Falling Waters in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Battle of Falling Waters
Harper’s 5th Virginia Infantry
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.
Jackson placed Colonel Kenton Harper’s 5th Virginia Infantry astride the Valley Turnpike near here to meet the advancing Federals. Harper established his main battle line along Hammonds Mill Road but also sent three companies forward to occupy the Porterfield House and farm buildings. Although the 380 Confederates delayed the Northern advance, they were soon in danger of being surrounded, so Jackson ordered Harper to withdraw his unit.
The Fifth Virginia Infantry was composed of several Shenandoah Valley militia units. One of them, designated Company K,
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The youngest member of the 5th Virginia Infantry at Falling Waters was Charles W. “Little Charley” Turner, who had turned 15 years old less than a month before the battle. The Staunton Spectator reported that Turner “made one of the enemy bite the dust.” He then served briefly as Jackson’s orderly but soon entered the Virginia Military Institute. Turner fought in the Corp of Cadets at the Battle of New Market. He graduated in the class of 1867 and then moved to Montana and served as adjutant general.
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 2, 1777.
Location. 39° 32.577′ N, 77° 54.422′ W. Marker is in Falling Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Falling Waters WV 25419, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 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); General “Stonewall” Jackson (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 0.4 miles away); Stumpy’s Hollow (approx. ¾ mile away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. ¾ mile away); Battle of Hoke's Run (approx. 1.3 miles away); Battles of Falling Waters (approx. 1½ miles away); Falling Waters (approx. 1.6 miles away in Maryland). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Falling Waters.
More about this marker. Several pictures appear on the marker, including a portrait of Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, Courtesy of the Library of Congress; a photo of the Continental Morgan Guards, July 4, 1860 – Courtesy of Ben Ritter; a portrait of Sgt. George Washington Kurtz, Continental Morgan Guards, in gold case with inscription “The Union, Now and Forever” – ironically, his unit served the Confederacy – Courtesy 5th Virginia Infantry
Related markers. 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 homepage (Submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,643 times since then and 272 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.