Battle of Greenland Gap


I was at the local Borders bookstore last night and while perusing the newstands I picked up the latest copy of Civil War Times. Much to my surprise there was an article on Greenland Gap by George Skoch. As some of you who frequent the CWDG Online discussions may know, I have an intense interest in this battle and the rest of the Jones-Imboden raid. I have tried to hint, cajole and anything else I could do to get two of my favorite authors….Eric and JD to write about this cavalry action in the spring of 1863.  I have read quite a bit on the subject due to my interest in the 1st Maryland Cavalry and the other units in this action. I really feel this is a story that needs to be told.  So please, someone put this thrilling adventure in book form!

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Published in: on November 26, 2006 at 1:35 pm  Comments (28)  

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  1. Mark,

    You will be extremely pleased to know that Drew Wagenhoffer has a post on his blog today that indicates that Darrell Collins has a book coming out on the Jones-Imboden Raid next spring. I suspect you will be first in line to get a copy….

    That takes the pressure off of JD and me. 🙂

    Eric

  2. That’s great news, I’m hoping he does this subject well! Your right…now I can stop pestering you two. I’ve personally read quite a bit on this raid by individual troopers, am really excited to have it put together in one book. Wish I had the talent to do it!

  3. Hi Mark,
    I was pleasantly surprised to see that article as well. Have you read the “West Virginia History” article on Greenland Gap, written by Fritz and/or Mark Haselberger?

    I think my initial interest in the raid was sparked by Driver’s 1st and 2nd Maryland Cavalry book.

    Drew

  4. Hi Drew,

    I can’t remember if I’ve read the article you’ve mentioned. Here are some of the titles in my collection that I’ve read that are first person accounts. I’ve also own several local histories from Western Maryland and Western Virginia with info on the Jones-Imboden raid. As Eric can attest, I’ve bugged him and JD endlessly to do this Raid justice. They both would have been perfect to write a book on this. I hope Mr Collins is able to pull this off. There is enough matierial I believe to cover this subject and I’m surprised it hasn’t been tackled before. All in all,the Jones-Imboden raid can make for an interesting read!

    William Wilson – A Borderland Confederate 12th VA

    George Booth – Personal Reminiscences of a Maryland Soldier

    W.W. Goldsborough – The Maryland Line in the Confederate Army

    William Mcdonald – History of the Laurel Brigade

    Edward Rich – Comrades Four (1st Maryland Cavalry)

    Charles O’Ferrall – Forty Years of Active Service

    George Baylor – Bull Run to Bull Run (12th Va Cavalry)

    Frank Myers – The Commanches (35th Va Cavalry)

    John Opie – A Rebel Cavalryman (6th Va Cavalry)

  5. Hi to all of you. I have collected a huge amount of information on Greenland Gap in the Civil War. Fritz Haselberger and I worked on updating his article from the 1960’s. George Skoch picked my brain and asked many questions and asked me to email him alot of the data, he didn’t tell me it was for an article. I thought he just had an interest. I emailed him a copy of Fritz’s article. I prepared a 400 page report to save the battle ground from a 4 lane highway project and have a CWPT historic preservation easement on it as we own the land. I will be happy to talk to any of you that may have an interest. Debbie Kunkel

    • I have three first hand letters and am interested in writing/publishing some kind of Book on the Greenland Gap Action. Any info/letters, etc would be greatly appriciated and rightfully acknowleged to the owner in the book.

      Thanks

      • My Great Great Great Grandfather John Hutson was first captured during this battle he was Company A of the 14 WVA volunteer regiment. I would love to know more about this battle.

      • Hi Steve,

        A book was written by Darrell Collins called “The Jones-Imboden Raid” which has information about Greenland Gap. The book was published by McFarland. Not very much written about this battle.

  6. Thanks Debbie, I’m planning on visiting there soon. I’ve always had an interest in the Jones-Imboden raid after reading about the 1st Maryland Cavalry’s part in this action. Maybe I’ll get lucky and meet you in person to pick your brain. I’m not writing a book, so I won’t be stealing your hard work to publish it.

