The B&O – June, 1861 – The Molten Pyres of the Camel Engines by Jim Surkamp

6131 words

https://web.archive.org/web/20120829155335/https://civilwarscholars.com/2012/04/molten-pyes-of-the-camels-a-train-disaster-june-1861/

VIDEO: The Molten Pyres of the Camel Engines TRT: 19:02

How and why did this new mysterious Col. Thomas Jackson destroy 42 locomotives and – much more – all owned by the Baltimore and Ohio railroad that summer of 1861? Call it a tactic that deprived approaching Union armies of assets. You can also say Jackson did one thing that may well have decided the Confederate victory at Manassas/Bull Run.

Just the same the Confederates’ gigantic grab of so many B&O locomotives, coal cars, equipment, the firing of buildings and the destruction of so many bridges spanning the Potomac – made the B&O system and Maryland forever blue, and forever Union.

Why did Jackson do it? He was ordered to.

Robert E. Lee on June 1, 1861 wrote Jackson’s superior, Gen. Joseph Johnston: Destroy everything that cannot be removed, deprive them (the Federal armies-ED) of the use of the railroad, take the field and endeavor to arrest their advance up the Valley. – (Official records of the Union and Confederate armies, Series I, Vol. II Chapter IX, p. 898).

So, Gen. Johnston and then-Colonel Jackson did what Lee ordered. As a result . . .

John W. Garrett, president of the B&O, reported to his shareholders: On May 28, 1861, General possession was taken by the Confederate forces of

more than one hundred miles of the Main Stem, embroiling chiefly the region between Point of Rocks and Cumberland. . . . – (“35th Annual Report of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.” Baltimore, MD.: 1863. pp. 6-7).

What does such destruction look like? This task of destroying dozens of fifty-ton locomotives was a sight one could never forget.

David Hunter Strother, an artist, saw that ghastly scene about twenty miles from Harper’s Ferry at Martinsburg, Va. June 20, 1861:

. . . we heard a strange singing and screaming in the air which resembled the notes of a gigantic AEolian. These sounds grew more distinct and definite as we advanced, and still nearer the town we perceived immense columns of black smoke rolling up between us and the setting sun,

and tinging the whole landscape with a coppery hue. . . a scene was suddenly presented to us which much more resembled a dream of Dante’s Inferno, than an exhibition of real life. Jackson’s brigade was performing a grand “auto de fe” upon the rolling stock of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad . .

. . On the open space in front of the work-shops stood, ranged upon the tracks, between forty and fifty locomotives, roasting amidst the flames of a thousand cords of wood, distributed, refreshed, and stirred up continually by a brigade of . . . Confederates.

Strother wrote again the following day June 21, 1861:
The dawn of morning . . . on the railroad we could see the wilted and discolored bodies of the locomotives lying amidst the smoke and ashes of their funeral pyres. . . – (Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 194, July, 1866. pp. 144-147).

This is the first of several short videos telling the story – First how Col. Jackson entrapped the B&O system; next how, when, and where his men destroyed bridges – Third, how forty-two locomotives, tenders, 386 coal hoppers and gondola cars were fashioned into self-destructive, molten, long-burning coal fires –

Fourth, how after the Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, Jackson and his men returned to the eastern Panhandle – once again, rid of Union soldiers – to tear up some thirty-six miles of double track employing ingenious, almost artistic, methods.

The fifth video is the remarkable story of how Jackson and a team of men and horses enabled and girded themselves to successfully transport eighteen, full-size locomotives, without benefit of rails, over some 38 miles of crumbling macadam to Strasburg, Va., an engineering marvel credited to one Captain Thomas R. Sharp, the previous Master of Transportation to the Winchester and Potomac Railroad.

Part 1 of our story: JACKSON ENTRAPS B&O TRAINS – May, 1861

Union armies began amassing for hundreds of miles east to west all along the north side of the Potomac River and the Baltimore & Ohio line. The armies would nearly gain control of the B&O road except for a stretch in the eastern Panhandle where Col. Jackson and his thousands of new troops were active.

A vote was coming on May 23rd that would reveal the political sentiment of Virginians statewide towards a convention’s vote in April to secede. If the western counties, tied to Baltimore so vitally by the B&O, were to proceed with an effort to form its own non-seceding state, then choking off the B&O pipeline to them would become a priority for the Confederacy. Jackson and Gen. Johnston would be the point men.

Early May, 1861 witnessed a wily game of chess between Jackson and his Union counterparts.

A precarious detente of sorts had been in place whereby Jackson was on orders to not interfere with B&O traffic – however irksome was the constant sight and night-long rumbling of coal cars spiriting coal east to the harbors in Baltimore to be used to interdict Confederate shipping.

But Jackson saw he could use his mere 44-miles of the 500-plus mile railroad to bring the whole B&O main stem to a screeching halt. That would mean no troops moving east or west, as western Virginia was struggling to become a separate state; and no more coal cars reaching Baltimore and Union ships.

Then, Union Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler provoked Confederate leaders by making his own first “chess” move.

Between May 5th and May 13th, Butler assured use of the B&O road by Union forces not only between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., but the main stem

stretching west all the way to Jackson’s area of control beginning at Point of Rocks, MD just twelve miles shy of Jackson’s headquarters at Harper’s

Ferry. Butler conducted his side of this “chess game” from the key crossroads at the Relay House nine miles from Baltimore. – (Summers, pp. 62-65)

Like every checkmate in this game of wits between Jackson, the president of the Baltimore and Ohio, and Generals like Butler, Jackson’s checkmate was “snuck” into fatal position one move at a time. Jackson’s greatest asset

in making his surprise, bloodless attack was the deluded wish and hope among the gentlemen class and the powerful that it wasn’t quite yet time for the relentless cruel hammer blows of war to fall. Jackson brought them war.

Much was at stake in terms of real assets and the conduct of this fledgling war between brothers.

This so-called chess game would come to an end soon. Jackson, on the orders of Johnston and Lee, would paralyze the B&O for ten months using – at first – only cunning and nary spilling a drop of blood or firing a single minie ball.

An estimated 56 locomotives – many weighing fifty tons – their tenders, 386 cars, 26 bridges, invaluable equipment and 36.5 miles of double track would be torn up or removed in the service of the Confederacy, the aggrieved courtesy of the B&O. – Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. – (“Thirty-Sixth Annual Report.”(for 1861) Baltimore: MD, 1864. pp. 7-8. Print).

THE LEAD-UP

Pre-war Boom Times for the B&O and Winchester-Potomac

The Baltimore and Ohio railroad held onto its business despite gathering storm clouds of war, and rival railroads by indemnifying its customers against any losses “from political or military causes.” Business, that May, 1861, was booming as demand for coal eastbound soared and the United States government began utilizing the railroad. – (Summers – p. 48).

In the 1830s, the Winchester-Potomac branch connected Winchester to the B&O at Harper’s Ferry, vastly enriching Jefferson County’s wheat farmers who

could load flour at interim stops, a crop abundantly available because the county topped all other Virginia counties year after year in total wheat production. County and Valley found an eager, well-paying market in Europe.

But the Winchester-Potomac line, on the eve of the Civil War, could only bear the loads of smaller, older locomotives and relied on flat rails instead of the more common T rail. – (Cartmell, pp. 60-62).

NOW, LET THE “CHESS GAME” BEGIN

Still in command of his new mixed bag of hard-drilling volunteers at Harper’s Ferry, Col. Jackson stood by the Virginia governor’s orders that “the road not be used to prejudice Virginia” – up to when Butler made his

first move on Sunday, May 5th. Butler began controlling the B&O line from the Relay House south of Baltimore.

Jackson counter-moved, by seizing assets on an eastbound military train after Butler ordered searches and seizures on B&O trains and of their passengers.

On Thursday, May 9th, Jackson moved in kind at Harper’s Ferry and “acquisitioned” five carloads of beeves and one of horses. He sent the assets south and bought for himself two horses, one his calm-and-steady war-horse first named “Fancy,” later “Little Sorrel.” – (Jackson, Mary Anna, pp. 171-173).

