HILLSBORO, W.Va. – The Battle of Droop Mountain occurred on November 6, 1863, and has been called the last significant battle of the Civil War. During Labor Day weekend, August 31 through September 1, The West Virginia Reenactors Association will stage its 150th Anniversary reenactment of the battle, which pitted General John Echols’ Confederates controlling the Greenbrier Valley against General William Averell’s Federals advancing from the north.
“Because this will be the 150th anniversary, this will be a historic reenactment of a historic event, and we encourage everyone with an interest in the creation of our state to visit,” said Droop Mountain Battlefield Supt. Mike Smith.
The events of the weekend are open to the public for viewing at no charge. The full schedule of events includes:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2013
7 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 8th WV Mounted Infantry Memorial Hike #3
Pre-registration required. Pre-registration Form for Hike #3
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Camps open to public
museum & tower
10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tactical (for reenactors) battlefield
10:30 a.m. Ladies Social
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Special Museum Displays
Civil War Historians & Authors
Terry Lowry – Battle at Scary Creek, September Blood, Last Sleep and others.
Steve Cunningham – researcher /webmaster for 7th WV Cavalry
Hunter Lesser – Rebels at the Gate, Battle at Corrick’s Ford, and others
Bill Clements – Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., with many Civil War titles
Other authors may be attending.
Jon Averill – Averell’s Raiders and the Thirty Fifth Star, a new documentary
Civil War Medals
Randy Marcum, West Virginia State Archives
Re: unclaimed WV Civil War Medals issued after the war, how to claim
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Living History
8th WV/7th Calvary Descendants
3 p.m. Battle Reenactment*
“Skirmish at Mill Point”
Note: This reenactment is held at the park and not actually at Mill Point. The Mill Point event is a Confederate advantage.
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Outdoor Dance/Music
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2013
10 a.m. Camps open to public
museum & tower
Period Church Service lookout tower
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Special Museum Displays
Civil War Authors & Books
1 p.m. Battle Reenactment*
The 150th anniversary of “The Battle of Droop Mountain”
Note: This reenactment is held at the park battlefield. This event is a Federal advantage.
2 p.m. Event ends, camps torn down
* Both battles will be held in the main headquarters lawn at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park.
Summary of the Battle of Droop Mountain
On November 6, 1863, the federal army of Brigadier General William W. Averell, in his second attempt to disrupt the Virginia-Tennessee Railroad at Salem, Virginia, faced again the Confederate troops of Brigadier General John Echols. Throughout the morning, Echols' smaller confederate army held the high ground and blocked the highway with artillery, but in the afternoon was overwhelmed by the crushing advance of Federal infantry on his left flank. Following the collapse of his lines, General Echols retreated south into Virginia with the remnants of his command.
Federal troops occupied Lewisburg on November 7, 1863, but being burdened with prisoners and captured livestock, General Averell elected to return to his headquarters in Beverly, West Virginia, waiting until early December to lead a third and ultimately successful attack on the vital railroad. Operations in the Shenandoah Valley in the spring of 1864 drew remaining Confederate troops out of West Virginia, thus leaving the new state securely under the control of the federal government for the remainder of the war.
More details about the original battle and the reenactment can be found online at www.droopmountainbattlefield.com
and at the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau website at http://pocahontascountywv.com
Mike Smith, Superintendent, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park