A Winter Refuge

A Winter Refuge (HM13SM)

Location: Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 Morgan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 37.548', W 78° 13.74'

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Berkeley Springs Hotel

— Jackson's Bath-Romney Campaign —

(Preface): On January 1, 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson led four brigades west from Winchester, Va., to secure Romney in the fertile South Branch Valley on the North Western Turnpike. He attacked and occupied Bath on January 4 and shelled Hancock, Md.; he marched into Romney on January 14. Despite atrocious winter weather, Jackson's men destroyed telegraph lines and 100 miles of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad track. Leaving Gen. William W. Loring's brigades in Romney, Jackson led the Stonewall Brigade back to Winchester on January 23. Loring followed on January 31, and the Federals reoccupied Romney on February 7.

On January 4, 1862, after a day-long battle for the town of Bath (present-day Berkeley Springs), Confederate soldiers in the Stonewall Brigade commandeered the hotel and the buildings surrounding the springs for relief from the sting of the harsh winter weather. The Union family of Federal officer David Hunter Strother (who was also a writer and artist who called himself Porte Crayon) owned the hotel. The Confederates damaged the hotel and its furnishings, in part by breaking up furniture or firewood.

Pvt. William Kinzer, 4th Virginia Infantry, wrote in his diary that as the sun set over the snow-covered mountains, "Our company is quartered in a parlor of the Spring Hotel. Mattresses were spread over the floor and soon all were in the land of nod".

Other Confederate soldiers, however, were not as fortunate. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson ordered Gen. William W. Loring's brigade forward to attack Union positions at Great Cacapon, Sir Johns Run, and Hancock, and Loring's men marched on in the snow until 2:A. M. Bitterness over the apparent favoritism shown to the Stonewall Brigade at Bath festered within Loring's ranks for the rest of the campaign. The resulting turmoil and dissension within the army culminated at Romney three weeks later, when Jackson and the Stonewall Brigade returned to Winchester first, followed by Loring, thereby reversing Jackson's gains in what had been a successful winter campaign.

"I was permitted to take ... part of my company into the vacated Berkeley Springs hotel. ... There was 'the banquet hall deserted' the men took possession of that and soon had a fire roaring in the wide chimney. There was the ball room, empty, and echoing departed music and merriment and the soft sound of dancing feet." - Lt. Henry Kyd Douglas, 2nd Virginia Infantry
HM NumberHM13SM
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 6:38pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 737835 N 4389895
Decimal Degrees39.62580000, -78.22900000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 37.548', W 78° 13.74'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 37' 32.88" N, 78° 13' 44.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 250-298 S Washington St, Berkeley Springs WV 25411, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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