Civil War Trails sign at Fred Brooks Park in Buckhannon / All photos by Beckie Boyd

Step into the Past: Discover five historic Civil War landmarks in the heart of West Virginia

BUCKHANNON – Did you know Upshur County, WV is rich with local history? From battlefields to historic buildings, artifacts and memorabilia, the county known as the Heart of West Virginia is overflowing with untapped knowledge and stories.

In fact, Upshur County is home to five Civil War markers — and those markers are tucked within the modern-day views and landmarks of the Appalachian Mountains.

Civil War Trails, a nonprofit organization, offers visitors an educational experience while they view the historical treasures before them, with special markers denoting important locations. According to the Civil War Trails website, the organization has been collaborating with communities since 1994 in an effort to “share their stories and connect visitors with small towns and big stories across a network that now spans six states.”

“Travelers look to Trails to put them in the footsteps of the generals, soldiers, citizens, and the enslaved who found themselves in the midst of this Civil War,” the site says.

With the help of the Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Upshur County residents and visitors can immerse themselves in local history by visiting these historical markers. Gather your friends and loved ones on a beautiful day for an afternoon adventure on the road while absorbing fascinating local history!

Upshur County Civil War Trail markers can be found at the following locations:

40 West Main Street | Destruction at the Courthouse: After defeating the town’s Union defenders, Confederate General Albert G. Jenkins’s cavalry marched the prisoners to the courthouse and made them burn weapons and ammunition there. The building was used for storage and housing by Federal troops later in the war, causing considerable damage.

Park Street Park | Buckhannon City Park | General George McClellan: Visit Buckhannon City Park on Park Street to learn more about George B. McClellan, a Union general, and the shifting of loyalties during the Civil War. While this area remained staunchly pro-Union during the Civil War, Buckhannon support continually shifted sides as troops from both sides would arrive and depart.

16 Marion Street | Jenkins in Buckhannon | Fred Brooks Park: Confederate General Albert Jenkins overcame some Union resistance here during his late summer 1862 cavalry raid. Jenkins was attracted to the town because of the vast amounts of Union supplies stockpiled here. He attacked on August 30 and scattered men from several Union units attempting to defend the town.

88 Rock Cave Road | Kesler’s Raid: In September 1863, Confederate Major Joseph Kesler led a raid through Upshur County aimed at capturing Sutton. As Kesler made his way back to his base in Pocahontas County, he captured 70 Union militia men at Centreville, which earned him praise from his commander. Hardship and death were in store for the majority of the captured; however, others were sent to Confederate prison camps.

99 Edmiston Way | The Bassle House: After occupying Beverly for four days, Confederate General John Imboden led his wing of cavalry here to reunite with the wing under Gen. William Jones during their 1863 raid. After conferring, the Confederates moved on to Weston. Long lines of cavalry and wagons passed this spot May 2, 1863.

See the West Virginia Civil War Trails map and brochure here.

West Virginia residents who are interested in learning more about the Civil War trails in Upshur County should visit or contact the Upshur County Convention & Visitors Bureau by phone at 304-473-1400. Visit the Upshur County CVB at 14 E Main Street in Buckhannon.

Follow the Upshur CVB on Facebook for frequent updates on happenings across Buckhannon and Upshur County.

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