Army of the kanawha

Army of the Kanawha
Army of Central Kentucky
Active June 6, 1861–December 26, 1861
Country  Confederate States of America
Branch  Confederate States Army
Engagements Battle of Kessler's Cross Lanes
Battle of Carnifex Ferry
Disbanded Incorporated into Army of Central Kentucky December 26, 1861
Henry A. Wise

John B. Floyd

The Army of the Kanawha was a small Confederate army early in the American Civil War.

Confederate units in the vital Kanawha River valley of western Virginia were styled the "Army of the Kanawha" after they were put under the command of former Virginia governor Henry A. Wise on June 6, 1861. Kanawha valley native John B. Floyd, himself a former Virginia governor and former U.S. Secretary of War, assumed command on August 11 intending to improve recruitment, but personal animosity between the two politicians prevented Floyd from fully exercising control of the inexperienced force until early autumn.

After the Confederate commanders' quarrel cost them victory at the Battle of Carnifex Ferry, Confederate States Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin sent an order relieving Wise and ordering him to Richmond, and Floyd commanded the brigade-sized force until he was sent to the Western Theater. The "Army" was incorporated into the 3rd division of the Army of Central Kentucky in late December and while the army ceased to exist as such, the brigade fought at Fort Donelson. What men remained after the Confederate surrender at Donelson eventually became members of the Army of Mississippi before the Battle of Shiloh.


  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1959; revised 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X.
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