Patton of the 22nd Virginia’s Intel Failure

One of the earliest battles in the war, on July 17, 1861, at Scary Creek in what is now West Virginia, just north of Charleston, was a  minor Confederate victory which led to a major Union victory a few days later.  A key reason was the unwitting willingness of Colonel George Patton (the famed WWII General’s grandfather) of the 22nd Virginia Infantry, to tell a Union spy, Pryce Lewis, a few days before Scary Creek, all about Confederate capabilities and emplacements.    Patton was wounded and captured at Scary Creek, but was paroled and returned to battle later.  Among his future accomplishments was “grandfathering” George Patton.

Jacob Cox, the Union commander, used the intel to launch a flanking maneuver around General Wise’s troops holding Charleston.  Wise skedaddled out of town quickly, and after July 23, 1861, the future capital of West Virginia was firmly in Union hands.  battle-of-scary-creek17904093_642155862651075_9014560043996005236_n51GKVtzGzoL9780821420829

Author: geneofva

Author of "Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era," and of seven more Civil War books -- with more to come!!

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