Near Bolivar in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
A Dangerous Position
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
On the dark, moonless night of September 14, 1862, 100 men from the 126th New York Regiment established a skirmish line here. These men were new to the war, having only been in uniform for a few short weeks. After surviving a terrifying afternoon of relentless Confederate artillery fire, these young men were thrust into a dangerous and vulnerable position on the front line. If the Confederates wanted to attack this location, this was a good time to do it.
"On Sunday evening, the second day of our fight, I was ordered out in front of our camp to skirmish as the Rebs were getting rather thick. Now just keep in mind that I had been up for three nights before. You can imagine how pleasantly I must have felt. It was a dangerous position, but I felt as if I did not care whether the Rebs had me or not. Our hundred men were detailed and put under Lt. Munson & myself. You ought to have seen us hunting our way down Bolivar Heights for the front of our camp. At last we reached our position."
Lieutenant George York, Company I, 126th New York Regiment, from a letter to his father.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is September 14, 1862.
Location. 39° 19.371′ N, 77° 46.064′ W. Marker is near Bolivar, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Bakerton Road (County Route 27), on the right when traveling north. Located along the Union Skirmish Line Trail, in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Position Strong by Nature (about 400 feet away); We Began Firing At Will: The 111th New York Regiment (about 800 feet away); Battle of Harpers Ferry / Jackson Arrives (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union Skirmish Line (approx. 0.2 miles away); School House Ridge, Harpers Ferry, W.V. (approx. 0.2 miles away); From Skirmish Line to Burial Ground (approx. ¼ mile away); No Man's Land (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bolivar.
More about this marker. On the lower left is a map showing the combatant positions and location of the skirmish line. On the right is "The flag of the 126th Regiment New York State Volunteers."
Also see . . . 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry. National Park Service summary of the battle. (Submitted on February 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,679 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on February 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on May 21, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3. submitted on February 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on May 16, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.