George McClellan, Portrait

Major General George B. McClellan’s Union soldiers drove the Confederates out of western Virginia during the summer and fall of 1861, paving the way for the creation of the new state of West Virginia. [Wikimedia Commons]

Western Virginia Campaign Facts

May–December 1861

Key facts about the Western Virginia Campaign of 1861.

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Also Known As

  • Operations in Western Virginia
  • Rich Mountain Campaign

Date and Location

  • May–December 1861
  • Barbour, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Randolph counties in Western Virginia (modern-day West Virginia)

Timeline of the Western Virginia Campaign

These are the main events and battles of the Western Virginia Campaign in order.

Principal Union Commanders

Principal Confederate Commanders

Union Forces Engaged

  • Department of the Ohio, Cheat Mountain District

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Virginia Militia
  • Army of the Northwest

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Undetermined

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Undetermined

Estimated Union Casualties

  • Undetermined, but at least 559 (killed, wounded, captured/missing)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • Undetermined, but at least 1,291 (killed, wounded, captured/missing)

Result

  • Union victory

Significance

  • The Western Virginia Campaign led to the eventual Confederate withdrawal from western Virginia.
  • The Western Virginia Campaign contributed to the eventual creation of the State of West Virginia.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Western Virginia Campaign Facts
  • Coverage May–December 1861
  • Author
  • Keywords western virginia campaign facts
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date January 18, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 7, 2021
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