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Falling Waters in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Falling Waters

Crockett-Porterfield House

 
 
Battle of Falling Waters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2011
1. Battle of Falling Waters Marker
Inscription. On the morning of July 2, 1861, Federal troops under General Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac River from Maryland and marched toward Martinsburg. Confederate Colonel Thomas J. Jackson’s command marched from Camp Stephens, four miles north of town, to block them. General Joseph E. Johnston had directed Jackson to determine whether the Federals were in force and to retire if they were. Outnumbered, Jackson fought a brief delaying action and then fell back toward Martinsburg. Patterson eventually occupied the city but was discharged at the end of the month for his slowness.

This first Civil War engagement in the Shenandoah Valley was fought here on the farm of William Rush Porterfield. Porterfield’s wife and their four children fled to the house of a nearby relative. The Fifth Virginia Infantry occupied the house and farm buildings just as the Union troops came into view; Confederate sharpshooters opened fire from the house and barn. Colonel Kenton Harper, Fifth Virginia Infantry, reported that the house and farm buildings were “key to my position.” The Federal artillery quickly replied, damaging the house and setting fire to the barn, which burned to the ground.

After Jackson’s men withdrew, Union troops immediately established a makeshift hospital in the house to care for the wounded of both sides. Although
Battle of Falling Waters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2011
2. Battle of Falling Waters Marker
The Crockett-Porterfield House can be seen across the road from the marker.
the engagement lasted for less than an hour, it devastated the property. Porterfield, a Union supporter, remained on his land and rebuilt after the war.

[ Sidebar : ]

David Crocket (as he spelled his surname), the grandfather of Davy Crockett of Alamo fame, constructed the oldest section of the house of logs about 1763. The Crockets lived here less than five years before selling the property and moving to Tennessee. A description of the house written in 1941 for a Work Projects Administration travel guide described the damage that was still visible at that time.
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 32.733′ N, 77° 54.228′ W. Marker is in Falling Waters, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is on Williamsport Pike (U.S. 11) 0.2 miles north of West Virginia Route 901, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located across the street from the Porterfield House. Marker is in this post office area: Falling Waters WV 25419, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different
Crockett-Porterfield House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2011
3. Crockett-Porterfield House Marker
marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. ¼ mile away); General “Stonewall” Jackson (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.7 miles away); Stumpy’s Hollow (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.8 miles away); Battles of Falling Waters (approx. 1.3 miles away); Hammond House (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Falling Waters.
 
More about this marker. Several pictures appear on the marker. These include: Portraits of Gen. Robert Patterson and Col. Thomas J. Jackson, courtesy of the Library of Congress; A picture from Harper’s Weekly July 27, 1861, entitled “Skirmish at Hoke’s Run” showing Confederates firing from the Porterfield barn; a photo of the Crockett-Porterfield House, Courtesy of the Berkley County Historical Society; and a portrait of William Rush Porterfield, Courtesy of R.E. Porterfield.
 
Related markers.
Crockett-Porterfield House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2011
4. Crockett-Porterfield House
This house was the center point of the fighting during the July 2, 1861 Battle of Falling Waters.
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 August 4, 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 1,300 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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