After retreating from Philippi, Confederate forces under the command of Gen Robert Garnett camped on Laurel Hill just southeast of Belington. Here, they established a stronghold waiting for reinforcements to arrive.
To read a very thorough history of the area: http://www.wvculture.org/history/jou...h/wvh28-1.html
For a shorter version:
(Click on the "History" tab)
Again, I will say I am no expert on history, so I am condensing what I've learned and giving you links to read "the rest of the story".
Just south of Belington, turn east on CR 15, a scenic but narrow and winding road through old farmland. Just when you think you've taken a wrong turn and are lost, the first marker appears.
First Historical Marker is located on CR 15 about 3 miles from Rt 250/92. Turn in at the Belington Industrial Park sign, go 1/2 mile and turn left at the intersection. Go another 1/2 mile and turn right. You are now on CR 15.
View southeast on CR 15 at first marker.
Second Marker is located on CR 15 about 1 mile past the first one.
View of Marker #2 and a bit of CR 15. Laurel Hill extends to the right.
View to the right of the previous photo looking up on Laurel Hill. Directly behind me at this point is the next photo.
This man-made pond is on the site of the Confederate campgrounds, which extended to the hillsides in all directions.
On July 11, 1861, within earshot of Laurel Hill, Union General McClellan’s troops won a decisive battle at Rich Mountain. General Garnett abruptly found his army cut off at Laurel Hill. In a desperate bid to escape, he retreated east along a rugged mountain trace to Corricks Ford on Shavers Fork of Cheat River.
At that swollen river crossing, Garnett was killed while defending the rear guard of his army—the first general to fall in action during the Civil War. His remnant force abandoned huge quantities of equipment and fled, demoralized.
This is an interesting area to visit and to ride. CR 15 goes through all the way to Elkins, and when I have more time, I would like to ride the entire length (about 15 miles).