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Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Harpers Ferry

Prize of War

 
 
Harpers Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
October 11, 2009
1. Harpers Ferry Marker
Inscription. “It may be said with truth that no spot in the United States experienced more of the horrors of war.” – Joseph Barry, Harpers Ferry resident

Trapped on the border between North and South, Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during the Civil War. Because of its position on the Potomac River—an international boundary for four years from 1861 to 1865—the town’s industries were destroyed, its buildings were abandoned, its mountains were raped, and the population dwindled from more than 3,000 to fewer than 100 residents.

Both Union and Confederate forces coveted Harpers Ferry’s strategic location at the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley. The Federals used the town and its connection to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a supply base, launching repeated invasions from here into the heart of Virginia. The Confederates targeted this area as an avenue of invasion into the United States, occupying Harpers Ferry during the 1862 Maryland (Antietam) Campaign, the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863, and the raid on Washington in 1864.

Throughout the war, the mountains surrounding Harpers Ferry played a key role. Forests were denuded for artillery fire and firewood; the earth was carved into earthworks and forts; and ridge tops were converted into campgrounds and battlegrounds.

No one, and
Harpers Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
October 11, 2009
2. Harpers Ferry Marker
At the Bolivar Heights trailhead parking lot.
no thing, escaped the fury of the Civil War at Harpers Ferry.
 
Erected 2009 by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 19.425′ N, 77° 45.672′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Whitman Avenue and Prospect Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Whitman Avenue. Click for map. Located at the parking lot for the Bolivar Heights tour stop at Harpers Ferry Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bolivar Heights Trail (here, next to this marker); Historic Heights (a few steps from this marker); Facing the Enemy (a few steps from this marker); Battle of Harpers Ferry (a few steps from this marker); Closing the Doors (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Year of the War (within shouting distance of this marker); Rats in a Cage (within shouting distance of this marker); Casualties of War (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
 
More about this marker. On the
Harpers Ferry from Bolivar Heights image. Click for full size.
October 11, 2009
3. Harpers Ferry from Bolivar Heights
Maryland Heights on left - Loudoun Heights on right.
lower left of the marker is a portrait captioned Gen. Thomas Jonathon “Stonewall” Jackson surrounded and captured the Union garrison here in September 1862, forcing the largest surrender of United States troops during the Civil War.

On the upper middle of the marker is a photograph captioned Former U.S. Armory buildings at Harpers Ferry served as Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's quartermaster and commissary supply base during his 1864 campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, where he crushed Confederate Jubal A. Early's army. — Courtesy Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

On the upper right of the marker is a sketch captioned The burning of the United States Arsenal in Harpers Ferry on April 18, 1861, was the first destruction wrought during the Civil War in Virginia. Harpers Weekly, May 11, 1861
 
Also see . . .  Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. National Park Service website (Submitted on October 11, 2009.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights image. Click for full size.
March 1, 2008
4. Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 1,144 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on . • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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