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First Amputation of the Civil War

Field review by the editors.

Philippi, West Virginia

Aside from its notoriety as the home of the Mummies of the Insane, the small town of Philippi has another claim to fame: It's the town where the first combatant's limb was lost in the Civil War.

The first land battle of the Civil War happened there on June 3, 1861. Confederate J. E. Hanger was hit by a cannonball, had his leg amputated by a Union doctor, later invented an artificial limb, and started a company which became one of the largest manufacturers of wooden legs in the world. Descendant Floyd Hanger used to return to town as a dignitary in an annual parade.

There's a plaque in Philippi that commemorates the fateful cannon blast.

First Amputation of the Civil War

69 Church St., Philippi, WV
Downtown. Plaque is on a low monument on the north side of Church St., midway between N. Main and N. Walnut Sts, in front of Philippi Baptist Church.
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