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 was re-enacted September 10-11, 2011 upon the same ground as the original conflict of September 10, 1861. The two-day event included 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. History about the battle and the 2011 reenactment photography is posted on our history page. Dates for the next reenactment will be posted on this website upon scheduling.