Four days later on Monday, May 13, 1861 – Butler extended his control all the way from the Relay House nine miles from Baltimore to Jackson’s stronghold at Harper’s Ferry. – (Summers, pp. 62-63).

John Imboden remembered in his article for “The Century”:

By Jackson’s orders I took possession of the bridge across the Potomac at Point of Rocks, twelve miles below Harper’s Ferry, and fortified the

Virginia end of the bridge, as we expected a visit any night from General B. F. Butler, who was at the Relay House on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. It was my habit to keep awake all night to be ready for emergencies, and to sleep in the day-time, making daily reports, night and morning, to Jackson.

One Sunday afternoon, a little over a week after we occupied this post, I was aroused from my nap by one of my men, who said there were two men in blue uniforms (we had not yet adopted the gray) riding about our camp, and looking so closely at everything that he believed they were spies. I went out to see who they were, and found Jackson and one of his staff. As I approached them, he put

his finger on his lips and shook his head as a signal for silence. In a low tone he said he preferred it should not be known he had come there. He approved of all I had done, and soon galloped away. and afterwards I suspected that the visit was simply to familiarize himself with the line of the canal and railroad from Point of Rocks to Harper’s Ferry preparatory to a sharp bit of strategy which he had been practicing for a few days. – (Imboden, p. 122-124).

On Wednesday, May 15th, Col. Jackson, figuratively, moved his queen into range of the B&O’s king. He had in mind the forty-four miles of double track that ran between Point of Rocks (12 miles below Harper’s Ferry on the opposite side of the river in Maryland) and Cherry Run, Va, thirty-two miles to its west. – (Summers, pp. 66-67).

That day, Jackson telegraphed Garrett at the B&O’s headquarters, complaining: The noise of your trains is intolerable . . . My men find their repose disturbed by them each night. You will have to work out some other method of operating them. – (Hungerford, p. 7).

Imboden continues:

(Jackson) requested a change of schedule that would pass all eastbound trains by Harper’s Ferry between 11 and 1 o’clock in the day-time, and Mr. Garrett complied, and thereafter for several days we heard the constant roar of passing trains for an hour before, and an hour after, noon.

But since the “empties” were sent up the road at night, Jackson again complained that the nuisance was as great as ever, and, as the road had two tracks, said he must insist that the westbound trains should pass during the same two hours as those going east. Mr. Garrett promptly complied, and we had then, for two hours every day, the liveliest railroad in America. – (Imboden, p. 123).

On Wednesday, May 22nd Jackson’s order to Imboden: From Point of Rocks permit all westbound trains, deny all eastbound trains and at noon the next day, close the line. – (Summers, p. 66).

Thursday, May 23rd, Jackson’s order to Kenton Harper, commanding the 5th Virginia Infantry west of Martinsburg: Permit all eastbound trains, deny all westbound trains, close the line at noon the 23rd, like Imboden. -(Summers, p. 66).

Jackson said “checkmate” at noon that day, capturing inside the trap fifty-six locomotives and more than 300 cars.” – (Summers, p. 67).

Related and Local Links:

Stonewall’s Train Trick by Jim Surkamp Click Here – TRT: 3:37.

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The B&O’s early days by ‘Jack’ Snyder Click Here. – TRT: 7:45.

‘Jack’ Snyder explains the early B&O railroad Pt. 2. Click Here. 706 words

‘Jack’ Snyder explains the early B&O railroad Pt. 2 Click Here. TRT: 4:13.

‘Jack’ Snyder on the B&O and Lincoln’s Overlooked Role as the Railroad Visionary. Click Here. 803 words

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‘Jack’ Snyder – The B&O Model Was Key to American Prosperity. Click Here. 807 words

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LOC.GOV photos:

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men using levers for loosening rails].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Related Names:

United States. Army. Military Railway Service.

Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10396 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90111 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 49b [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 49 (handwritten) and 2551 (stamped) on mount.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men using levers for loosening rails].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Related Names:

United States. Army. Military Railway Service.

Date Created/Published: [ca. 1862 or 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10397 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-B8184-10495 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 50 & 51 [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 50 & 51 (handwritten) and 2552 (stamped) on mount.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men working on bridge].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Related Names:

United States. Army. Military Railway Service.

Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Summary: Photograph showing a man boring a hole in bridge trestle and a man with Haupt’s Torpedo; back of train in background.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10406 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90115 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 59 [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 59 (handwritten) and 2560 (stamped) on mount.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men using levers for loosening rails].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Related Names:

United States. Army. Military Railway Service.

Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10394 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90109 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 48 [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 48 (handwritten) and 2549 (stamped) on mount.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: man standing on railroad tracks holding twisted rail].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10402 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90114 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 56 [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 56 (handwritten) and 2557 (stamped) on mount.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men standing on railroad track].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Related Names:

United States. Army. Military Railway Service.

Date Created/Published: [ca. 1862 or 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10395 (digital file from original photo, front)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 49a [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 49 (handwritten) and 2548 (stamped) on mount.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: pieces of rail and wood chained around a tree]
Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
Related Names:
United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
Date Created/Published: [ca. 1862 or 1863]
Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10401 (digital file from original photo, front)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 55 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Notes:

No. 55 (handwritten) and 2556 (stamped) on mount.
Title devised by Library staff.
Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).


Title: Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: African American laborers working on rail.

  • Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
  • Related Names:
    United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
  • Date Created/Published: [ca. 1862 or 1863]
  • Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10400 (digital file from original photo, front)
  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
  • Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 54 [P&P]
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
  • Notes:
    o No. 54 (handwritten) and 2555 (stamped) on mount.
    o Title devised by Library staff.
    o Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: two piles of rails and wooden ties]
Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
Related Names:
United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]
Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10398 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90112 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 52 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Notes:

No. 52 (handwritten) and 2553 (stamped) on mount.
Title devised by Library staff.
Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).


  • Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: African American laborers twisting rail]
  • Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
  • Related Names:
    United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
  • Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]
  • Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10399 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90113 (b&w film copy neg.)
  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
  • Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 53 [P&P]
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
  • Notes:
    o No. 53 (handwritten) and 2554 (stamped) on mount.
    o Title devised by Library staff.
    o Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).

Title: [Railroad construction worker straightening track; pile of twisted rails in background. 1862-63].

Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer

Related Names:

United States. Army. Military Railway Service.

Date Created/Published: [between 1862 and 1863]

Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10413 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-60086 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 67 [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • No. 67 (handwritten) and 2567 (stamped) on mount.
  • Photo in album compiled by U.S. Military Railway Dept.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Forms part of Civil War photos, military construction and transportation in Northern Virginia and elsewhere / United States Military Railway Department (Library of Congress).
  • Caption card tracings: Civil War Railroads Construction; Shelf.

  • Title: VIEW LOOKING NORTHEAST. – Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Martinsburg West Roundhouse, East End of Race & Martin Streets, Martinsburg, Berkeley County, WV
  • Creator(s): Barrett, William Edmund, creator
  • Date Created/Published: 1970
  • Medium: 4 x 5 in.
  • Reproduction Number: HAER WVA,2-MART,1A–2
  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted. (http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html)
  • Call Number: HAER WVA,2-MART,1A–2
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Title: Martinsburg

Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist

Date Created/Published: 1864 [ca. December 3]

Medium: 1 drawing on light green paper : pencil and Chinese white ; 23.5 x 32.7 cm (sheet).

Summary: Includes four scenes: Ruins of the depot; The Square; The Barricades; On the Opequan n. Martinsburg 64.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-21187 (digital file from original item) LC-USZ62-15146 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: DRWG/US – Waud, no. 308 (A size) [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Notes:

  • Signed lower right: A.R. Waud.
  • Title inscribed in center of images.
  • Published in Harper’s Weekly, December 3, 1864, p. 981.
  • Inscribed in the scene depicting The Square: Hoge’s house, Court House.
  • Inscribed on photographer’s wagon, center left: likenesses/ [Taft & Sewall?]
  • Gift, J.P. Morgan, 1919 (DLC/PP-1919:R1.2.308)
  • Reference print available in the Civil War Drawings file A.
  • Forms part of: Morgan collection of Civil War drawings.

