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Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park

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Mid-19th century. Nicholas County 23 (Carnifex Ferry Rd.), 1 mile south of intersection with WV 129, 5 miles northwest of intersection with U.S. 19

The idyllic setting of this state park disguises its moment in history as a battlefield. On the grounds of Henry Patteson's farm, high above a ferry across the Gauley River, entrenched Confederate troops engaged Union forces in a four-hour battle on September 10, 1861. When darkness fell, the outnumbered Confederates withdrew, abandoning their attempt to retake control of the Kanawha valley. The battle was paramount in saving western Virginia for the Union and ultimately helped lead to the formation of West Virginia.

In 1931 the West Virginia legislature created the Carnifex Battlefield Park Commission to examine the site, make recommendations for historical markers, and to purchase land “out of moneys which may hereafter be appropriated.” The Patteson farm was acquired in 1935, but it was not until the 1950s that funds became available to restore the house.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.


What's Nearby


S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park", [Summersville, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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