1864)Philippi (W. Va.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--CampaignsWagonsMilitary campsTentsHorsesSoldiers
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