The Battle of Carnifex & Reenactment

The Battle of Carnifex Reenactment - Photo Courtesy of Thomas R Fletcher

The Battle of Carnifex Reenactment – Photo Courtesy of Thomas R Fletcher

As the ghosts of the Battle of Carnifex Ferry ready to spring back to life, explore the history of the fight.

The battle was a major turning point during the Civil War.  It was also an important key to the formation of West Virginia.

“Never mind me, boys. Save the flag!”

The color-bearer of the Union army called this out desperately after he had his hand shot off. He picked the flag up with his other hand, but realized his wounds were too grave and he would not make it.

This weekend, reenactors will bring this and other moments of the struggle back to the battlefield in Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park.

Join hundreds of spectators to see the Union and Confederate soldiers fight to control the Kanawha Valley. The area was of strategic significance to both sides because of the rivers, which could be used for transportation.

Confederate General John Floyd moved further toward enemy territory (though advised not to by both sides), and the Union brigades attacked. Among the Union numbers were 2 future presidents, Rutherford Hayes and William McKinley.

Though outnumbered threefold, the Confederates held strong through the day, and the battle raged for several hours.

Confederate troops  finally retreated from the Union’s superior artillery. Floyd blamed his co-commander for the loss, which caused tension among the soldiers.

The win for the Union helped facilitate the formation of West Virginia.

Rise with the troops bright and early with a drill demonstration at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (9/13-14/14). Then tour the grounds of the authentically-styled camps until the weapons demonstrations.

The real drama begins Sunday (9/14/14), when the formation begins at 1 p.m. for the battle at 2 p.m.

Have you been to Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park?