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While Wardensville managed to stay out of the Civil War, for the most part, a few skirmishes did occur in the small town. As it happened across the nation, the actions taken during the Civil War caused Grant County to separate from Hardy County, although most citizens of Wardensville supported the Confederacy regardless. Read more about Wardensville's ties with the Civil War below.

The western part of Hardy County, which is now Grant County, strongly favored the Union. This feeling was so strong that the county was divided in 1866. Most of the young men in Capon Valley joined the Confederacy before the war was over. A majority of the citizens in Wardensville supported the south. On May 7th, 1862, Union Colonel Stephen W. Downey arrived in Wardensville with a group of infantry and cavalry to search for guerilla leader Captain Umbaugh. They found and killed Umbaugh along with three of his men, as well as taking 12 prisoners. On May 21st through May 30th, 1862, a large troop of 20,000 men passed through the town, led by General John C. Fremont after their defeat at the Battle of McDowell by General Stonewall Jackson. 

Although no battles were fought near Wardensville a few skirmishes did occur. In 1862, Union troops burned down a flour mill on “the island” on the western end of Wardensville, and almost burned the whole town down when Wardensville citizens shot at the soldiers as they came through town. Luckily for Wardensville, a preacher at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Reverend Peter Miller, and two others, Hezekiah Claggett and Westphal Frye, negotiated with them that they could be held as hostages and the town was spared. According to records, only one man from Wardensville joined the Union army.

Mason, Gary. Beyond the Great North Mountain: A History and Guide, December 15th 2016. Accessed August 1st 2020.

McKeever, Kenna. History of Wardensville, West Virginia, January 1st 1957. Accessed August 1st 2020.