Cheat Summit Fort

Elkins, WV

General George B. McClellan ordered this fort to be built in 1861 to secure the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The Confederacy’s inability to take the fort in September, 1861, was central in the failure of Robert E. Lee’s western Virginia Campaign. In the October battle of Greenbrier River, troops from Cheat Summit Fort, under General R. H. Milroy, attacked Camp Bartow. Neither side could claim victory and the Union troops returned to Cheat Summit Fort while the Confederates withdrew to Camp Allegheny. In December of the same year, soldiers from Cheat Summit Fort attacked Camp Allegheny, but were driven back. The site is also significant for, perhaps, the earliest use of telegraph technology in the Civil War. The unique earthworks of this encampment remain.

Located: on COUNTY ROUTE 43/4 in Valley Head, WV.

From I-79 near Weston, take U.S. 33 east to Elkins, then U.S. 250 south to just before Cheat Bridge. Turn right at the sign and right again at the T. Go about 1 mile to the top. Note: Road is sometimes closed due to snow; call 304-636-1800 for road information.

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