Expedition Voices

Capt. Preston’s journal records the difficulty of the journey

“We proceeded down ye Ck which by several branches coming in on both sides was very much increased & rendered it difficult for our poor men to wade which they were oblidged to do 16 times.”

Driving Tour Sites:

  1. Dry Fork
  2. Canebrake
  3. Berwind Gap
  4. War Creek
  5. Wet Camps
  6. Sandy Creek Forks
  7. Johnnycake Branch
  8. War Branch
  9. Panther
  10. Starvation Camp

 


Driving Tour Sites

Fifth Stop: Wet Camps


Camp
Caption here

March 3, 4, & 5 brought misery to the men in several ways.  Provisions were scant, the path was almost impassable due to downed trees, and the stream bottom locations alternated from one side of the narrow valley to the other. 

Capt. Preston’s journal is replete with details of the difficult travel conditions:

“We proceeded down ye Ck which by several branches coming in on both sides was very much increased & rendered it difficult for our poor men to wade which they were oblidged to do 16 times.”

Each of these nights, the men were soaking wet from wading and from being out in the freak winter thundershowers.  Evening fires sputtering from raindrops provided little comfort as the men crawled under their wet blankets---shivering until exhaustion brought fitful sleep.

Camp at night
Caption here

Continuing from the Warriors’ camp down War Creek on CR-12/4, you will join WV Rt. 16 (WV-16) in the city of War.  Named for the creek that was named for the warriors’ camp, War is West Virginia’s southernmost incorporated city.  Continuing north, left on WV-16 and then left at Yukon onto WV-83, you will pass three campsites of the combined Cherokee-Virginia army near the present-day communities of War, Bartley, and Bradshaw.  At Bradshaw, turn right onto WV-80 and continue northward, eventually passing by another army campsite near the village of Apple Grove.

Between Bradshaw and Apple Grove, CR-5/5 meets WV-80 at the mouth of Beartown Branch.  This is a good spot to pull off of the road and view Dry Fork to ponder the difficulties the armies faced.  Beartown Branch reminds us of the numerous rocky outcrops, where bears were fond of hibernating.  However, the rocky terrain made walking painful.  Streams named Hurricane Branch (at CR-2) and Grapevine Branch (at CR-5/4) hearken to the windthrows and vine tangles the axemen had to cut through in order for the pack train to proceed.




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