Nestled on the rim of the Gauley River Canyon near Summersville, West Virginia, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park is an important Civil War battle site. On September 10, 1861 Union troops led by Brigadier General William S. Rosecrans engaged the Confederates and forced them to evacuate an entrenched position on the Henry Patterson Farm which overlooked Carnifex Ferry. The Confederate commander, Brigadier General John B. Floyd retreated across the ferry to the south side of the Gauley River and on eastward to Meadow Bluff near Lewisburg. This Civil War battle represented the failure of a Confederate drive to regain control of the Kanawha Valley. As a result, the movement for West Virginia statehood proceeded without serious threat from the Confederates.
The Battle of Carnifex Ferry is re-enacted on the odd numbered years. However, in 2013 the battle will not occur due to the 150 year anniversary and battle at Droop Mountain. Carnifex Ferry Battle will be reenacted on September 13-14, 2014.The two-day event includes living history demonstrations such as camp life, military drill, and a re-enactment of the Federal assault on the center of the confederate line. Commemorative souvenirs will be featured in the museum.