Falling Waters in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Battles of Falling Waters
“A splendid falls”
During the Civil War, the strategically important Valley Turnpike crossed the stream just above the small waterfall here. Two battles were fought nearby. The first occurred on July 2, 1861, half a mile south on the Porterfield Farm. On the morning of July 2, 1861, Federal troops under General Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac River from Maryland and marched south toward Martinsburg. Colonel Thomas J. Jackson (soon to be nicknamed “Stonewall”) ordered his command northward from the town, fought a brief delaying action on the farm, and then fell back. Because this stream was the last body of water encountered by the Federals before engaging the Confederates, the fight was named for Falling Waters, following the Union convention of naming battles for natural features.
The second engagement took place after the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, when part of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia retreated over a pontoon bridge that crossed the Potomac River approximately 150 feet south of the mouth of this stream. On the morning of July 14, after most of the troops had crossed, Union cavalrymen attacked two
During the war, a gristmill stood here. The large railroad bridge and embankment were built after the war.
“Well I’ll tell you we are down in old Virginie near a place called Falling Waters, so called on account of a splendid falls nearby. They say the water falls from a height of 45 or 50 feet over the rocks making a beautiful waterfall.” – Seargent Andrew Malseed, twenty third Penn. Volunteer Infantry, June 19, 1861
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 June 19, 1861.
Location. 39° 33.576′ N, 77° 53.292′ W. Marker is in Falling Waters, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is on Encampment Road east of Williamsport Pike (U.S. 11), on the left when traveling south. 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 milesFalling Waters (approx. ¼ mile away in Maryland); a different marker also named Falling Waters (approx. ¼ mile away in Maryland); Battle of Hoke's Run (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1½ miles away); Stumpy’s Hollow (approx. 1.8 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.8 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.9 miles away in Maryland). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Falling Waters.
More about this marker. The marker contains a July 1863 sketch by Alfred Waud of “Rebel pontoons at Falling Waters” Courtesy of the Library of Congress; a modern photo of the Falling Waters waterfall; and a posthumous portrait of Gen. James J. Pettigrew, Courtesy of the University of North Carolina.
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.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,711 times since then and 223 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 5, 6. submitted on April 8, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia.