Key facts about the Battle of Philippi fought on June 3, 1861, during the Western Virginia Campaign.
Also Known As
- Philippi Races
Date and Location
- June 3, 1861
- Barbour County, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Principal Union Commanders
- Colonel Benjamin Franklin Kelley
- Colonel Ebenezer Dumont
- Brigadier General Thomas A. Morris
Principal Confederate Commanders
- Colonel George A. Porterfield
Union Forces Engaged
- Department of the Ohio
Confederate Forces Engaged
- Virginia Volunteers
Number of Union Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 3,000
Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 800
- Estimated to be 4
- Estimated to be 26
- Union victory
- Though reports from both sides would assert that anywhere from ten to a hundred men were slain, there were no fatalities during the Battle of Philippi.
- Some historians consider the Battle of Philippi as the first significant land battle of the American Civil War.
- The Battle of Philippi was the first time in history that an army used the railroad to deploy troops for battle.
- After the Battle of Philippi, the Civil War’s first amputations were performed to save the lives of two wounded soldiers. One of the amputees, Confederate Private James E. Hanger, fashioned a wooden leg for himself while imprisoned. He later patented the “Hanger Limb” and opened the J.E. Hanger Company, which grew into a multi-national corporation after the war.
- The Union victory at the Battle of Philippi contributed to the eventual Confederate withdrawal from western Virginia.
- A few days after the Battle of Philippi, at the Second Wheeling Convention, delegates from the western region of the state nullified the Virginia ordinance of secession and adopted “A Declaration of the People of Virginia,” calling for the reorganization of the state and named Francis H. Pierpont as governor of the “Restored government of Virginia.”
Timeline of the Western Virginia Campaign
These are the main events and battles of the Western Virginia Campaign in order.
- June 3, 1861 — Battle of Philippi
- July 6–7, 1861 — Battle of Middle Fork Bridge
- July 11, 1861 — Battle of Rich Mountain
- July 13, 1861 — Battle of Corrick’s Ford
- August 26, 1861 — Battle of Kessler’s Cross Lanes
- September 10, 1861 — Battle of Carnifex Ferry
- September 12–15, 1861 — Battle of Cheat Mountain
- October 3, 1861 — Battle of Greenbrier River
- December 13, 1861 — Battle of Camp Allegheny