Falling Waters in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
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 infantry divisions still on the Maryland side of the river. This fight, which is also known as Falling Waters, resulted in the capture of a large number of Confederates and the mortal wounding of Confederate
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.
Marker series. This marker is included in the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 33.576′ N, 77° 53.292′ W. Marker is in Falling Waters, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is on Embankment 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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters Stumpy’s Hollow (approx. 1.8 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.8 miles away); General “Stonewall” Jackson (approx. 1.9 miles away); a different marker also named Battle of Falling Waters (approx. 1.9 miles away); 1862 Antietam Campaign (approx. 2.9 miles away). 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.
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 1,434 times since then and 116 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 5, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.