Falling Waters in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Battle of Falling Waters
Four Apostles of the 1st Rockbridge Artillery
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.
Captain William Nelson Pendleton, commanding the first Rockbridge Artillery, placed one gun in the center of the Valley Turnpike (now U.S. Route 11) in front of you at Hammonds Mill Road to support Jackson. The 51-year-old Pendleton was an Episcopal rector from Lexington, Virginia, and college-educated young men comprised his battery. In tribute to their commander, the young gunners named their four pieces Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, supposedly because “they spoke a powerful language.”
Holding his fire until Federal cavalrymen drew close enough on the turnpike to threaten the Southern infantry, Pendleton finally gave the order to fire: “Aim low, men! And may God have mercy on their souls.” Although Federal sources claim
Pendleton was promoted to brigadier general in 1862. He commanded General Robert E. Lee’s artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia for the rest of the war, mostly as an administrator.
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The Four Apostles that the First Rockbridge Artillery employed here consisted of one regular-weight six-pounder (supposedly the gun named Luke), one regular twelve-pounder howitzer, and two light-weight brass “cadet” guns with red carriages from Virginia Military Institute. After the war, the cadet guns were returned to VMI, where they stand today beneath Jackson’s statue with two others that saw service during the war. Since then, all four have taken on the Apostles’ names.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 32.672′ N, 77° 54.384′ W. Marker is in Falling Waters, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is at the intersection of Hammonds Mill Road (County Route 901) and Williamsport Touch for map. 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 (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.2 miles away); General “Stonewall” Jackson (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. half a mile away); Stumpy’s Hollow (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.7 miles away); Battles of Falling Waters (approx. 1.4 miles away); Hammond House (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Falling Waters.
More about this marker. A portrait of Gen. William N. Pendleton, Courtesy of the Library of Congress appears at the lower left of the marker. The top center of the marker contains a painting of “Jackson and his Disciples” Courtesy of the artist Bradley Schmehl, showing artillery in action, 1862. The sidebar features a photograph of the four cannons, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John on the VMI parade ground, Lexington, Virginia, Courtesy of Mary Ethel Micheal.
Related markers. 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 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 971 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 5. submitted on August 21, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.