Mason Locomotive 1860
Old Milwaukee Road.com. 15 May 2008 Web. 12 March 2012.

Troop train
Harper’s Weekly, November 7, 1863. Son of the South.net. Start date unavailable Web 10 April 2012.

“This photograph shows what happens when an ammunition train goes BOOM! George Bernard saw the results when he photographed the remains of CSA General Hood’s 28-car ammunition train, which Hood’s retreating army burned after loosing Atlanta to Sherman, September 1864″. Listserve – Top 20 Civil War Photographs. 14 June 2009 Web. 1 April 2012. Also. The Library of Congress.

Brunswick, MD Train Station
National Park Service. 22 April 1997 Web. 10 January 2012.

Relay House, MD 1858 (commentary by Jeff Lang)
Relay House, MD early 21st century (commentary by Jeff Lang)
Relay House, 1861 (commentary by Jeff Lang)
Bouquet’s battery from Harper’s overlooking Relay House (commentary by Jeff Lang) Courtesy Jeff Lang, The Thomas Viaduct Railway Bridge & Relay, Maryland. spring, 2011 Web. 17 April 2012.

Drawing of Point of Rocks
Mayer, Brantz. (April, 1857). “June Jaunt.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Vol. 14, Issue: 83. April, 1857. pp. 592-612. Print.

Mayer, Brantz. (April, 1857). “June Jaunt.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

Learn NC.org. 28 June 2010 Web. 12 April 2012.

Crippled train in Richmond
Legends of America. 19 June 2010 Web. 10 April 2012.

Map of the routes examined and surveyed for the Winchester and Potomac Rail Road, State of Virginia, under the direction of Capt. J. D. Graham, U.S. Top. Eng., 1831 and 1832; surveyed by Lts. A. D. Mackay and E. French, 1st Arty., assistants in 1831, and Lts. E. French and J. F. Izard, assistants in 1832; drawn from the original plot by Lt. Humphreys, 2d Artillery.

William_S._Harney
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

List_of_American_Civil_War_generals#Confederate-H
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Kenton_Harper
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

John_D._Imboden
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Benjamin_Franklin_Butler
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

John_W._Garrett
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Harper’s_Ferry_Railway
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

David_Hunter_Strother
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Joseph_E._Johnston
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Lew_Wallace
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Robert_Patterson
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

George_B._McClellan
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Drawing of Colonnade viaduct
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 194, July, 1866. pp. 145-146. Print.

Strother, David H. (July, 1866). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

Camelback_locomotive
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Centipede_4-8-0 locomotive
Wikipedia English. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 9 January 2012.

Weidenbach paintings of Harper’s Ferry
New York Public Library Digital Gallery. 5 April 2005 Web. 2 April, 2012

grasshopper locomotives
HowStuffWorks.com. 4 April 2008 Web. 1 April 2012.

Hamilton, L. M.; Earthworks on Camp Hill, Guarding the Road to Charlestown, Va. – Charles Town photos
West Virginia Historical Photograph Collection. 9 October 2010 Web. 10 April 2012

They Moved 18 Locomotives 38 Miles With No Rail! – (1861-2) by Jim Surkamp

9436 words

https://web.archive.org/web/20121028082452/https://civilwarscholars.com/2012/06/they-moved-18-locomotives-without-rail-38-miles-1861-early-1862/

VIDEOS:
Pt. 1 VIDEO: They Moved 18 Locomotives 38 MIles . . . With No Rail! (1861-2) by Jim Surkamp TRT: 26:08

Pt. 2 VIDEO: They Moved 18 Locomotives 38 Miles . . . With No Rail!! (1861-2) Pt. 2 by Jim Surkamp TRT: 12:52

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Stonewall’s Train Trick May-June, 1861 by Jim Surkamp 3:36

Where We Left Off . . .

When the smoke cleared, the debris had settled, and explosions faded in Berkeley, Jefferson County, Virginia and nearby Maryland in June, 1861 . . .

the buildings of the Harper’s Ferry armory complex were smoking ruins;

the bridge crossing the Potomac at Point of Rocks was destroyed;

as was the bridge upriver at Berlin, MD (today’s Brunswick).

The massive y-span bridge at Harper’s Ferry in ruins from a mighty, pre-dawn, set charge;

a Winans’ “camelback” engine squatted in the bridge’s river debris and

three sabotaged freight cars were in the drink nearby;

Hall’s Rifle works was a ruined shell;

the covered bridge over the Shenandoah River at Harper’s Ferry was wrecked;

the wooden covered bridge at Shepherdstown was, at once, just the piers;

likewise, the railroad bridge over the Opequon at Martinsburg;

likewise, the beautiful colonnade viaduct demolished nearby;

42 locomotives lay in the coal-fueled heat of their own pyres in a ravine near Martinsburg’s roundhouse;

and workmen continued pulling up rails, in order to heat and bend.

All these grim scenes were an astonishing assault and the foul fruit of many busy hands on the wheels of war. They were the railroad wheels either army could travel on. And that is the point.

The account here is about what happened to eighteen B&O locomotives, commandeered in Martinsburg and taken South without benefit of railroad tracks while also chronicling the assorted railroad depredations that occurred before and during. This is told through Ernest Schriver’s account for McClure’s Magazine in the late 19th century. (A very similar account also appeared on the first page of the Martinsburg Statesman of Feb 2, 1897). – ED.

Schriver wrote:

Smiling fortune could hardly have fashioned a situation more favorable to the plans of the Confederates, covetous of northern locomotives . . .

Between the hostile lines, and yet generally within the grasp of the southern forces, ran the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, a prosperous trunk line of standard gauge, extending from Baltimore to St. Louis and completely equipped with first-class rolling stock. And when this rolling stock was at Martinsburg, it was only only thirty-eight miles from the nearest southern

railroad, and but eighteen miles from Winchester, the terminus of one of the divisions of this trunk line, with shops and roundhouse, a point of assembly and distribution for cars and engines. The difficulties were by no means small as will be

seen. The sole means of transporting the prizes from Martinsburg (the point whence most of them were taken) to Strasburg, Virginia – where they could be placed on the tracks of the Manassas Gap railroad – was by way of Winchester over a turnpike.

It is generally conceded that the idea of taking the Baltimore and Ohio rolling stock originated with Colonel Thomas R. Sharp, who at the time of the occurrences narrated, was captain and acting quartermaster in the Confederate army.

He was a civil engineer by profession and a thorough railroad man, self-reliant and resourceful.

Orders To Thomas Sharp from Confederate Quartermaster General A. C. Myers:

Confederate States of America
Quarter Mr Genls department
June 18/ 1861

Thos. R. Sharp Esq

Dear Sir,
I think you can move the Engines & Tenders specified at least two at a time with the following force, viz 60 oxen or their equivalent in horses, 10 wagons & fifty men, including carpenters for strengthening Bridges &c. This number you can employ and also purchase such chains ropes & blocks as may be necessary.
A. C. Myers
Q Mr Genl

If the above force cannot be had for hire, you are hereby authorized to press it into the force.
S. Cooper
Adjt & Insp Genl
NA, QM 6/18/1861

(Source – National Archives (NARA); Thomas R. Sharp
Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com 6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012. The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given www.csa-railroads.com. c 2002-2012).

From Sharp’s Diary:

June 25 In Winchester – Saw Genl. Jos. E. Johnston. Started to Martinsburg at 12; arrived there 3 3/4 pm and saw 36 locomotives and many cars partially destroyed by fire. At 5 1/2 pm went to Col. T. J. Jacksons headquarters and got from him orders to his officers to stop any further destruction of machinery.

(Source – Confederate Services Records, National Archives (NARA); Thomas R. Sharp
Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com 6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012. The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given www.csa-railroads.com. c 2002-2012).

Johnston Reports on Order to Jackson

Headquarters
Winchester
June 24, 1861

General S. Cooper
Adjutant and Inspector General
Richmond, Va.

