Alternate History

Battle of Point Marion (E Pluribus Duo)

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Battle of Point Marion
Part of the American Civil War

Painting of the Battle of Point Marion

Date March 19, 1857
Location Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Result Federation retreat at major Union cost
United States Federated States
Commanders and leaders

P.G.T. Beauregard

George H. Steuart

Irvin McDowell

John F. Hanraft (KIA)

29–37,000 (18,000 engaged) 25–34,000 (18,000 engaged)
Casualties and losses

5,105 Total

4,149 Total

The Battle of Point Marion was the first major battle of the Eastern Front of the American Civil War. Federated Forces in Western Pennsylvania chose to fortify the town of Point Marion, Pennsylvania, at the convergence of the Cheat and Monongahela Rivers. Union forces started their invasion of Pennsylvania by going for the strategic town as well. A Southern victory would mean an easy path to Pittsburgh, a major economic, industrial, and population center strategically located near the geographic center of the Federation (conquest of Pittsburgh would likely mean Southern victory). 

The battle was smartly executed by the Federation, especially Irvin McDowell. McDowell commanded three regiments, under the command of John F. Hanraft, to attack the back flanks of the Union army from the East. As the main Northern army held the Southern army, the Souhern army saw heavy casualties from the back. Its soldiers were caught off guard and were not as skilled as the soldiers in the front. A large amount of casualties were taken to the back right flank of the Southern Army, and the divergence allowed the Northern forces to run away. However, those three regiments also saw major casualties, including their commander. The two bridges across the rivers were occupied by the Federation army, and one of the bridges was destroyed while the army was leaving. That bridge was the one used by the larger amount of the army, and it pointed East towards Harrisburg and Philadelphia. 

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