Fountain Rock

Fountain Rock (HM13TM)

Location: Shepherdstown, WV 25443 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 25.302', W 77° 49.272'

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"Crows..,will have to carry their provender with them"

— 1864 Valley Campaign —

(Preface): The Federal offensive in the Shenandoah Valley begun in May 1864 faltered in the summer with Confederate victories and Gen. Jubal A. Early's Washington Raid in July. Union Gen. Philip H. Sheridan took command in August, defeated Early at Winchester in September and Cedar Creek in October, burned mills and barns, and crushed the remnants of Early's force at Waynesboro on March 2, 1865. Sheridan's victories contributed to President Abraham Lincoln's reelection in November 1864 and denied Gen. Robert E. Lee's army much-needed provisions from the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy."

In 1864, the conduct of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley, the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy" and an avenue of invasion, underwent significant change. Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was determined to eliminate the Valley as a source of food for the Confederate Army. He ordered Gen. David Hunter, commanding the Federal army in the Valley, "to eat out Virginia clear and clean as far as they go, so that crows flying over it for the balance of this season will to carry their provender with them." Unfortunately for the Valley's resident, farm fields and livestock were not the only objects of Hunter's attention.

On July 19, 1864, Capt. Franklin Martindale and a detachment of the 1st New York Cavalry rode from Harpers Ferry to this spot. Martindale had come to burn Fountain Rock, a beautiful native limestone house built in 1834 for Dr. Henry Boteler, in partial retaliation for Gen. Jubal A. Early's burning of the Maryland governor's house. By 1864, Fountain Rock was the home of Boteler's son, Alexander Robinson Boteler, who served as an aide on the staff of Gen J.E.B. Stuart and also was a member of the Confederate Congress.

Boteler's two daughters were at Fountain Rock when Martindale appeared. He ordered them to leave the house and then set the place ablaze, destroying the house as well as Boteler's library and his valuable collection of letters that chronicled the early history of the Lower Shenandoah Valley. The only items that were saved were the leather-bound volumes of the Congressional Record.

(Sidebar): In the 1920s, the ruins of Fountain Rock were removed and first a pavilion and then a barn were built here. The Shepherdstown Men's Club acquired the property in 1961. Four years later, the club erected the present picnic pavilion where Fountain Rock once looked out on the Blue Ridge Mountains.
HM NumberHM13TM
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 Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 4:17pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 257144 N 4367373
Decimal Degrees39.42170000, -77.82120000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 25.302', W 77° 49.272'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 25' 18.12" N, 77° 49' 16.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4198 Kearneysville Pike, Shepherdstown WV 25443, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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