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Old 06-16-2011, 04:10 PM   #1338
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Battle of Blue's Gap - Hampshire County

Located on Rt 50, about 14 miles east of Romney.

The following excerpt is from the WV Division of Culture and History Website:

January 7, 1862: Battle of Blue's Gap

When Union General Benjamin Kelley learned of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson's plans to destroy the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal opposite Hancock, Maryland, he met the rebels at Blue's Gap. Blue's Gap is in Hampshire County about 13 miles southeast of Romney. The site of the battle is also known as Hanging Rock. It was an important region during the Civil War because the Northwestern Turnpike, which is now U.S. Route 50, passed through Blues Gap.

The C&O Canal was an avenue for federal supplies. In one attack, Jackson intended to disrupt the canal as well as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, a significant supply line which ran through Romney. Once these objectives were met, Jackson planned to move across the Allegheny Mountains and drive Union troops from northwestern Virginia.

Kelley thought an attack at Blue's Gap would force a Confederate withdrawal to protect Jackson's headquarters at Winchester, Virginia. It would also relieve pressure on Union troops at Romney. Troops under Colonel Samuel Dunning, the Union commander at Romney, arrived at Blue's Gap on the morning of January 7, 1862.

Various reports number the Confederate killed or captured between 40 and 70, but Dunning reported only 7 prisoners and 7 dead. Union troops suffered no casualties and were back in Romney by 4 o'clock that afternnon. Just three days later, Kelley ordered Union troops to evacuate Romney, which was subsequently occupied by Jackson.

Winter weather forced Jackson to scrap plans to bring northwestern Virginia under Confederate control. Jackson nearly resigned his commission after the Confederate War Department ordered him to abandon Romney. General William Loring had convinced Confederate officials the occupation of Romney had been a strategic mistake. However, Jackson was validated. After the Confederates evacuated Romney, Union troops reopened the entire line of the B&O Railroad.

Historical Marker located on Rt 50 about 14 miles east of Romney. Recently repaired/repainted.

Same marker - Side #2.

View westbound on Rt 50.

View eastbound on Rt 50.

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