Princeton’s Civil War History

Last updated: August 30, 2021

Did you know that Princeton is the first stop on the Civil War Trail in West Virginia? Learn more about Mercer County’s rich history!

The McNutt House 

This historical building is the first stop on the Civil War Trail in West Virginia. The McNutt House was  built in 1840 and served as the Union Headquarters and a hospital during the Civil War. Now, it is home to the Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginia’s. It is the only remaining Civil War structure in Princeton. You can still visit this historic building – stop by for a tour!

The Battle of Pigeon Roost

The Civil War Battle of Pigeon Roost occurred in Princeton on May 17, 1862. Prior to this battle, Princeton was burned by Confederates. Union soldiers moved through the charred ruins of Princeton to Pearisburg, VA, but ultimately fell back to Princeton. The evening before the battle, Confederate soldiers spread out on a ridge that overlooks Princeton called Pigeon Roost, waiting to ambush Union troops. On the morning of May 17, Union troops were approaching Princeton and were attacked by Confederate troops. In the end, Confederate troops prevailed and Union troops pulled north.

Mercer County War Museum

You can learn more about Mercer County’s Civil War history at the Mercer County War Museum in Princeton! There are over three floors of artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and more from the Civil War to present day. They’re open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mercer County’s Civil War history is waiting to be discovered! Visit Princeton and take a step back in time.