Martinsburg in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Battle of Falling Waters
Jackson’s Coolness Under Fire
On the morning of July 2, 1861, Federal troops under Gen. Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac River from Maryland and marched south toward Martinsburg. Colonel Thomas J. Jackson sent his men north from their camp north of town to block them and to determine whether they approached in force, as General Joseph E. Johnston had directed him. Jackson was to retire if the Federal troops outnumbered his own. After he discovered that he was outnumbered, Jackson fought a brief delaying action near Falling Waters (near Hoke’s Run, another name for the engagement) and then fell back. He paused here to write a message to Johnston regarding the Union strength. Corporal William M. Brown later recalled what happened next.
“Seating himself on a large, loose, round stone on the west side of the road, [Jackson] commenced to write. A shot from a Federal battery struck centrally, ten feet from the ground, a large white oak tree that stood in the fence corner close to Jackson and knocked a mass of bark, splinters and trash all over him and the paper on which he was writing. He brushed away the trash with the back of his hand, finished the dispatch without a sign that he knew anything unusual was going on, folded it, handed it to the courier and dismissed him courteously: ‘Carry this to General Johnston with my compliments,
Jackson then said, “They have gotten our range. I suppose we had better retire.” Relieved, the troops near Jackson moved on.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 32.233′ N, 77° 54.607′ W. Marker is in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is on Williamsport Pike (U.S. 11), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5006 Williamsport Pike, Martinsburg WV 25404, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. General “Stonewall” Jackson (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.7 miles away); Stumpy’s Hollow (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters Battles of Falling Waters (approx. 1.9 miles away); Hammond House (approx. 2.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Martinsburg.
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains an engraving of the Battle of Hoke’s Run from Harper’s Weekly, July 27, 1861. Next to this is a photo with the caption of “Whitonia, the house of William Hill, stood about thirty yards from here on the western side of the road. One of the grand oak trees in the yard was struck by the Union shot and showered Jackson with debris. Built in 1785 to replace an earlier log dwelling, the house burned in 1997.”
The bottom left of the marker features the “crooked button” photograph of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, taken Nov. 1862 in Winchester, Va. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. View series of markers relating to the Battle of Falling Waters.
Also see . . . Battle of Falling Waters - July 2, 1861. Falling Waters Battlefield Association website. (Submitted on April 11, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,754 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.