Col. Thomas A. Morris, temporarily in command of Union forces in western Virginia, mounted a two-prong advance under E. Dumont and B.F. Kelley against a small Confederate occupation force at Philippi under Porterfield. Kelley marched on back roads from near Grafton on June 2 to reach the rear of the town, while Dumont moved south from Webster. Both columns arrived at Philippi before dawn on the 3rd. The resulting surprise attack routed the Confederate troops, forcing them to retreat to Huttonsville. Although a small affair, this was considered the first major land action in the Eastern Theater.