General,
. . . ** Colonel Jackson, who is in the neighborhood of Martinsburg to support the cavalry which is observing the enemy, has, according to his instructions, destroyed all the rolling stock of the road within his reach.**. . .
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. Johnston
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army

(SOURCE: Excerpt from letter from J. E. Johnston to Simon Cooper, June 24, 1861 – “The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.” (1902). Series I, Volume II, Chapter IX. p. 949).

Most of the facts given are obtained from J. E. Duke, and in 1861 Colonel Sharp’s confidential clerk. Mr. Duke, who enlisted

in the army from Jefferson County, Virginia, was detailed for duty in the quartermaster’s department (and) was present when some of the locomotives were taken. His memory has been refreshed and his facts substantiated from other sources when thought necessary.

In June, 1861, “Stonewall” Jackson, acting under the orders of General Johnston, went to Martinsburg and burned a number of cars and engines belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio road. The locomotives were but slightly injured (only the woodwork having been damaged), and were among those afterward carried off by a “railroad corps.”

Everything having been previously arranged, the forces selected to do this work – consisting of about thirty-five men, including six machinists, detailed from the ranks, ten teamsters and about a dozen laborers, left Winchester before daybreak and proceeded by the pike to Martinsburg.

They were under the immediate charge of Hugh Longest, an experienced railroad man from Richmond.

Forty horses, hired and where necessary impressed from the farmers in the rich valley, and in some cases driven by their well-to-do owners, formed a highly picturesque feature of the expedition. They were to furnish the motive power.

Fine specimens of horseflesh they were; big, brawny-limbed, well-fed and in the very pink of condition for draught work.

They would need all their strength before the day was over, for there were some troublesome hills along the route over which the ponderous iron horses were to be pulled.

Upon arrival at Martinsburg, Mr. Longest, a swarthy, wiry little man, looked about him until his eye fell upon a big locomotive standing on a side track near the roundhouse.

“That’s the fellow we’ve got to begin on. Go in, boys” he shouted. And then the skilled men and laborers began to work, using all expedition possible, for no one could say how soon they might be interrupted by the enemy. First, the tender was uncoupled,

then the engine was raised by means of jackscrews and stripped of all the parts that could be removed, such as side and piston rods, valves, levers, lamps, bell, whistle and sandbox.

All the wheels were taken off except the flange drivers at the rear. The stripping was done to lighten weight, secure greater ease in handling and for the better preservation of the running gear.

When this work had been completed, what a few minutes before had been a splendid iron Pegasus, was a helpless, inert mass; a mere shell, deformed and crippled, and ready to submit to any indignity, even to that of being hauled over a country road by the flesh and blood horses whose office it had so long usurped.

The next step was to swing the prize around until it hung poised in the air at right angles with the tracks and to replace the missing forward wheels with a heavy truck, made especially for the purpose, furnished with iron-shod wooden wheels, and

fastened to the engine’s bumper by an iron bolt serving as a linch pin. When the jacks were removed, the engine rested on the flange drivers and the wheels of the truck. A powerful chain formed the connecting link between the locomotive and the team

of horses. This chain was fastened to the single, double and “fourble” trees, by means of which the horses pulled. The arrangement was very ingenious and insured steady and united effort. The horses went four abreast and the forty,

(and) when strung along in pulling position, covered the entire width of the road and over 100 feet of its length. Probably no similar team had ever before been seen on an American road.

When all was in readiness, a teamster mounted the end of each four, Longest gave the signal, the cracks of ten whips rang out and the locomotive novel trip was begun. The off-start was merry and inspiring enough to such of the townspeople as happened

to be in sympathy with the movement and to the small boy who was as usual prime in force, it was an event keenly and long to be remembered, an experience to be treasured along with that of donning his initial pair of long trou.

but to the sturdy band of workers who had the prize in charge, the trip was anything but a holiday jaunt.

Miss Sarah Morgan McKown from near Martinsburg writes of seeing the train works

August 22st, 1861 — We all went to Martinsburg, Kitty, Mary Kate McKown, Mr. Mc, Manie, and I. we saw a very unusual sight. We met the engines and Cars going up the Pike to Winchester drawn by horses. 32 were hitched to one engine. The Southerners have full sway now.

(Sources – Berkeley-Martinsburg Public Library, West Virginia Room; Thomas R. Sharp
Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com 6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012. The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given www.csa-railroads.com. c 2002-2012).

The time made varied according to the state of the weather, the roads, the condition of the teams and various other causes.

Sometimes the whole distance to Winchester – eighteen miles – was made in a single day, while at others only three or four miles would be covered in the same time.

The average time of the entire trip was three days to Strasburg, thirty-eight miles south of Martinsburg. Often the macadam covering of the road would break through under the unwonted weight and let the iron monster down into the soft earth.

Then there was hustling. The indispensable jackscrews came into use and timbers were placed under the wheels until after, perhaps, an hour’s work a fresh start could be made. On levels, where there was good, solid road and all went well, the teams

proceeded at a fast walk; up the hills they generally went faster, because it was only by a good running start that they could get to the top at all. As it was, the big horses had to strain every muscle in ascending the grades.

Before the first trip was made, a prospecting party went over the route and examined the bridges on the line of the pike. In most instances these were not equal to supporting a heavy locomotive and it was necessary to go into the woods, cut timber

and strengthen them for the unusual burden. One of the hardest problems to solve was that of regulating the speed in descending hills. Just what the cyclist does for his wheel with his little spoon-shaped brake, the men in charge of the locomotive did for that unwieldy mass of iron, for had it once got beyond control on a sharp down-grade, nothing could have saved the horses or anything else that happened to be in the way. After considerable experiment and thought, the all-useful

jackscrew was again called into requisition and used as a brake, being fastened to the engine frame and placed sidewise against the drive wheel and tightened or loosened as the necessity arose by a man who rode on the engine.

It is hardly needful to add that this man’s position was no sinecure.

The tenders were conveyed to Strasburg in the same manner as engines, eight horses being employed to the team. Cars were not so much in demand as engines, but a number of these were taken in the same manner. They were not only used afterward for transporting war supplies on the southern roads, but served the immediate purpose of carrying the detached portions of the locomotives.

When the engines reached Strasburg they were placed on the tracks of the Manassas Gap road, which had the same gauge as the Baltimore & Ohio — five feet (SHOULD BE:”four feet”-ED), eight and a half inches — by the process employed in taking them from the rails at Martinsburg, and the tenders having been attached, they were hauled, by means of other steam power, over the road mentioned and the Orange & Alexandria and Virginia Central roads to Richmond, the detached parts remaining in the cars.

At Richmond they were assembled and kept until all had been brought from the line of the Baltimore & Ohio. Nearly a year was occupied in conveying the seized locomotives, nineteen (“eighteen” is more documented, with one not making the full trip.-ED) in all, from the Baltimore & Ohio to Richmond, most of them coming from Martinsburg, though a few were taken from Harper’s Ferry and Duffields. The reason so long a period was covered in the collection of the seized stock was that the Baltimore & Ohio road was not continuously in the possession of the Confederates.

Two or three of the locomotives which were started out of Martinsburg on the pike never got to Winchester, the Union forces having suddenly appeared upon the scene and driven off the party engaged in hauling them.

The attempt to convey them to Strasburg was never renewed and they stood by the pike between Martinsburg and Winchester until recovered by the Baltimore & Ohio people at the close of the war, somewhat the worse for their exposure to the elements, but still capable, after repairs, of doing good service.

Some of the engines were the long, lean freight haulers of the day; some were passenger locomotives, but the majority

were of the now-vanished “camelback” type, designed by Ross Winans of Baltimore. These “camelbacks” were sturdy pullers, and did excellent service in their time, but they were marvels of ugliness.

The cab was perched on top of, and well to the front of the high boiler, and the engineer stood almost over the front wheels.

In Blind Tom‘s pianistic description of the “Battle of Manassas,” he used to imitate, with that robust voice of his, the whistle of a “camelback,” and weird and blood-curdling as was the sound emitted from his lips, it was but a faithful reproduction of the original.

