The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line

The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line (HM328)

Location: Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 19.371', W 77° 45.992'

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After sunset on September 14, 1862, the Confederate cannons across the road on School House Ridge vanished in the darkness. The features of the landscape began to blur as the shell-shocked Union soldiers on Bolivar Heights wondered if they could survive another day of artillery bombardment. The Union troops could not rest until tomorrow, however, because General "Stonewall" Jackson's Confederate Army might charge over School House Ridge at any moment. To guard against such an attack, the Union command established a human alarm system on this field in the form of a skirmish line. It was the first line of defense. If the Confederates advanced, the gunfire from the Union soldiers on the skirmish line would reveal the location of the attack. "Stonewall" Jackson was counting on it.
HM NumberHM328
Placed ByHarpers Ferry National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 10:19pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 261515 N 4356254
Decimal Degrees39.32285000, -77.76653333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 19.371', W 77° 45.992'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 19' 22.26" N, 77° 45' 59.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 450 Bakerton Rd, Harpers Ferry WV 25425, US
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