Battle of Summit Point
Other Names: Flowing Springs, Cameron's Depot
Location: Jefferson County, West Virginia
Campaign: Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign (August-October 1864)
Date(s): August 21,
Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan [US]; Lt. Gen.
Jubal Early [CS]
Forces Engaged: Divisions
Estimated Casualties: 1,000 total
Description: As Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan concentrated his army
near Charles Town, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early and Maj. Gen. Richard Anderson attacked the Federals with converging columns on August
21. Early moved east via Smithfield against the Union VI Corps. Anderson struck north against Wilson's Union cavalry at Summit
Point. There was cavalry fighting near Berryville. The Federals fought effective delaying actions, withdrawing to near Halltown
on the following day.
|Battle of Summit Point Map
|Civil War Summit Point Battlefield Map
the Stage: West Virginia became a state, breaking away from Virginia during the Civil War, on June 20, 1863. The Battle of Summit Point was one of
several battles fought during Sheridan's Valley Campaign (August – October 1864). Sheridan's
Valley Campaign, part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864, was the last of three principal campaigns fought throughout the valley region.
Valley Campaign [August-October 1864] witnessed the following battles: Guard Hill – Summit Point –
Smithfield Crossing – Berryville – 3rd Winchester – Fisher's Hill – Tom's Brook – Cedar Creek.
|West Virginia Civil War History Map
|West Virginia Civil War Battlefield Map
Grant finally lost patience with Early, particularly his burning of Chambersburg,
and knew that Washington remained vulnerable if Early was still on the loose. He found a new commander
aggressive enough to defeat Early: Philip Sheridan, the cavalry commander of the Army of the Potomac,
who was given command of all forces in the area, calling them the Army of the Shenandoah. Sheridan
initially started slowly, primarily because the impending presidential election of 1864 demanded a cautious approach, avoiding
any disaster that might lead to the defeat of Abraham Lincoln.
|Battle of Summit Point Map
|Civil War Battle of Summit Point, West Virginia, Map
Battle: The Battle of Summit Point, also known as Flowing
Springs or Cameron's Depot, was an inconclusive battle of the American Civil War fought on August 21, 1864, near Summit Point,
The battle was part of Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley
Campaign, which took place between August and December 1864. While Sheridan concentrated his army near Charles Town, Confederate
Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson attacked the Union forces with converging columns on August 21.
Anderson struck north against the Union cavalry at Summit Point. The Union forces fought effective delaying actions, withdrawing
to near Halltown on the following day. The battle resulted in approximately 1,000 casualties.
|Civil War Richwood Hall
|Battle of Summit Point, WV
|Civil War Battle of Cameron's Depot
|West Virginia Civil War History
George Washington and the Battle of Summit Point: During the battle
of Cameron’s Depot, Aug. 21, 1864, Confederate General Jubal A. Early placed his cannon near the house and formed
his battle lines north and south of this point.
The original brick house was built on land owned by Lawrence Augustine Washington,
the son of Samuel Washington, George’s brother. The present mansion-house, in an excellent state of preservation, was
built about 1825.
Aftermath: Completing his missions of neutralizing Early
and suppressing the Valley's military-related economy, Sheridan returned to assist Grant during the Siege of Petersburg. Most of the men of Early's corps rejoined Lee at Petersburg
in December, while Early remained to command a skeleton force. His final action was defeat at the Battle of Waynesboro on
March 2, 1865, after which Lee removed him from his command because the Confederate government and people had lost confidence
in him. (Shenandoah Valley and the American Civil War and American Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley.)
|Sheridan's Valley Campaign Map
|Civil War West Virginia Map
History of Summit Point and Jefferson County
Summit Point History: Summit Point is an unincorporated
community in Jefferson County, West Virginia. It lies along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the intersection of West Virginia
Secondary Route 1 and Summit Point Pike. According to the 2000 census, the Summit Point community has a population of 1,026.
It is home to the Summit Point Motorsports Park. The current mayor is the Hon. Donald C. Owens.
White House Farm, located along the Summit Point-Charles Town Road, is perhaps
the oldest house in the Summit Point area. The property was deeded to Dr. John McCormick, an Irish physician, in 1740. An
early plantation in the vicinity of Summit Point was the Bullskin Plantation, purchased by eighteen-year-old George Washington
in 1750. He bought 453 acres (1.83 km2) along the North Fork of the Bullskin Run from Robert Rutherford. Over the next several
years, George Washington added another 1,558 acres (6.31 km2) to the plantation. By 1755, he built a small stone building
where he stayed during his brief visits to the plantation. This portion of the property was later called Rockhall. In 1769,
he divided the remainder of the property into 200-acre (0.81 km2) tracts, which he leased to tenant farmers. Washington owned
the vast Bullskin Plantation tract until his death in 1799.
