Battle of Philippi
June 3, 1861. After some skirmishes at Grafton, one of the first land battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Philippi, took place in Philippi, Barbour County, in what is now West Virginia. The battle began when a Federal battery started lobbing shells into a camp of around 825 surprised Confederate recruits who had been asleep. In response, the Confederates ran, thus earning the battle the name “Philippi Races.” After the battle, the 9th camped on the same hill where the battery was located.
Ambrose Bierce mentioned being at Philippi Races. He had enlisted as a private in Company C. Years later, in 1903, Bierce revisited the town. He recalled that visit and the battle in a 1904 piece written for the Eighth Annual Reunion of the 9th Indiana, noting that the Union battery involved "did nothing worse than take off a young Confederate's leg."
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