Now and then, the squad in “turnpiking” the engines, found it advisable in view of information received from scouts, to retire at night to Bunker Hill, a point well within the Confederate lines, to avoid the risk of capture, returning early next morning to resume operations.

Notwithstanding the length of time over which the operations extended, and the frequent proximity of the Union forces, there was never as much as a skirmish. To carry off bodily such a great mass of heavy material from points at intervals within the clutch of the opposing forces, without the loss of a single man, was indeed a remarkable feat.

Julia Chase of Winchester describes the ‘Train Haul’ in her diary

August 21st, 1861 — * The company who left {Winchester, Va.} for Martinsburg last Saturday have brought some of the Engines here, which had been thrown into the river by the Army when at the Ferry.

Julia Chase’s Second Diary Entry:

September 2nd, 1861 — One of the Engines {Baltimore & Ohio RR Engine No. 208} that was thrown into the river at Martinsburg, when the Confederate Army was at Harpers Ferry, has been brought into town {Fredericksburg} today by 32 horses, to be taken on to Richmond. It was quite a sight to see as it passed by — looking very much like an iron monster.

Julia Chase’s Third Diary Entry:

September 5th, 1861 — * A company of Militia have gone to Duffields this afternoon to bring some more Machinery or Engines {to Winchester}. (NOTE: The head of the militia involved was Turner Ashby shown here.-ED).

“Tracking” Progress From Capt. Sharp’s Diary:

September 4 Left Martinsburg at 10 am and arrived at Stevenson’s at 12 1/2 pm and took train to Winchester. Ordered part of my force to Duffields {a station on the Baltimore & Ohio RR 3 1/2 miles west of Harper’s Ferry} to remove engines from there to Halltown {a station on the Winchester & Potomac RR}.

Capt. Sharp’s Second Set of Diary Entries:

October
2 In Winchester Engine 231 put on track at Strasburg
3 In Winchester Accepted appointment of Chief Engineer, Winchester & Potomac RR
4 Left by RR to Cameron {Charleston?} and from thence to Camp Jefferson (Col. Ashby)

Capt. Sharp’s Third Set of Diary Entries

December 5 In Winchester Longest left for a visit to Harpers Ferry. Am built a temporary bridge and brought off Engine 50, four B&O cars and some arsenal machinery;
December 6 In Winchester More cars brought from Harpers Ferry today

(Source – Thomas R. Sharp
Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com 6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012. The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given www.csa-railroads.com. c 2002-2012).

The Special Problem of Moving One Locomotive – “Old 199″

The last time the “railroad corps” handled one of the captured locomotives was in the spring of 1862, when the Confederates evacuated Manassas just after the Second Bull Run. At that time the “199,” a “camelback,” and the last of the engines to be taken from Martinsburg, was at Strasburg ready to be conveyed by the way of railroads to Richmond.

The sudden move of the army rendered this impossible, as the direct route to the capital had been cut off; so the night of the evacuation the railroad force were ordered to get that “camelback” to Richmond by the only route left open,

namely, the very circuitous one by way of Mount Jackson and Staunton. Accordingly, the “199,” which had already cost so much time and trouble, was put on the tracks of the Manassas Gap railroad and taken to Mount Jackson, a distance of twenty-five miles, and thence by team over the pike, a matter of seventy miles more, to Staunton, where it was again placed on the rails, this time those of the Virginia Central, and hauled to Richmond. The trip occupied about four days, and the movement was the most hurried and exciting of the series.

Many bridges had to be strengthened en route, and in crossing some of them it was found necessary to substitute a block and fall for the horses. Staunton was reached early in the morning, and though it was scarcely daylight, the major portion of the population were up and out to see the novel cavalcade.

All the engines were kept at Richmond until the last one had been seized, the original intention having been to do the repairing and refitting there, but in May, 1862, when McClellan began his movement up the Peninsula and preparations to evacuate the capital were made, the dismantled locomotives and their dislocated members were among the very first freight started out of Richmond.

To have allowed those precious “camelbacks ” to fall into the hands of the northern troops after such risks and the expenditure of so much time, ingenuity and labor, would have been galling indeed. Colonel Sharp, who had them in charge, directed me to hurry the prizes by rail to a safe point in the South.

They were accordingly taken to a place on the North Carolina Central road, in Alamance county, North Carolina, about fifty miles west of Raleigh. The movement was successfully accomplished, and the engines found another temporary resting place. Meantime the large shop buildings of the Raleigh & Gaston railroad at Raleigh were leased by the Southern government, fitted up with improved machinery, and the Confederate States locomotive shops were established. The shops were ready for work by July, 1862, and the captured locomotives and the carloads of accessories were hauled back to Raleigh and a large force of workmen began the refitting and repairing.

* About ten months were occupied in turning out the locomotives, and it was over eighteen months, from the date of the first raid on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, before they were all in active use again.* They proved highly valuable in subsequent operations, coming into use as they did when much of the southern rolling stock was completely worn out.

The long time covered, first in securing and transporting the rolling stock, and afterwards in placing it in running order after the dismantling, showed no lack of skill or enterprise on the part of those engaged in the task . . . .

The delay was owing, in some degree, to the peculiar character of the mechanical obstacles to be overcome, but much more to the frequent changes in the positions of the contending armies. The “railroad corps” had always to follow the army.

The operations were not confined to the carrying off of cars and engines. The best portion of the equipment of the Raleigh shops, above described, including lathes, planers, drill presses and last, but not least, a turn-table were all conveyed to Raleigh in cars, by the way of the pike and railroads, from the Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse at Martinsburg.

B&O Railroad Museum Roundtable. (March 13, 2010 – A demonstration of the roundtable at the B&O Railroad Museum. One man turns the 45-ton “Thatcher Perkins” steam locomotive) – TRT: :58

More than this, at a later period of the war, the “railroad corps,” who seemed to have stopped at nothing, actually tore up and hauled away the ties, rails, chairs and spikes, forming about five miles of the Baltimore & Ohio road between Duffields and Kearneysville and relaid it from Manassas Gap to Centerville for the use of the army.

Jackson wrote from Winchester an update to Maj. Thomas Rhett, December 2nd 1861

The enemy are using the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad as far east as the Little Cacapon, and from official information received last night they commenced working on the Little Cacapon railroad bridge at 3 p.m. on Friday last, and will soon complete the work, as they had all the building material on hand. They are energetically pressing the railroad repairs eastward.

With but comparative little exception both tracks have been by our Government taken up from the Furnace Hill, near Harper’s Ferry, to Martinsburg, and about 7½ miles of one of the tracks has also been removed west of Martinsburg. One track is as yet preserved for the purpose of hauling away the other to the vicinity of Martinsburg.

Captain Sharp, assistant quartermaster, has repaired a locomotive for the purpose of removing the track more rapidly, and today I expect it to commence running, and Captain Sharp expects to be able with it to remove 1 mile per day of the single track. I have made a detail of 50 men from the militia for the purpose of expediting the work as rapidly as possible.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. J. Jackson
Major-General, P. A. C. S., Commanding Valley District

(Jackson to Rhett, December 2, 1861 – Official Record of the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Vol. 5, Chapter XIV, p. 976)

J.L. Sullivan of the B&O told Union Gen. George McClellan pretty much the same thing with more detail in a letter September 7, 1861:

. . . Have just heard that Confederates have taken up about 9 miles of the iron on our track above Martinsburg for repairs of their roads toward Richmond, and have also removed a considerable portion of our telegraph wires for transfer in the same direction. All this is in addition to five locomotives and some $40,000 worth of valuable machinists tools and materials for railroad repairs, & c., lately taken from our Martinsburg shops, and of which they stated they were greatly in need at the South. The engines were hauled by turnpike through Winchester to Strasburg or some other point on Manassas road . . .

(Sullivan to McClellan, September 7, 1861 – “Official Record of the War of the Rebellion.” Series 1, Vol. 5, Chapter XIV, p. 587.

