Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Land Divided
The struggle of today is not altogether for today -
it is for a vast future also.
You are standing near what was once an international border. During the Civil War, the peak to your left lay within the Union state of Maryland. Loudon Heights to your right was claimed by the Confederate state of Virginia. Slavery divided the nation, and here at Harpers Ferry the two sides clashed over the meaning of freedom.
[Aerial photo caption reads]
Virginia's secession from the Union divided North from South along the Potomac River. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Harpers Ferry was home to the national armory and passageway for major railroad lines. These assets made it an important prize of war to both sides.
[Inset photo captions read]
The noise of army camp life once disturbed the quiet field before you. Both the Union and Confederate armies used this clearing as a campground and training field at different times throughout the course of the war.
Refugees from slavery flocked to the Union encampments in Harpers Ferry. Thousands of formerly enslaved people sought the protection of the Union army. Classified by the army as contraband, they faced an uncertain future.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of the NPS Mather Training Center. 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. Storer College 1867-1955 (a few steps from this marker); Camp Hill during the Civil War (a few steps from this marker); Foundations of Freedom (a few steps from this marker); Storer College Veterans Memorial Gate (within shouting distance of this marker); Church and School (within shouting distance of this marker); The Niagara Movement (within shouting distance of this marker); The Niagara Movement at Storer College (within shouting distance of this marker); John Brown (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
Categories. • African Americans • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 415 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.