Shepherdstown (HMLL)

Location: Shepherdstown, WV 25443 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 25.852', W 77° 48.342'

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"The Whole Town was a Hospital"

— Antietam Campaign 1862 —

In September 1862, after the Maryland Battles of South Mountain and Antietam, Shepherdstown became a scene of indescribable suffering. "The whole town was a hospital," wrote resident Mary Bedinger Mitchell. "There was scarcely a building in town that could not with truth seek protection under that plea."

The wounded Confederates streaming into Shepherdstown after the South Mountain actions of September 14 became a flood totaling 2,000-3,000 by the 18th, the day after Antietam. Soon even places normally deemed unfit for human habitation were turned into hospitals. They included the old abandoned tobacco warehouse at the north end of Princess Street and the incomplete town hall, now Shepherd University's McMurran Hall, in front of you. Mary Mitchell wrote, "The unfinished Town Hall had stood in naked ugliness for many a long day. Somebody threw a few rough boards across the beams, placed piles of straw over them, laid down single planks to walk upon, and lo it was a hospital at once."

Shepherdstown experienced the passing of armies for another two and a half years, but the events of the 1862 Maryland Campaign proved the most traumatic for the residents.

(Sidebar) " The wounded continued to arrive until the town was quite unable to hold all the disabled and suffering. They filled every building and overflowed into the country round, into farm-houses, barns, corn-cribs, cabins,—wherever four walls and a roof were found together....There were six churches, and they were all full; the Odd Fellow's Hall, the Freemasons', the little Town Council Room, the barn-like place known as the Drill Room, all the private houses after their capacity, the shops and empty buildings, the school houses,—every inch of space and yet the cry was for more room." —Mary Bedinger Mitchell.
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, September 29th, 2014 at 5:36am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 258511 N 4368349
Decimal Degrees39.43086667, -77.80570000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 25.852', W 77° 48.342'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 25' 51.12" N, 77° 48' 20.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 WV-230, Shepherdstown WV 25443, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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