Falling Waters in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
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, was first named the Continental Morgan Guards, after Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan. In the antebellum period, the unit adopted a uniform resembling that of Continental soldier. Instead of
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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.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 32.577′ N, 77° 54.422′ W. Marker is in Falling Waters, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is at the intersection of Williamsport Pike (U.S. 11) and Hammonds Mill Road (County Route 901), on the right when traveling south on Williamsport Pike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Falling Waters WV 25419, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Battle of Falling Waters (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. ¼ mile away); 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); Battles of Falling Waters (approx. 1½ miles away); Hammond House (approx. 2.7 miles away). 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 Co. K Reenactors’ website; and a photo of a Continental Morgan Guards Uniform Coat – Courtesy 5th Virginia Infantry Co. K Reenactors’ website.
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. (Submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 912 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.