Bee Line March
In 1775, General Washington issued a call for “Virginia Volunteer Riflemen.” Gathering Continental troops in preparation for the Revolutionary War, General Washington called upon the men of the mountains stating, “Let me plant my banner in West Augusta (West Virginia) and I will surround it with fighting men who will drive the invaders from our land.” Two companies from the western counties were recruited and were among the first southern troops to report to General Washington at Boston. Daniel Morgan raised one company in Frederick County, and Hugh Stephenson raised another in Berkeley County. Captain Hugh Stephenson filled the ranks of his company in Shepherdstown. The troops departed from “Morgan’s Spring,” about one-half mile south of the town limits, on July 16, 1775. This famous “Beeline March to Cambridge” covered 600 miles in just twenty-four days. Thirty-eight Revolutionary veterans are buried in the surrounding area. The hardiness and strength of the men was evident despite the distance separating Washington from his troops. Captain Hugh Stephenson’s Company of Virginia Riflemen became part of the First Virginia Regiment, American Continental Troops. On June 14, 1775, “the American Continental Army” was formed. The extraordinary journey of the Virginians became known as the Bee Line March. Of the companies that formed the army that day, only the 1st BN 201st FA, WVARNG remains active.