History abounds in the mountainous region where West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland meet.
Earlier this month, I took a trip up to the Romney, West Virginia area to visit some Civil War sites and take pictures for Spirit of ’61, an encyclopedia of early Civil War Virginia. It was a beautiful, warm day, but it was clear I would spend most of it in the car. My goal was to hit the Romney, Keyser, Cumberland triangle and parts in between. This area was well-trod over by Civil War armies and changed hands dozens of times. Most of the skirmish sites are unmarked, but a few Civil War Trail signs have been erected in the past several years.
My first stop was Winchester, Virginia, to visit Turner and Richard Ashby’s and George and Waller Patton’s graves in the Confederate portion of Mount Hebron Cemetery. Lt. Col. Waller T. Patton was in the 7th Virginia Regiment and mortally wounded during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. If you pay close attention, you can see Ted Turner portraying him in the movie Gettysburg.
I also stopped by the Kernstown Battlefield, since I missed it on a previous trip to Winchester. Driving from Winchester to Romney along U.S. Route 50 is a distance of only 42 miles, but it’s easy to see how challenging it would be for an army to make that journey. U.S. Route 50 roughly follows the old Northwestern Turnpike through the Appalachian Mountain’s Valley and Ridge Zone.
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