  7. I would like to see an article placed on the W. Va. Culture website (wvculture.org) website about Battle of Greenland Gap. It is just a one line mention in the article on the Jones Raid. I am looking for one to email to the website.

  8. I had a good article years ago which appeared in the Moorefield Examiner newspaper on the battle. I am from Mineral County. I also visited the site and saw the stone barricades on the top of the mountain on the north side of the gap, and saw an old log building and a two room school. I have a nice photo of the creek leading from the gap and an old white church at the end of the road. I wish more people in our area knew of this battle and this section of the road could be saved a an historical site. The old two room school is still there and has been repaired. When I left WVA in 1998 I gave the copy of my article to a person with the Mineral County Historical Society.

  9. Debbie please email your information on the Battle and you may wish to send it to the wvaculture.org for their information also. harriettinalaska@yahoo.com

  10. Harriett, It sounds like you have a photograph of Scherr ( 1 mile west of site of the Battle at Greenland Gap April 25, 1863) The stone barricades are from Feb 1864 artillery enplacement. After Gen Jubal Early bombed out Ft Mulligan Jan 1864 the Union Army decided to strenghten the defences at the Gap and Burlington. In the Official Records (Vol XXXIII) March 29, 1864 It is reported that 22 pieces of Artillery are divided between Cumberland, New Creek, Burlington and Greenland Gap. Discussion began Feb 6, 1864 to permanantly occupy Greenland Gap with the 23rd Illinois. In “One Hundred and Fifty-Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry (pgs 12 and 13)”The 154th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry remained at New Creek until May27th, when it received orders to march to Greenland Gap, a very important pass in the Allegheny Mountain range, 27 miles distant, and south of New Creek. A junction of the Moorefield, Petersburg, Altamount, Oakland and New Crek roads was formed at this Gap, and it was held by the forces under Brig. General B.F. Kelley, as a key to a wide and important area of country to the south, as well as for the protection of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, a very important line of communication between Washington, Baltimore and the Great West. Our march from New Creek to Greenland Gap was without incident, and was made in about 10 hours, a pretty good test of our soldierly qualities so far as marching was concerned. Upon our arrival at Greenland Gap, our force was augmented by a small detachment of the 2nd Maryland Mounted Infantry, or Potomac Home Brigade, about 20 in number, and one section of Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. Our camp was established at the brow of a hill that commanded the gap as well as a wide scope of country on our right and left,” (HARRIETT HERE IS YOUR STONE BARRICADE) “and posted immediately in our rear were the two (2) twelve-pound brass pieces of Battery L, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, with the detachment of mounted close at hand. I need not attempt to draw a pen picturesque spot. The mountain range was grand and majestic, clothed with a heavy growth of pine, fir, hemlock and various other kinds of wood. The air was healthful and invigorating and an abundance of pure water, from never failing springs, flowed from almost every crevice in the rocks. The scene was beautiful to behold and unsurpassed in loveliness.” Harriett there are more references to your stone barricade on the north face of Walkers Ridge the battle site is at the west end of Greenland Gap itself in the New Creek Mountain range. The 1913 2-room schoolhouse is being restored by the Grant County Histoical Society as is the 1899 Presbyterian Church you mention. The log building you see today is a 1970’s replica of the 1865 one-room log school house that was donated by Brooks Rohrbaugh to the museum that was located outside of Petersburg and operated by Norma Alt Groves until the 1985 flood. The 1865 log school bldg from Scherr is now at Petersburg Elem School and is used for some history classes and is usually open for Heritage Days. There is much information out there on the Battle at Greenland Gap and about Greenland Gap in the Civil War, before and after the 4-5 hour battle there. Harriett, please feel free to contact me aldebkunkel@yahoo .com. Debbie Kunkel

  11. Drew, What is the title of the book you mention by Driver on the 1st and 2nd Maryland Cavalry? Thank you, Debbie

  12. “From a ‘Whirlpool of death… to victory'” Civil War Remembrances of Jesse Tyler Sturm, 14th West Virginia Infantry, has information about the Skirmish at Greenland Gap. I was even lucky enough to get information about my Ancestor John R. Bogard, who was involved with the skirmish. If you read the book you’ll see what I mean. Jesse Sturm wasn’t involved with the skirmish, as he was in Company H but he knew men from Company A, who were involved in the Skirmish.

  13. Please contact me via email. I would like to use you as a research source for a novel. Thanks

  14. Steph, who do you want to contact you and what is your email address?

  15. I have a personal interest in this story as well. My project is currently still in the outline phase. I’ve broken it down to a day by day account. In a way its kind of a pitty to have to paraphrase what was already written. Most of the officers were good writers in their own right. Im from the Clarksburg area and have a Civil War vet ancestor buried in Preston Co. WV. The first hand accounts from the records are always the best because some stories will put you right in the battle. If you read the report of Col Elijah White (25 VA calv battalion confederate) you’ll get a personal account of how the church was burnt down in Greenland Gap. A private named Thomas Tippett climbed the chimney of the church and set fire to the roof which forced the “Irish Men” to surrender inside the building. The account is well written. I have alot on the Greenland battle and the rest of the raid up to the beginning of May 1863 compiled. If your interested I could send you what I have for April 25 1863.

    • Thanks Joe, I’ve studied this battle from a Maryland Cavalry perspective. I’ve been planning to do a driving tour of the raid. My email is rebelyellbooks@yahoo.com. Please contact me if I can help you with any pertinent Maryland information. Collins’ book on Greenland Gap is ok, however I’ve read a few of his other books and while I enjoy his writing I felt this wasn’t his best effort. Keep up the good work Joe and hopefully you’ll publish your work.

  16. Hello. I normally don’t post to blogs, but I ran across this one. I am a distant relative of MAJ Brown of the 1st MD Cavalry. He was wounded in the charge on the church at Greenland Gap. Can anyone pinpoint the particular location of the church, which I presume was destroyed and not rebuilt? I have read descriptions of the battle and the terrain they fought across and would like to visit the site. Can anyone tell me the specific location of the building the WV and ILL troops held up in in April 1863, and from what directions the reb cavalry attacked it?

    Thanks.
    Steve Bockmiller
    Waynesboro, PA

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your reply. You have a very illustrious ancestor there who carved out a great reputation as a cavalryman and leader. I believe a lady who posted earlier in the thread owns part or all of the area in which you are interested in visiting. Her name is Ms Deb Kunkel and her email is aldebkunkel@yahoo.com. I too am trying to visit not only Greenland Gap but re-trace the entire route of the Jones-Imboden raid when I have spare time. Please feel free to post here after visiting with any thoughts you have about the Battle site. Best Wishes, Mark

  17. i was wondering how much if any of the battlefield is/was lost because of the highway coming thru. thanks

    • Hi Kevin,

      One of the ladies who has replied several times in this post actually lives on the battlefield and who know more about that than me. Her name is Debbie Kunkel and her email is aldebkunkel@yahoo .com Thanks again for your participation.

  18. Yes I know of an older man whom lives near there and he knew I was CW buff. & reenactor so he told me about it. I would have never otherwise known about it.
    It is another area that is almost frozen in time,due to the rough WV. Terrainn. I’M glad of that. It is not far from Petersburg or small Maysville,WV. Something. Should be published about it. I will hope to findout more and. Refresh my memory of the details when I get back home to the. U.S.A. – JOHN

    • Im sorry I did not see your full web sight , I had accessed the moble web site and I didn’t see all the prior comments and information about the battle. Now I see many people have an intrest and are much more aware of what happened in this area back then. As I have traveled accross WV,Va,and Pa. Since the time as a kid in the 70’si have seen land and areas change so much and history lost, one house or building at a time,one road at a time, one farm at a time disapear or change.. The history and the Beauty of the land gone. A rememberance of where we came from or the sacrifices that so many good hard working Americans gave for what they believed in would never be known but lost for ever. Keep the hard work up all of you,
      John, U.S. Army Europe.

      • No worries John, and thanks for your service to our Country.

  19. Appreciating the persistence you put into your
    site and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated
    rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m
    including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  20. Great info. Lucky me I came across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book marked it for later!


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