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Clarksburg History Museum

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This is a contributing entry for Clarksburg History Museum and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
During the Civil War, Clarksburg was the site of no major battles or skirmishes. However, it was a crucial supply depot for Union supplies. General George B. McClellan established his headquarters near the city during the early phases of the war. At one point, Clarksburg had seven thousand soldiers camped in the city, prepared to defend supply lines from Confederate attacks. Despite the Union presence in the city, Clarksburg was a town divided. Two of the most important Civil War figures to hail from Clarksburg, John S. Carlile and Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, are emblematic of this divide. John S. Carlile was a Virginia senator and staunch opponent of Virginia’s secession from the Union, going so far as to call the decision, “a crime against God.”1 After helping found the Reformed Government of Virginia via the Wheeling Conventions, Carlile was critical in arguing for West Virginia statehood. On the other side of the conflict, Stonewall Jackson served as a Confederate general. He was one of the South’s most successful commanders and played a key role in many military victories. Throughout the war, personal loyalties of Clarksburg citizens remained divided, though Union control of the area was firmly maintained. In this entry’s audio clip, West Virginia Civil War historian Rick Wolfe talks about Stonewall Jackson and John S. Carlile.

Some Civil War artifacts.

Interior design, Wood, Display case, Shelving

More artifacts

Shoe, Kitchen utensil, Eyewear, Wood

Union display case.

Picture frame, Art, Font, Shelving

Display case dedicated to Stonewall Jackson.

Shelf, Picture frame, Automotive design, Shelving

Some information about John S. Carlile.

Font, Rectangle, Commemorative plaque, Signage

Mannequins of Civil War soldiers and a reproduction cannon.

Wheel, Automotive design, Coat, Art

1. Berkey, Jonathan M. Carlile, John S, Encyclopedia Virginia. February 12th 2021. Accessed March 8th 2021.

Carlile, John Snyder, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed March 8th 2021.

Civil War Markers, Clarksburg Visitors' Bureau. Accessed March 8th 2021.

Historical Facts, Clarksburg, WV. Accessed March 8th 2021.

Personal interview with Michael Spatafore, museum president. Conducted by Iain MacKay. March 2nd, 2021. 

Personal interview with Rick Wolfe, Civil War historian. Conducted by Iain MacKay. March 2nd, 2021.

Stonewall Jackson, History. September 11th 2018. Accessed March 8th 2021.

Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson, American Battlefield Trust. Accessed March 8th 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

MacKay, Iain. 2021. Courtesy of author.

MacKay, Iain. 2021. Courtesy of author.

MacKay, Iain. 2021. Courtesy of author.

MacKay, Iain. 2021. Courtesy of author.

MacKay, Iain. 2021. Courtesy of author.

MacKay, Iain. 2021. Courtesy of author.