April 25, 1863: Confederate Soldiers Advance Through Greenland Gap
On April 25, 1863, about 1,500 Confederate soldiers under General William “Grumble” Jones advanced through Greenland Gap, a scenic 820-foot-deep pass in New Creek Mountain in Grant County. Jones’s Confederates clashed with 87 Union soldiers, who’d taken positions in a local church and cabins.
The Northern troops held off several assaults over four hours of fighting. After the church was set on fire, the Union forces finally surrendered. The Union side lost two killed and six wounded, while the Confederates lost seven killed and 35 wounded.
It was the beginning of what would become known as the Jones-Imboden Raid, an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful bid by Confederates to disrupt the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and weaken Union control in what would soon become the new state of West Virginia.
Today, Greenland Gap remains a place of stunning beauty, with towering sandstone cliffs. The North Fork of Patterson Creek, a popular trout stream, flows through the gap. Greenland Gap, which has been designated as a State Natural Landmark, is the centerpiece of a 255-acre nature preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy.