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During the reconnaissance which preceded the battle, Garfield chose Graveyard Point, the high ridge opposite Spurlock Creek, as his command post.

In a letter to his wife Lucretia, written several days after the battle, Garfield says:

“We moved slowly up Middle Creek, feeling our way by sending scouts on the hills on each side of the creek. As we passed around a point of hill where a plain stretched away before us, two or three hundred of their cavalry dashed out toward us but soon fell back behind a ridge which ran near half way across the valley. The Confederates seemed to be posted behind the ridge in force and their officers rode up on its point and looked at us through their glasses.”

Suspecting that a large enemy force was waiting for him behind the ridge, Garfield ordered his personal escort of ten cavalrymen to dash into the valley and draw their fire. When they did, a volley from Clay’s company of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry convinced him that the Confederates occupied the position in strength.

“I immediately ran up Graveyard Point to the rock (A), an isolated crag which gave me a splendid prospect of the plain and all the hills,” wrote Garfield. After viewing the Confederate position with his field glasses, he ordered two Kentucky companies to advance along Graveyard Point ridge toward the enemy and ordered two companies under Captain F. A. Williams to ford Middle Creek and advance toward the enemy along the ridge bordering the south side of the creek. 

The Union Command Post
This map, drawn by one of Marshall's officers, shows Graveyard Point, Garfield's command post during the battle. The routes taken by Union troops when they assaulted the Confederate line are shown by dotted lines and are labeled "Enemy." Also shown is Piney Point, the spur used by Major Pardee's troops when they attacked the position held by the 29th Virginia.
During the battle Colonel Garfield stood by this table rock, which can still be seen today. It is located next to the steel tower which supports the high voltage power lines which are strung across Graveyard Point. This photograph appears in Congressman John Langley's book, They Tried to Crucify Me. John's father, Rev. Joseph Langley, owned a farm directly across the river from Graveyard Point, and John grew up hearing stories about the battle. By the way, Congressman Langley is buried in the Graveyard Point cemetery, next to his father and mother.
Samuel May House
Archive Main Page
Click here to see enlarged map.
Middle Creek
Battlefield Foundation
Middle Creek Main Page
Why They Fought Here
The Opposing Commanders
The Artillery That Failed
The Confederate Waiting Game
The Confederate Command Post
The Union Assault
Monroe's Bayonet Charge
A Desperate Fight, But Few Casualties The Mount Sterling-Pound Gap Road
The John M. Burns House
The Samuel May Farm
The Middle Creek Foundation
Colonel George W. Monroe
Colonel Ezekiel F. Clay
Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon
Colonel Don A. Pardee
Colonel Hiram Hawkins
Colonel John S. Williams
Colonel Alfred C. Moore
Colonel George W. Gallup
Dr. Stephen M. Ferguson
Civil War
The Skirmish
at Abbott Shoal
Regimental Colors of the 42nd Ohio, courtesy of the Ohio State
Historical Society.