August 22, 1862: Jenkins Begins Raiding Western Virginia
On August 22, 1862, newly appointed Confederate Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins began a raid through Western Virginia. It was in response to a string of events that began with Robert E. Lee’s impending invasion of Maryland.
Earlier that month, the Union Army had shifted some 5,000 troops from the Charleston area to help protect Washington, DC. So, the Confederates took advantage of the troop reduction.
Jenkins launched his raid from Salt Sulphur Springs in Monroe County with 550 troops. The Confederates rode first into the Tygart Valley and skirmished with U.S. forces near Huttonsville. Next, they traveled to Buckhannon, Weston, Glenville, Spencer, and Ripley.
On September 4, the raiders crossed the Ohio River in Jackson County—about 60 miles north of Jenkins’s home at Green Bottom—and became the first to raise a Confederate flag on Ohio soil. They soon returned and skirmished with Union forces at Point Pleasant before moving on to Buffalo in Putnam County. On September 8, the raiders defeated a Union force at Barboursville and then rode through Wayne, Logan, and Raleigh counties. In all, Jenkins’s raid covered 500 miles.