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Camp Allegheny (Camp Baldwin, Camp Johnson)

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Camp Baldwin, Camp Johnson
1861–1862. Pocahontas County 3, 2.6 miles west of the intersection with U.S. 250 at the Virginia state line

The remains of this Confederate encampment lie atop Allegheny Mountain, astride the old Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. They are not easy to find or easily accessible and not, strictly speaking, architecture. Even so, this is one of the most evocative historic places in the state. High on a mountain meadow surrounded by forests, tumbled piles of stone stand in rigid, martial formation. They are the collapsed chimneys of ninety or more cabins that Confederate forces built in 1861–1862 to serve as a winter encampment. The location was chosen to control the turnpike and prevent Union forces from advancing eastward across the Allegheny summit into the Valley of Virginia. Although a Union attack in December 1861 was unsuccessful, Confederates abandoned the camp in April 1862 after the theater of war had shifted elsewhere. Seldom visited and little disturbed, the site presents untold archaeological possibilities for future study of Civil War camp life. Meanwhile, it presents a haunting picture of the past.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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