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How the Civil War Forged Pendleton
War Between the States in Pendleton County
Within Pendleton County, West Virginia, lie the valleys of the North Fork, South Fork and South Branch of the Potomac River. From these valleys approximately 800 men of Pendleton County gave their services, and many of them their lives to the Confederacy. Another 300 remained loyal to the Union, thus causing a split in many families. Pendleton County was truly "Twixt North and South."
In May 1862, as part of "Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign, warin its earnest came directly to Franklin and the surrounding county. Armies of this size and strength would never again occupy Pendleton County during the war.
The Occupation of Franklin
In 1862, as Union troops passed through Franklin on their way to McDowell, they referred to it as "a dirty little Virginia town." Following their defeat, these forces again fell back upon Franklin. Union General John C. Fremont soon joined them. This brought the total number of Union soldiers in and around Franklin to approximately 20,000. The Union Church, Courthouse and several private homes were used as hospitals to treat the wounded from McDowell. The citizens of Franklin suffered greatly from the occupation, losing their food supplies, livestock, fence and a few lives to the Union Army. The army left Franklin during the night of May 24, 1862.
Mt. Hiser Cemetery
Following the Battle of McDowell, the Union Church, which set in a now vacant lot on High Street, was used as a hospital. The dead were buried on the hillside behind the church, which was part of the cemetery. These Union dead were removed and returned to their home states after the war.
The cemetery is also the final resting place of Brigadier General James Boggs. Boggs commanded the 18th Brigade of Virginia Militia, Confederate States of America. He was under the direct command of General "Stonewall" Jackson. This brigade saw action in the lower Shenandoah and South Branch Valleys in late 1861 and early 1862. The Pendleton County Militia, the 46th Virginia, was a regiment in this brigade. Due to failing health, Boggs returned to Franklin where he died January 28, 1862 (see Mt. Hiser Cemetery).