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Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle for Bath

Struggle in the Snow

 

—Jackson's Bath-Romney Campaign —

 
Battle for Bath Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 30, 2012
1. Battle for Bath Marker
Inscription. (Preface): On January 1, 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson led four brigades west from Winchester, Va., to secure Romney in the fertile South Branch Valley on the North Western Turnpike. He attacked and occupied Bath on January 4 and shelled Hancock, Md.; he marched into Romney on January 14. Despite atrocious winter weather, Jackson's men destroyed telegraph lines and 100 miles of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad track. Leaving Gen. William W. Loring's brigades in Romney, Jackson led the Stonewall Brigade back to Winchester on January 23. Loring followed on January 31, and the Federals reoccupied Romney on February 7.

At about 10:00 A.M. on January 4, 1862, terrified civilians in Bath (present-day Berkeley Springs) heard the booming of the 4th U.S. Artillery’s guns on Warm Springs Mountain (in front of you). Soon, the crackling of musketry from three companies of the 39th Illinois Infantry joined in as Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s 8,500 men attacked. Facing twenty times their number, the untested Illinois men had an important ally: wind, freezing temperatures, and more than four inches of snow.

Artillery fire, sharp skirmishing, and the difficulty of maneuvering in the snow delayed the Confederate advance for hours. Hoping to capture the Federal garrison, Jackson deployed
Battle for Bath Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 30, 2012
2. Battle for Bath Marker
units to outflank the town while the main body advanced down the road into Bath. Snow and determined resistance delayed his complicated battle plan.

The first Confederate casualty may have been Pvt. William Sybert, 48th Virginia Infantry, who fell in the snow and broke his ankle. The 39th Illinois broke contact shortly before 2:00 P.M. and escaped to Sir Johns Run and Hancock. Jackson pressed on, attacking other companies of the 39th Illinois at Great Cacapon, Sir Johns Run, and Alpine opposite Hancock, but garnering few prisoners. With the Federals pushed across the Potomac River, Jackson could now march west to Romney.
 
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 37.602′ N, 78° 13.644′ W. Marker is in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Fairfax Street and Washington Street (West Virginia Highway 9) on Fairfax Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 90 Fairfax Street, Berkeley Springs WV 25411, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morgan County Veteran's Monument (a few steps from this marker); Campaign in the Snow (a few steps from this marker); The Sons and Daughters of Morgan County (a few steps from this marker); Berkeley Springs / James Rumsey (a few steps from this marker); Lot owned by George Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); Centennial Time Capsule (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington Heritage Trail (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Berkeley Springs Baths (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Berkeley Springs.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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