Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry (HMFC9)

Location: Bolivar, WV 25425 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 19.425', W 77° 45.672'

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Prize of War

"It may be said with truth that no spot in the United States experienced more of the horrors of war." - Joseph Barry, Harpers Ferry resident

Trapped on the border between North and South, Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during the Civil War. Because of its position on the Potomac River—an international boundary for four years from 1861 to 1865—the town's industries were destroyed, its buildings were abandoned, its mountains were raped, and the population dwindled from more than 3,000 to fewer than 100 residents.

Both Union and Confederate forces coveted Harpers Ferry's strategic location at the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley. The Federals used the town and its connection to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a supply base, launching repeated invasions from here into the heart of Virginia. The Confederates targeted this area as an avenue of invasion into the United States, occupying Harpers Ferry during the 1862 Maryland (Antietam) Campaign, the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863, and the raid on Washington in 1864.

Throughout the war, the mountains surrounding Harpers Ferry played a key role. Forests were denuded for artillery fire and firewood; the earth was carved into earthworks and forts; and ridge tops were converted into campgrounds and battlegrounds.

No one, and no thing, escaped the fury of the Civil War at Harpers Ferry.
HM NumberHMFC9
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2009
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:54pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 261977 N 4356340
Decimal Degrees39.32375000, -77.76120000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 19.425', W 77° 45.672'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 19' 25.50" N, 77° 45' 40.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 110 Co Rte 27/1, Bolivar WV 25425, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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