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Jones-Imboden Raids of 1863

With Union troops in control of western Virginia, Confederate leaders chose to harass Union troops and confiscate supplies. In the spring of 1863, General John D. Imboden designed a raid to destroy portions of the B&O Railroad and break up the Restored Government of Virginia in session in Wheeling. With a force of 3,400 men, Imboden marched out from Staunton, Virginia, on April 20. General William E. Jones led a group of 1,300 from Lacey Springs, Virginia, the following day.

Imbodenís men marched through Beverly and captured the town of Buckhannon on April 29. Jones joined Imboden at Buckhannon after failing to destroy the B&O line at Rowlesburg in Preston County, capturing Morgantown and destroying the railroad bridge at Fairmont. On May 6, Jonesí troops marched from Weston through West Union and Cairo. Three days later, he destroyed 150,000 barrels of oil and the oil works at Burning Springs in Wirt County. On May 14, Jones joined Imboden at Summersville before retreating into Virginia. Although it succeeded in destroying property and industry, driving away livestock, and occupying the attention of Union troops which might have been used elsewhere, the Jones-Imboden Raid failed to destroy significant portions of the B&O or break up the Restored Government of Virginia.

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