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Maryland Heights Virtual Tour by Markers
 
Railroad Bridge over the C&O Canal image, Touch for more information
By Craig Swain, August 12, 2007
Railroad Bridge over the C&O Canal
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Lift Lock 33
Here, the forces of nature created a natural corridor for commerce. The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers carved a notch in the mountains, providing passage west. Communities grew up on both sides of the river and later a turnpike, railroad, and canal . . . — Map (db m4978) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Exploring Maryland Heights
As the highest ridge surrounding the town of Harpers Ferry, Maryland Heights once bustled with private industry and Civil War occupation. Antietam Iron Works, a major nail producer in the early 1800s, burned the timber of the heights for charcoal . . . — Map (db m116570) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Maryland Heights - Mountain Fortress of Harpers Ferry
You are standing on the border between North and South during the Civil War. As the highest ridge surrounding Harpers Ferry, Maryland Heights played a prominent role in the strategic operations of both the Union and Confederacy. Southern forces . . . — Map (db m4982) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Naval Battery
Positioned 300 feet above the Potomac River the Naval Battery was the first Union fortification on Maryland Heights. Hastily built in May 1862, its naval guns were rushed here from the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard. Along with a detachment of 300 . . . — Map (db m4985) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Hiking Maryland Heights
Here the trail divides and the choice is yours. Time and hiking difficulties are important factors as you select your trail route. The Stone Fort Trail To your left, is a strenuous but rewarding hike to the summit. The route passes Civil War . . . — Map (db m116568) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Harpers Ferry - Changes through Time
Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry was named for Robert Harper, a millwright who continued a ferry operation here in 1747. The waterpower of the two rivers - harnessed for industry - generated tremendous . . . — Map (db m5033) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — 30-Pounder Battery
Positioned here at the end of a towering plateau, this fortification was the first earthen battery built on the mountain by the Federals in the fall of 1862. Facing south, its guns "commanded perfectly the summits of Loudoun Heights as well as . . . — Map (db m5032) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — 100 - Pounder Battery - Heaviest and Highest
During an inspection in late April 1863, Brig. Gen. John G. Barnard recommended that a gun be placed at a high point on this crest, "surrounded by a wall of sandbags, and arranged to fire not only on Loudoun Heights [across the Potomac] but into . . . — Map (db m3854) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Stone Fort
To command Maryland Heights' highest point, the Federals built this massive foundation, called the Stone Fort in the winter of 1862-63. Union engineers designed this defense as an infantry blockhouse to ward off Confederate attack along the crest. . . . — Map (db m5010) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Interior Fort
You are standing inside the Interior Fort, facing its north wall - the most imposing earthwork on Maryland Heights. This nine-foot-high parapet and accompanying ditch defended the crest from attack from the north. The five embrasures which cut . . . — Map (db m5028) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Exterior Fort
Built in 1863 to strengthen a double row of rifle-pits and to protect against attack from the north, the Exterior Fort consisted of two parallel rock walls, or breastworks, about 530 feet apart. The south line, visible in front of you, extended 520 . . . — Map (db m5009) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Civil War Campgrounds
For more than three years - May 1862 through July 1865 - Union soldiers lived, worked, and played on Maryland Heights. They built numerous campgrounds on this inhospitable mountain that lacked water, level ground, or adequate sanitation conditions. . . . — Map (db m5007) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Charcoal Making on Maryland Heights
The charcoal industry required wood; Maryland Heights offered plenty. From 1810 to 1848 the Antietam Iron Works, 7 miles to the north, cut trees on the mountain to make charcoal to fuel its furnace and forges. The burning charcoal helped produce . . . — Map (db m5004) HM
Maryland (Washington County), Sandy Hook — Making a Mountain Citadel
Tired and breathless? You are experiencing the hardship of a Union soldier climbing to reach his work place (a fort) or his home (a tent or log cabin). Try ascending this road hauling a 9,700-pound gun tube or a week's supply of water. From 1862 . . . — Map (db m4992) HM

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