Shepherdstown in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
“ . . . and yet the cry was for more room.”
On Wednesday, September 17, 1862, twelve-year-old Mary Bedinger, asleep at her home Poplar Grove outside Shepherdstown, was awakened by the roar of cannons. Confederate and Union forces in position near Sharpsburg, Maryland, just across the Potomac River, were desperately trying to dislodge one another. The bloodiest day in American history had begun. Soon a seemingly endless stream of wounded men flowed into dozens of buildings in and around Shepherdstown that were pressed into service as hospitals. Unfortunately, not all of the wounded men would survive.
The Southern Soldiers’ Memorial Association of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, was organized in 1867 to acquire a burial site for Confederate soldiers who died during and after the battle. In 1868, the association purchased a lot from Jacob Line adjacent to the Methodist Cemetery. A total of 114 men, many unknown, are interred here from other initial burial sites. The cemetery was dedicated on Confederate Memorial Day, June 5, 1869, and a monument to the dead was dedicated the next year. The Confederate Soldiers regimental monument erected in 1935 by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the State of West Virginia lists the names of 535 Jefferson County men who served in the Confederate army. In addition to the men buried in the Confederate cemetery, about 125 Confederate veterans
“On Thursday [September 18] . . . they continued to arrive until the town [Shepherdstown] was quite unable to hold any more disabled and suffering. They filled every building and overflowed into the country round, into farmhouses, corncribs, and cabins. . . . There were six churches, and they were all full; the Odd Fellows’ Hall, the Freemasons’, the little Town Council room, the barn-like place known as the Drill Room, all the private houses after their capacity, the shops and empty buildings, the school-houses . . . and yet the cry was for more room.”
Erected by West Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans, and the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 25.704′ N, 77° 48.754′ W. Marker is in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on S. Duke Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located inside Elmwood Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Shepherdstown WV 25443, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spirit of 1775 (a few steps from this marker); Confederate Dead Confederate Soldiers in Elmwood Cemetery / Colonel Henry Kyd Douglas (within shouting distance of this marker); Elmwood Cemetery Vault (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Spirit of 1775 (was approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Reformed Church Parsonage (approx. 0.3 miles away); Civil War Hospital Site (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shepherdstown.
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker features a picture of people tending to the wounded after the Battle of Antietam, courtesy of the Library of Congress. The right side of the marker contains a map which highlights significant Civil War Sites in Jefferson County, WV, many of which are interpreted by Civil War Trail signage.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 995 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 6. submitted on August 30, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.