The Battle of Camp Allegheny, also known as the Battle of Allegheny Mountain, took place on December 13, 1861, in Pocahontas County, Virginia (now West Virginia) as part of the Operations in Western Virginia Campaign during the American Civil War.
In December, Confederate forces under Col. Edward Johnson occupied the summit of Allegheny Mountain to defend the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike. A Union force under Brig. Gen. Robert H. Milroy attacked Johnson at sunrise on December 13.
In a piercing winter wind, fighting continued for much of the sunny morning as each side maneuvered on the hillside fields and woods to gain the advantage. On the right flank, Milroy had posted a strong force in a mountain clearing, among the fallen timber, stumps and brush, which proved to be too difficult for the Confederate infantry to drive off. A Confederate artillery battery unlimbered and unleashed a
“storm of round shot and canister among them, knocking their timber defences about their heads, and making their nest too hot to hold them…”
Finally, Milroy’s troops were repulsed, and he retreated to his camps at Green Spring Run near Cheat Mountain. Johnson’s losses were high: 25 men were killed and 97 were wounded in the engagement, plus 23 went missing.
According to one Confederate soldier in the 52nd Virginia Infantry:,
“I had a splendid position in this battle and could see the whole fight without having to take any part in it, and I remember how I thought Colonel Johnson must be the most wonderful hero in the world, as I saw him at one point, where his men were hard pressed, snatch a musket in one hand and, swinging a big club in the other, he led his line right up among the enemy, driving them headlong down the mountain, killing and wounding many with the bayonet and capturing a large number of prisoners…”
Johnson would receive the nickname “Allegheny” Johnson for his efforts. At year’s end, he remained at Camp Allegheny with five regiments, and Henry Heth was at Lewisburg with two regiments.
Camp Allegheny Historic District
The Camp Allegheny Historic District is a national historic district encompassing one contributing structure and four contributing sites. They are the earthworks, site of hut and campground, cemetery, church site, and the site of the Yeager farmstead.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.