THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
These pages are not actively maintained and may have errors in content and functionality

eHistory Archive Logo
THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
click here for the NEW eHistory site
These pages are not actively maintained and may have errors in content and functionality
icon: the new eHistory
click to see our Origins feature click to see our Multimedia histories click to see our Book Reviews
Ancient History Middle Ages Civil War World War II Vietnam War Middle East World
      eHistory  >  World History  >  Military  >  Major Conflicts  >  Cheat Mountain ... Search
A Moment in Time
Articles
Biographies
Books
Countries
Glossary
HistoryLists
Images & Maps
Military
Personal Histories
Timelines
Cheat Mountain (1861)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Also known as:   Cheat Mountain Summit
 
Date(s):   12 Sep 1861 - 15 Sep 1861
 
Location:   Pocahontas County, West Virginia, US
 
Outcome:   Union victory
 
Principal   Commanders:   Confederate: Robert E. Lee
 
Description:   Brig. Gen. Joseph Reynolds, USA
Col. Albert Rust, CSA

Both sides deployed brigades.

Casualties were light, only 80 Union and about 90 Confederate.

Gen. Robert E. Lee directed his first offensive of the war against Brig. Gen. Joseph Reynolds’s entrenchments on the summit of Cheat Mountain and in the Tygart Valley. After their victory at First Manassas the Confederates could spare troops for the secondary theater, although they were ill-equipped and poorly disciplined. Lee’s objective was to regain control of as much of the state as possible, not only to claim it for the Confederacy but to disrupt the impending referendum on statehood. It would be a black eye for the Lincoln Administration if they had to cancel the vote, scheduled for late October.
But Lee tried to organize 5 columns moving simultaneously through the narrow passes. Even if the men were willing to take orders their commanders weren’t able to coordinate movements. To top it off the Federal defense was so stubborn that Col. Albert Rust (leading the attacks) was convinced that he confronted an overwhelming force. He actually faced only about 300 determined Federals. Lee called off the attack and, after maneuvering in the vicinity, withdrew to Valley Head on September 17.

In October, Lee renewed operations against Laurel Mountain with Floyd’s and Loring’s troops, but the operation was called off because of poor communication and lack of supplies. Lee was recalled to Richmond on October 30 after achieving little in western Virginia. His reputation was badly dented, and the beard he was growing came in white, not the dark brown of his hair.


Content provided by:
eHistory Staff

Selected sources:
American Battlefield Protection Program, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Service.



About | Contact


All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved.
THESE ARE ARCHIVED PAGES OF THE OLD EHISTORY SITE
These pages are not actively maintained and may have errors in content and functionality