Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Casualty of War
German immigrant Frederick Roeder was a prosperous baker, the father of seven children, and a recent widower. Roeder was also about to die. The Fourth of July was normally a day of celebration, but not this year - not 1861. In March Roeder buried his wife, Anna Maria; the following month Civil War erupted, Virginia seceded and Harpers Ferry became a war zone - businesses collapsed and the local economy crashed.
A Union sympathizer, Roeder longed to catch a glimpse of the United States flag flying on the Maryland shore. Venturing out to the Potomac River, he gazed across at the Stars and Stripes, only to be struck down by a ricocheting bullet fired by a Union soldier. He crawled back to this building, his home, where he died.
Roeder was the first townsperson to die during the war. His home, business and other property were confiscated by the Union Army for use as a military bakery, post office and headquarters.
His orphaned children abandoned their home, but returned a year later and lived here until 1881. They filed claims with the government for extensive wartime damage to this house and other family property. They were finally approved for compensation of $504.00 in 1906.
This James Taylor sketch, circa 1864, shows the view up High Street. The Roeder home is highlighted in red.
Location. 39° 19.398′ N, 77° 43.837′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of High Street and Hog Alley, on the left when traveling east on High Street. Touch for map. The interpretive marker is located just inside the right door of the Confectionery. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sweets for Harpers Ferry (here, next to this marker); "A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step." (a few steps from this marker); White Hall Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Harper House Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Springhouses and Root Cellars (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis and Clark (within shouting distance of this marker); Harper House (within shouting distance of this marker); Harper's Ferry History (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 8, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 7, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 182 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 7, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.