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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line

 
 
The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
1. The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line Marker
Inscription. After sunset on September 14, 1862, the Confederate cannons across the road on School House Ridge vanished in the darkness. The features of the landscape began to blur as the shell-shocked Union soldiers on Bolivar Heights wondered if they could survive another day of artillery bombardment. The Union troops could not rest until tomorrow, however, because General "Stonewall" Jackson's Confederate Army might charge over School House Ridge at any moment. To guard against such an attack, the Union command established a human alarm system on this field in the form of a skirmish line. It was the first line of defense. If the Confederates advanced, the gunfire from the Union soldiers on the skirmish line would reveal the location of the attack. "Stonewall" Jackson was counting on it.
 
Erected by Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 39° 19.371′ N, 77° 45.992′ W. Marker is near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Bakerton Road (County Route 27), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located along the Union Skirmish Line Trail, in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
School House Ridge from the Marker Location image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
2. School House Ridge from the Marker Location
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Position Strong by Nature (a few steps from this marker); A Dangerous Position (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); We Began Firing At Will: The 111th New York Regiment (about 700 feet away); Union Skirmish Line (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle of Harpers Ferry / Jackson Arrives (approx. 0.2 miles away); From Skirmish Line to Burial Ground (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fortifying Bolivar Heights (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Confederate Perspective (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a photograph of cannons in the sunset.
 
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.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Union Skirmish Line Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
3. Union Skirmish Line Trail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,448 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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