They like to claim in West Virginia that the first land battle was found in the town of Philippi. I would love to be able to back that claim since I am a native West Virginian and that is the subject that I teach but if it was the first land battle of the American Civil War, it wasn’ much of one. No one was killed. The bridge the oldest and longest covered bridge in West Virginia was built in 1852.It was the first bridge to be captured during the Civil War, by the victorious Union troops. They called this battle “The Philippi Races” because the Union troops chased the Confederates through town. Again, no one was killed. If the entire war at been fought like that they’d be still fighting it.