Mr. Duke remembers and relates with dry humor how, after most strenuous efforts, this piece of track was got into position late Saturday evening and how the very next day, Sunday, it was captured by the Union forces. This episode occurred just prior to Second Bull Run and was a striking example of the extreme uncertainty of war movements.

T. K. Cartmell Recalls Train Times

This writer witnessed several of these dangerous exploits. . . . the rails were rapidly torn up; cross ties piled in heaps, and great fires made. On these, the rails were thrown and soon misshapen and useless iron rails were tumbling around. Then the troopers would jump into their saddles again, and move rapidly to another point and await the arrival of the long freights, so rich with the things soldiers needed; and in the rear of this train at a safe point, more track would be torn up, and the raiders waited for the big freight to hurry back from the scene the Rebels had so lately made for them.

On their backward movement, they would run into the break last made, and while the train men were in confusion, the cavalry boys dashed up with yells and pistol firing that demoralized the B&O crew . . . The B&O was equal to the emergency, and with the aid of the Government soon got their road bed in shape, but too late to deliver reinforcements. . . It was in constant use, the government paying millions for the transfer of shifting armies from East to West, Oftener, however, from West to East, to recruit the great army of the Potomac.

(Cartmell, pp. 60-62).

Then-Colonel Sharp was, not many years after the war, made master of transportation of the Baltimore & Ohio road and filled that important position for a number of years under President John W. Garrett, who was at the head of the road during the war,

and who was able to appreciate enterprise and ability, even when for a season directed against his own interests.

References:

Baldwin Locomotive Works; Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. (1881). “Illustrated catalogue of Locomotives.” Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott & Co. Print.

Baldwin Locomotive Works; Burnham, Parry, Williams & Co. (1881). “Illustrated catalogue of Locomotives.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 13 June 2012.

“The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.” (1902). NOTE on authors: Robert N. Scott compiled and edited v. 1-18, 1880-87, and also collected the greater part of the material for v. 19-36, 1887-91. After his death in 1887 the work was continued by Henry M. Lazelle, 1887-89, and by a board of publication, 1889-99, consisting of George B. Davis, 1889-97, Leslie J. Perry, 1889-99, Joseph W. Kirkley, 1889-99, and Fred C. Ainsworth, 1898-99; from 1899-1901 edited by Fred C. Ainsworth and Joesph W. Kirkley. Gettysburg, Pa: Gettysburg National Historical Society. Print. Series I, Volume V – Chapter XIV, p. 976; p. 949;

“The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.” (1902). Series I, Volume V – Chapter XIV.

“The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.” (1902). Series I, Volume II, Chapter IX. p. 949.

Jackson and the Locomotive Haul – Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com
6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012. The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given www.csa-railroads.com. c 2002-2012.

Cartmell, Thomas K. (1909). “Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descendants: A History of Frederick County, VA.” Winchester, VA.: Eddy Press Corp. pp. 60-62. Print.

Cartmell, Thomas K. (1909). “Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descendants: A History of Frederick County, VA.” Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 1 March 2012.

Chase, Julia; Lee, Laura. (2002). “Winchester Divided: The Civil War Diaries of Julia Chase and Laura Lee.” edited by Michael G. Mahon. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Press. pp. 8-17. Print.

Dwyer, Thomas. “Map of the Manassas Gap Railroad and its extensions; September, 1855.” Baltimore, MD. Print.

Dwyer, Thomas. (1855). “Map of the Manassas Gap Railroad and its extensions; September, 1855.” United States. The Library of Congress: American Memory. “Maps Collection.” 27 Oct. 2009 Web. 14 June 2012.

(SUMMARY: Topographical map of part of northern Virginia showing relief by hachures, drainage, cities and towns, counties, roads, and railroads with distances. Includes profiles. Chartered March 11, 1850. Opened in 1854 from Manassas Junction to Strasburg. Va. Consolidated June 1, 1867, with the Orange and Alexandria, forming the Orange, Alexandria, and Manassas Railroad).

Eggleston, George Cary. (1875). “A Rebel’s Recollections.” New York, NY: Hurd & Houghton. Print

Eggleston, George Cary. (1875). “A Rebel’s Recollections” Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina Library. 22 Aug. 2008 Web. 28 Dec. 2010.

Chase, Julia; Lee, Laura. (2002). “Winchester Divided: The Civil War Diaries of Julia Chase and Laura Lee.” edited by Michael G. Mahon. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Press. pp. 8-17. Print.

“War-Time Diary of Miss Sarah Morgan McKown” – Berkeley-Martinsburg Public Library.

Schriver, Ernest. “Stealing Railroad Engines.” (1889 or 1898-ED). from “Tales from McClure’s: War, being true stories of camp and battlefield.” New York, NY: Doubleday & McClure co. Print.

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Captured from Baltimore & Ohio Railroad by Jackson in June 1861 and hauled to Confederate railroads by Capt. Thomas Sharp – Captured Union Locomotives. csa-railroads.com 6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012.
The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given www.csa-railroads.com. c 2002-2012

Steam Locomotive Glossary. Railway Technical Web Pages. 10 October 2004 Web. 12 June 2012.

Video – B&O Railroad Museum Roundtable. (March 13, 2010 – A demonstration of the roundtable at the B&O Railroad Museum. One man turns the 45-ton “Thatcher Perkins” steam locomotive) – TRT: 00:58

Martinsburg Statesman Feb 2, 1897, P. 1.

Flickr Set/Image Credits:

Point of Rocks, MD. by Meyer Brantz, p. 595 –
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Mayer, Brantz. (April, 1857). “June Jaunt.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

Bridge Destroyed, Harper’s Ferry, Va. 1861
Gardner #7649 “Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. View of town; railroad bridge in ruins.” plate 1861-1865. (Library of Congress).

Ruins Shepherdstown Bridge today by Jim Surkamp – using Googlemaps.

Hall’s Rifle Works, Harper’s Ferry, Va.
Photographs from the West Virginia and Regional History Collection. 9 October 2010 Web. 9 April 2012.nsus

Drawing of Colonnade viaduct by D. H. Strother
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 194, July, 1866. p. 146. Print.

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Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
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Stonewall Jackson full-body
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Stonewall Jackson (head)
“Battles and Leaders. Vol. 1. Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel (Ed.). New York, NY: Century Co. p. 121. Print.

Battles and Leaders. Vol. 1. Internet Archives: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music, and Wayback Machine. 27 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 Sept. 2010.

Ruins of the Depot by Alfred Waud

Title: Martins burg

Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist

Date Created/Published: 1864 [ca. December 3]

Medium: 1 drawing on light green paper : pencil and Chinese white ; 23.5 x 32.7 cm (sheet).

Summary: Includes four scenes: Ruins of the depot; The Square; The Barricades; On the Opequan n. Martinsburg 64.

Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-21187 (digital file from original item) LC-USZ62-15146 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.

Call Number: DRWG/US – Waud, no. 308 (A size) [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Destruction of Railway Cars at Harper’s Ferry – Harper’s Weekly July 20, 1861, p. 455.

Camelback Locomotive in the River at Harper’s Ferry – Harper’s Weekly July 20, 1861, p. 452.

Piers of destroyed bridge at Berlin, MD. (Brunswick/Barry)
Miller, Francis Trevelyan. (1911). “The photographic history of the Civil War: in ten volumes. Vol. 2 New York : Review of Reviews Co. p. 57. Print.

Piers of destroyed bridge at Berlin, MD. (Brunswick/Barry)
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Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men using levers for loosening rails
About This Item Obtaining Copies Access to Original
Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: men using levers for loosening rails]
Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
Related Names:
United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]
Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10396 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90111 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 49b [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

[Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: two piles of rails and wooden ties]
Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: two piles of rails and wooden ties]
Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
Related Names:
United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
Date Created/Published: [1862 or 1863]
Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10398 (digital file from original photo, front) LC-USZ62-90112 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 52 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Mason Locomotive 1860
Old Milwaukee Road.com. 15 May 2008 Web. 12 March 2012.

