Located in the Potomac Highlands, Hardy County borders the state of Virginia. Prior to West Virginia’s statehood, in 1786, Hardy County was formed from New Hampshire County. Hardy County’s history tells us the county was named for distinguished Virginian statesman Samuel Hardy.
However, the nation was divided among issues including slavery and state’s rights. After the Virginia delegation voted to secede from the Union to become a Confederate state, the western counties voted to secede from Virginia. The state of West Virginia was born in 1863, including Hardy County.
Union General John C. Fremont and his 20,000 man army camped in Hardy County in May 1862. He used the home of Confederate sympathizer Samuel McMechan as his headquarters. On May 29, 1862, Fremont, fresh from a defeat by Confederate General Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of McDowell, was ordered by President Abraham Lincoln to return to the Shenandoah Valley to defeat Jackson. Two days later, mired in heavy rains and mud, Fremont obeyed the presidential dispatch.
Hardy County, whose county seat is Moorefield, was the site of the August 7, 1864 Civil War Battle of Moorefield. Union troops, under the command of General William W. Averell surprised Confederates who were under the leadership of General John McCausland and General Bradley T. Johnson’s cavalry. The Confederates were returning from the burning of Chambersburg, PA. Averill’s troops routed the Confederates. The Southern units attempted to form a defensive line but they were outgunned. The Confederates were forced to run for the hills, losing four canons, 400 men and hundreds of horses.
These historical events of the Civil War are a trail of history through Hardy County, marked by ten Civil War Trail Markers.
For more information about the county’s scenic beauty, as well as Hardy County homes for sale and real estate opportunities, contact Old Dominion Realty to get started today!