Randolph County, West
Campaign: Operations in Western Virginia (June-December 1861)
Date(s): July 11, 1861
Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen.
George B. McClellan and Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans [US];
Lt. Col. John Pegram and Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett [CS]
Forces Engaged: Brigades
Estimated Casualties: 346 total
(US 46; CS 300)
Description: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan
assumed command of Union forces in western Virginia in June
1861. On June 27, he moved his divisions from Clarksburg south
against Lt. Col. John Pegram's Confederates, reaching the
vicinity of Rich Mountain on July 9. Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. T.A.
Morris's Union brigade marched from Philippi to confront Brig.
Gen. R.S. Garnett's command at Laurel Hill. On July 11, Brig.
Gen. William S. Rosecrans led a reinforced brigade by a mountain
path to seize the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike in Pegram's
rear. A sharp two-hour fight ensued in which the Confederates
were split in two. Half escaped to Beverly, but Pegram and the
others surrendered on July 13. Hearing of Pegram's defeat,
Garnett abandoned Laurel Hill. The Federals pursued, and, during
fighting at Corrick's Ford on July 13, Garnett was killed. On
July 22, McClellan was ordered to Washington, and Rosecrans
assumed command of Union forces in western Virginia. Union
victory at Rich Mountain was instrumental in propelling
McClellan to command of the Army of the Potomac.