Antique locomotive screw jack
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camel 1855, detail camel 1864
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Macadam Road 1850s
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Blind Tom Bethune
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Thomas R. Sharp
Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com. 6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012. The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given (www.csa-railroads.com). c 2002-2012.

Sharps’ Map detail Martinsburg Harpers Ferry
Sharp’s Raid Map
Confederate Railroads. csa-railroads.com.
6 April 2002 Web. 9 June 2012
The contents of this web site are copyrighted. Data may be used from these pages for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given to David L. Bright and the address of this site is given (www.csa-railroads.com).
c 2002-2012

Sharp’s Raid Map -Confederate Railroads. 6 April 2002 Web. 5 April 2012.

Furnace Hill property; Robt Duke’s heirs property
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Thomas Sharp, Hugh Longest, J. E. Duke
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G. C. Eggleston
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Strasburg.MtJackson.Staunton.Richmond – Jim Surkamp, maps – Dwyer, Vaisz

Strasburg.MtJackson.Staunton.Richmond with Googlemaps
Map showing Strasburg, Mt. Jackson, Staunton and Richmond , VA. – Googlemaps added artwork by Jim Surkamp

strasburg.mtjackson.map,
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(SUMMARY: Topographical map of part of northern Virginia showing relief by hachures, drainage, cities and towns, counties, roads, and railroads with distances. Includes profiles. Chartered March 11, 1850. Opened in 1854 from Manassas Junction to Strasburg. Va. Consolidated June 1, 1867, with the Orange and Alexandria, forming the Orange, Alexandria, and Manassas Railroad).

staunton.vacentral.richmond
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flanges on locomotive wheels
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google.mb.winchester.strasburg – Googlemaps and Jim Surkamp

loco.woodenwheel.baltd.p12
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baldwin.loco.6wheel.p21
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baldwin.loco.american.p66
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Cameron’s Depot, VA. – with artwork by Jim Surkamp
Map of the routes examined and surveyed for the Winchester and Potomac Rail Road, State of Virginia, under the direction of Capt. J. D. Graham, U.S. Top. Eng., 1831 and 1832; surveyed by Lts. A. D. Mackay and E. French, 1st Arty., assistants in 1831, and Lts. E. French and J. F. Izard, assistants in 1832; drawn from the original plot by Lt. Humphreys, 2d Artillery.

Locomotive General.com. 10 May 2002 Web. 12 June 2012.

The Great Locomotive Chase Civil War, Railroad Learning Activity:
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B&O train going over a bridge, June, 1857
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A “Terminus” Rough
king206a
The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:
Electronic Edition.
King, Edward, 1848-1896
Illustrated by Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903
iv, [17]-802, [4] p., ill.
Hartford, Conn. American Publishing Co. 1875
docsouth.unc.edu/nc/king/king.html
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Pair of MuleBoots
king434b
The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:
Electronic Edition.
King, Edward, 1848-1896
Illustrated by Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903
xiv, [17]-802, [4] p., ill.
Hartford, Conn. American Publishing Co. 1875
docsouth.unc.edu/nc/king/king.html
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

The Carpenter
king487
The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:
Electronic Edition.
King, Edward, 1848-1896
Illustrated by Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903
xiv, [17]-802, [4] p., ill.
Hartford, Conn. American Publishing Co. 1875
docsouth.unc.edu/nc/king/king.html
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

A Wayside Sketch
king 473
The Great South; A Record of Journeys in Louisiana, Texas, the Indian Territory, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland:
Electronic Edition.
King, Edward, 1848-1896
Illustrated by Champney, James Wells, 1843-1903
docsouth.unc.edu/nc/king/king.html
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

dhs.mts7.p680.cuttimber
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dhs.p.300 wagon-driver
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dhs.va2.p303 driver with cattle
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 10, Issue: 57, Feb., 1855. pp. 289-310. Print.

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dhs.va3.p289.tomlongbow
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 11, Issue: 63, (August, 1855). pp. 289-311. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1855). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011

dhs.va3.p292.twohorses
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 11, Issue: 63, August, 1855. pp. 289-311. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1855). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011

dhs.va3.p295.womanchairtwist
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 11, Issue: 63, August, 1855. pp. 289-311. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1855). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011

dhs.va4.p159.emigrantshalt
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 12, Issue 68, Jan., 1856. pp. 158-179. Print.

Strother, David H., (Jan., 1856). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011

dhs.dec.1853.camp.p24
A Virginian. “Virginia Canaan.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 8, Issue 43, December, 1853. pp. 18-36. Print.

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dhs.dec.1853.horsestrain.p25
A Virginian. “Virginia Canaan.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 8, Issue 43, December, 1853. pp. 18-36. Print.

A Virginian. (December, 1853). “Virginia Canaan.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.dec1853.p31.boots
A Virginian. “Virginia Canaan.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 8, Issue 43, December, 1853. pp. 18-36. Print.

A Virginian. (December, 1853). “Virginia Canaan.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

turnerashby.jan.1867.p189
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 34, Issue: 200, January, 1867. pp. 172-192. Print.

Strother, David H., (Jan., 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harpers Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.
dhs.aug.1867.hay.p275
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 35, Issue: 207, August, 1867. pp. 273-296. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1867). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harpers Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010

dhs.va4.p172.manonhorse
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 12, Issue: 68, Jan., 1856. pp. 158-179. Print.

Strother, David H. (Jan., 1856). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011

dhs.va5.p316.woodchopper
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 13, Issue: 75, August, 1856. pp. 303-323. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1856). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011
dhs.va5.p322.saddler
Strother, David H., “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 13, Issue: 75, August, 1856. pp. 303-323. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1856). “Virginia Illustrated.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011

dhs.mt2.applejack.p814
Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. II.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 44, Issue: 264, May, 1872. pp. 801-815. Print.

Strother, David H. (May, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. II.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.mt3.p31.clerk
Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. III.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 45, Issue: 265, (June, 1872). pp. 21-35. Print.

Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. III.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

reversals of the bachelor
Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 44, Issue: 267, August, 1872. p. 362. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.mt4.p353.hiredboy
Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 44, Issue: 267, August, 1872. pp. 347-366. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.mt4.p354.dishingup
Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 44, Issue: 267, August, 1872. pp. 347-366. Print.

Strother, David H. (August, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.mt4.p360.job
Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 44, Issue: 267, August, 1872. pp. 347-366. Print.

Strother, David H., (August, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. IV.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

cutting timber. p. 680
Crayon, Porte. “The Mountains. Pt. VII.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 46 Issue: 275 April, 1873. pp. 669-681. Print.

Crayon, Porte. (April, 1873). “The Mountains. Pt. VII.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.mts6.p803.majorspartner
Crayon, Porte. “The Mountains. Pt. VI.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 45, Issue: 270, November 1872, pp. 801-816

Crayon, Porte. (November, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. VI.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

dhs.fixbridge.april1868.p570
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 36, Issue: 215, April, 1868. pp. 567-582. Print.

Strother, David H. (April, 1868). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

dhs.mts6.p811.horseback
Crayon, Porte. (November, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. VI.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 45, Issue: 270, November, 1872, pp. 801-816. Print.

Crayon, Porte. “The Mountains. Pt. VI.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

dhs.mts5.p.506.soldierwhite
Crayon, Porte. “The Mountains, Pt. V.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 45, Issue: 268, September 1872, pp. 502-516. Print.

Crayon, Porte. (September 1872). “The Mountains, Pt. V.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

Crayon, Porte. “The Mountains, Pt. VI.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 45, Issue:
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine November 1872, pp. 801-816. Print.

Crayon, Porte. (November 1872). “The Mountains, Pt. VI.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. III.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 45, Issue: 265, June, 1872. pp. 21-35. Print.

Strother, David H. (June, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. III.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

Strother, David H., “The Mountains. Pt. II.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 44, Issue: 264, May, 1872. pp. 801-815. Print.

Strother, David H. (May, 1872). “The Mountains. Pt. II.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 29 May 2011.

