West Virginia State Museum Education

A War Within a State

A War Within a State

Battle of Droop Mountain

civil war

In early November, Brig. Gens. W.W. Averell and Alfred Napoleon Alexander Duffie embarked on a raid into southwestern Virginia to disrupt the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. While Duffie's column destroyed military property en route, Averell encountered and defeated a Confederate brigade under Brig. Gen. John Echols at Droop Mountain. The Union columns reunited at Lewisburg the next day but were in no condition to continue their raid.

Averell’s second raid resulted in the Battle of Droop Mountain, fought November 6, 1863. Averell, based at Beverly, launched a pincer movement in conjunction with Gen. Alfred N. Duffie, at Charleston, moving to entrap the Confederate forces in the vicinity of Lewisburg. Although the plan failed, Averell’s 5,000-man force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery, clashed with some 1,700 Confederates under Gen. John Echols on the crest of Droop Mountain.

Although Averell had won a minor victory he failed to obtain his main objective, and within 10 days the Confederates reoccupied their previous positions.

Source: Lowry, Terry "Battle of Droop Mountain." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 17 July 2012.

Helpful Links

e-West Virginia Battle of Droop Mountain

e-West Virginia The Story of Statehood Lesson Plan

e-West Virginia Civil War Battles in Western Virginia Lesson Plan

e-West Virginia Civil War

West Virginia Archives and History Civil War Sources