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One of the earliest contests in the Civil War occurred June 3, 1861, at Philippi, Va., on Tygart Valley River, about 16 miles southward from Grafton. Ohio and Indiana volunteers gathered at Grafton (on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad), and loyal armed Virginians who had assembled there were divided into two columns, one commanded by Col. Benjamin F. Kelley, and the other by Col. E. Dumont, of Indiana. Colonel Porterfield, with 1,500 Virginians, onethird of them mounted, was at Philippi. The two Union columns marched against him, by different routes, to make a simultaneous attack. In darkness and a drenching rain the columns moved over the rugged hills, through hot valleys, and across swollen streams. Kelley was misled by a treacherous guide, and Dumont approached Philippi first. His troops were discovered by a woman, who fired a pistol at Colonel Lander, and sent her boy to alarm Porterfield. The lad was caught and detained, but Porterfield's camp was put in commotion by the pistol. Dumont took position on the heights, with cannon commanding a bridge, the village, and the insurgent camp. Colonel Lander had taken command of the artillery, and, without waiting for the arrival of Kelley, he opened heavy guns upon the Confederates. At the same time Dumont's infantry swept down to the bridge, where the Confederates had gathered to dispute their passage. The latter were panic-stricken, and fled. Kelley, approaching rapidly, struck the [169] flank of the flying force, which was driven in wild confusion through the village and up the Beverly Road. The two columns pursued them about 2 miles, when the fugitives, abandoning their baggage-train, escaped. Colonel Kelley was severely wounded by a pistol-shot that passed through his right breast, and, fainting from loss of blood, fell into the arms of some of his soldiers. For a long time his recovery was doubtful, but, under the watchful care of a devoted daughter, he finally recovered, and was commissioned a brigadier-general. Colonel Dumont assumed the command of the combined columns. Lacking transportation, the Indiana troops were recalled to Grafton by the chief-commander, T. A. Morris.

Philippine Islands

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Benjamin F. Kelley (5)
E. Dumont (5)
Porterfield (3)
Virginians (2)
Frederick West Lander (2)
T. A. Morris (1)
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June 3rd, 1861 AD (1)
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