Summit Point was the scene of the Battle of Summit Point during the American
Civil War on August 21, 1864. This inconclusive battle occurred during Major General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign
which took place between August and December 1864. As Maj. Gen. Sheridan concentrated his army near Charles Town, Lt. Gen.
Jubal Early and Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson attacked the Federals with converging columns on August 21. Anderson struck
north against the Union cavalry at Summit Point. The Federals fought effective delaying actions, withdrawing to near Halltown
on the following day. The battle resulted in approximately 1,000 casualties.
|Jefferson County, WV.
|Battle of Summit Point Map
Jefferson County History: Jefferson
County was formed from Berkeley County in 1801 and named for Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and
third President of the United States. Virginia previously had a Jefferson County, which was lost to form the new state of
Kentucky. Accordingly, in the State records of Virginia, there will be listings for Jefferson County from 1780-1792 and Jefferson
County from 1801-1863. Neither is still located in Virginia and despite naming a county after him twice, Virginia no longer
has a county named for its hero Thomas Jefferson.
John Brown Rebellion: The
county's courthouse was the site of the trial for the abolitionist John Brown after his October 1859 raid on the federal armory
in Harpers Ferry. Some 90 U.S. Marines serving under then Army Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenants J.E.B. Stuart and Israel
Green put down the rebellion.
Brown was sentenced to death for murder, treason against the Commonwealth
of Virginia, and conspiring with slaves to rebel. On December 2, 1859, John Brown was taken from the Charles Town jail a short
distance to an open field and hanged. Among those attending the Brown execution was a contingent of 1500 cadets from Virginia
Military Institute sent by the Governor of Virginia Henry A. Wise under the supervision of Major William Gilham and Major
Thomas J. Jackson. In the ranks of a Richmond militia company stood John Wilkes Booth.
Jefferson County and the Civil War: The county was a frequent
site of conflict during the civil war, as Union and Confederate lines moved back and forth along the Shenandoah valley. Some
towns in the county changed hands between the Union and Confederacy over a dozen times.
Jefferson County is the only part of modern-day West Virginia not exempted
from the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation (as Berkeley County and the 48 counties designated as West Virginia had
been). Slaves in the county were legally free as of January 1, 1863.
Joining West Virginia: Both Berkeley and Jefferson counties
had voted for secession in the vote taken on May 23, 1861. However, these counties lying on the Potomac River east of the
mountains, with the consent of the Reorganized Government of Virginia supposedly voted in favor of annexation to West Virginia
in 1863 in a dubious election supervised by the occupying Union Army. Virginia tried to nullify this after the American Civil
War, but the counties remained part of West Virginia.
The question of the constitutionality of the formation of the new state
was brought before the Supreme Court of the United States in the following manner: Berkeley and Jefferson County, West Virginia,
counties lying on the Potomac east of the mountains, in 1863, with the consent of the Reorganized Government of Virginia,
had supposedly voted in favor of annexation to West Virginia. However, many voters were absent in the Confederate Army when
the vote was taken and they refused to accept the transfer upon their return. The Virginia General Assembly repealed the Act
of Secession and in 1866 brought suit against West Virginia, asking the Supreme Court to declare the counties still part of
Virginia. Congress, on March 10, 1866, passed a joint resolution recognizing the transfer. In 1871, the U.S. Supreme Court
decided Virginia v. West Virginia, upholding the secession of West Virginia, including Berkeley and Jefferson counties, from
(Sources listed below.)
Sources: National Park Service; Official Records of the Union and Confederate
Armies; Gallagher, Gary W., ed. Struggle for the Shenandoah: Essays on the 1864 Valley Campaign. Kent, OH: Kent State University
Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87338-429-6; Patchan, Scott C. Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign. Lincoln: University of Nebraska
Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8032-3754-4; Cooling, Benjamin Franklin. Jubal Early's Raid on Washington, 1864. Baltimore: Nautical
& Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1989. ISBN 0-933852-86-X; Early, Jubal A., "General Jubal A. Early tells his
story of his advance upon Washington, D.C.". Washington National Republican, 1864; Early, Jubal A. A Memoir of the Last Year
of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America. Edited by Gary W. Gallagher. Columbia: University of South
Carolina Press, 2001. ISBN 1-57003-450-8; Gallagher, Gary W., ed. The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864. Military Campaigns
of the Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8078-3005-5; Lewis, Thomas A., and the
Editors of Time-Life Books. The Shenandoah in Flames: The Valley Campaign of 1864. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1987.