The Headless Soldier of Droop Mountain

The Battle of Droop Mountain in 1863 wasn’t necessarily the largest engagements in the Civil War, but it was one of the bloodiest battles in West Virginia during the War Between the States. While the Federal Army got the better of the Confederates that day, the Union opted to not pursue the retreating Rebels and allowed roughly 1,700 of Robert E. Lee’s men to slip away without being captured.

Today the old battlefield has been preserved and is now the Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Over the years those who have visited the park have claimed to see a grayclad soldier. In 1920 a logger named Edgar Walton and a friend worked a long day and decided to spend the night in the forest. Walton awoke to the sound of something stirring in the leaves. When he turned around he saw a headless moaning grayclad soldier coming towards him. Fortunately for Walton, right before he reached the campsite, the phantom turned and headed off into a clearing before fading off into the night. The next morning Walton walked over to the area where he last saw the spirit and noticed a small Confederate cemetery.

Walton returned to the Confederate gravesite several times but never saw the headless soldier again. However, park personnel, hunters and visitors to the park occasionally stumble into soldiers along trails and in the woods. Each time they are approached, the men slowly fade away.

In addition to the soldiers people in the park have also heard unexplainable noises such as the sound of battle cries, screams, men marching and wagon wheels rolling over rough terrain.

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