The Library of Congress:

Title: [Military railroad operations in northern Virginia: pieces of rail and wood chained around a tree]
Creator(s): Russell, Andrew J., photographer
Related Names:
United States. Army. Military Railway Service.
Date Created/Published: [ca. 1862 or 1863]
Medium: 1 photographic print : salted paper.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-10401 (digital file from original photo, front)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LOT 9209, no. 55 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Valley Pike – Shenandoah Valley
Title: Valley Pike – Shanandoah Valley
Date Created/Published: [1922]
Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-npcc-07473 (digital file from original)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-F8- 21649 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

[Five sketches along the Valley Pike in the vicinity of Fishers Hill, Strasburg, Cottontown, Mount Hope, Toms Brook, etc.]. CREATED/PUBLISHED. [186-]

[Map of the vicinity of Strasburg, Virginia].
CREATED/PUBLISHED [186-] NOTES: Relief shown by hachures. Title, date, and scale from Stephenson’s Civil War maps, 1989.
Pen-and-ink and pencil (some col.) over 1/2 inch pencil grid, mounted on cloth.
Reference: LC Civil War maps (2nd ed.), H190. In pencil on verso: 479. Scale [ca. 1:126,720].

The escape of Stonewall Jackson’s Army down the valley pike at Strausburg [sic], Va.
Title: The escape of Stonewall Jackson’s Army down the valley pike at Strausburg [sic], Va.
Creator(s): Forbes, Edwin, 1839-1895, artist
Date Created/Published: 1862 June 2.
Medium: 1 drawing.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-22374 (digital file from original item) LC-USZ62-79156 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: DRWG/US – Forbes, no. 27a (B size) [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Richmond,Va. Crippled locomotive, Richmond & Petersburg Railroad depot
Title: [Richmond, Va. Crippled locomotive, Richmond & Petersburg Railroad depot]
Date Created/Published: [1865]
Medium: 1 negative (2 plates) : glass, stereograph, wet collodion.
Summary: Photograph of the main eastern theater of war, fallen Richmond, April-June 1865.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-02704 (digital file from original neg. of left half) LC-DIG-cwpb-02705 (digital file from original neg. of right half) LC-B8171-3258 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-B811- 3258 [P&P] LOT 4162-E (corresponding print) LOT 4177 (corresponding print)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Richmond, Va. Damaged locomotives
Title: [Richmond, Va. Damaged locomotives]
Date Created/Published: [1865]
Medium: 1 negative (2 plates) : glass, stereograph, wet collodion.
Summary: Photograph of the main eastern theater of war, fallen Richmond, April-June 1865.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-02496 (digital file from original neg. of left half) LC-DIG-cwpb-02497 (digital file from original neg. of right half) LC-B8171-3155 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-B811- 3155 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Culpeper Court House, Virginia. View near depot showing locomotive on Orange & Alexandria Railroad
Title: Culpeper Court House, Virginia. View near depot showing locomotive on Orange & Alexandria Railroad
Creator(s): O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882, photographer
Date Created/Published: 1862 Aug.
Medium: 1 negative : glass, stereograph, wet collodion ; 4 x 10 in.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-00224 (digital file from original neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-B815- 530 [P&P] LOT 4164-F (corresponding print)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Locomotive
Title: [Locomotive]
Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist
Date Created/Published: [between 1860 and 1865]
Medium: 1 drawing on tan paper : pencil ; 11.3 x 14.1 cm. (sheet).
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-20146 (digital file from original item) LC-USZ62-137133 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: DRWG/US – Waud, no. 773 recto (AA size) [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Virginia. Locomotive on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad
Title: [Virginia. Locomotive on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad]
Creator(s): O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882, photographer. Date Created/Published: 1862 August.
Medium: 1 negative : glass, stereograph, wet collodion ; 4 x 10 in. Summary: Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Bull Run, 2nd Battle of, Va., 1862, July-August 1862. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-00236 (digital file from original neg.) LC-B8171-0546 (b&w film neg.). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. Call Number: LC-B815- 546 [P&P] LOT 4166-K (corresponding print) LOT 4177 (corresponding print). Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Amish farmer and his team of draft horses, Lancaster, Pennsylvania Digital ID: (digital file from original) highsm 15975 Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-highsm-15975 (digital file from original) LC-HS503-5476 (color film transparency). Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Amish farmer and his team of draft horses, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Title: Amish farmer and his team of draft horses, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Creator(s): Highsmith, Carol M., 1946-, photographer. Date Created/Published: [between 1980 and 2006]
Medium: 1 transparency : color ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-highsm-16027 (digital file from original) LC-HS503-5534 (color film transparency). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-HS503- 5534 (ONLINE) [P&P] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Amish farmer and his team of draft horses, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Title: Amish farmer and his team of draft horses, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Creator(s): Highsmith, Carol M., 1946-, photographer. Date Created/Published: [between 1980 and 2006]
Medium: 1 transparency : color ; 4 x 5 in. or smaller. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-highsm-15984 (digital file from original) LC-HS503-5485 (color film transparency). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-HS503- 5485 (ONLINE) [P&P]. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. Ruins of arsenal
Title: [Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. Ruins of arsenal]
Creator(s): Holmes, S. A. (Silas A.), 1819 or 20-1886, photographer. Related Names: Woodbury, D. B. (David B.), d. 1866 , photographer. Date Created/Published: 1862 October. Medium: 1 negative : glass, stereograph, wet collodion ; 4 x 10 in.
Summary: Photograph from the main eastern theater of the war, Battle of Antietam, September-October 1862.
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-00302 (digital file from original neg.) LC-B8171-0655 (b&w film neg.). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. Call Number: LC-B815- 655 [P&P] LOT 4164-G (corresponding print)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Destruction of a railroad bridge
Creator(s): O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882, photographer. Date Created/Published: Hartford, Conn. : War Photograph & Exhibition Company, [photographed May 26, 1864, printed later]. Medium: 1 photographic print on stereo card : albumen ; 4 x 7 in. Summary: Photo shows a smoldering railroad bridge on the North Ana River in Virginia. Confederate troops destroyed the bridge to slow down advancing Union soldiers. (Source: Zeller, p. 73). Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-stereo-1s02801 (digital file from original stereograph, front) LC-DIG-stereo-2s02801 (digital file from original stereograph, back) LC-USZC4-1802 (color film copy transparency). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. Call Number: LOT 4177, no. 201 [item] [P&P]. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

Ruins of the bridge over the Shenandoah. Loudon Heights beyond
Title: Ruins of the bridge over the Shenandoah. Loudon Heights beyond
Creator(s): Waud, Alfred R. (Alfred Rudolph), 1828-1891, artist. Date Created/Published: 1864 [Autumn]
Medium: 1 drawing on light green paper: pencil and Chinese white ; 19.5. x 35.0 cm. (sheet).
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-21434 (digital file from original item) LC-DIG-ppmsca-21773 (digital file from original item, text) LC-USZ62-11684 (b&w film copy neg.). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: DRWG/US – Waud, no. 516 (A size) [P&P]. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Preparation and technical administration by Jim Surkamp.

Dennis Frye – the Great Train Robbery Harper’s Ferry May 23rd, 1861

725 words

Dennis Frye – the Great Train Robbery TRT: 4:22

Dennis Frye

May 23rd, 1861 was the day Virginians cast their recorded voice vote on whether or not to back the decision, taken April 18th in a secret session of the Virginia Secession in Richmond to secede. Even though hostilities were breaking out before the referendum, Virginia’s secession was legally not official – until May 23rd. So when the results showed approval by adult white males that day for the secession, Jackson felt free to act as if there was really a war going on.

Colonel Jackson, of course, had the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad running through Harper’s Ferry. That’s a very, very important point of passage for the B&O, the railroad crosses the river there, over an 800-foot-span bridge – a covered wooden bridge that was built by the railroad during the late 1830s. The railroad crossed into Virginia, specifically because it was having a huge battle between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the B&O Railroad – with respect to trying to stay along the Potomac and the narrow corridor along the Potomac. So, the B&O railroad finally said: “Enough of this. We’re going to cross the river at  Harper’s Ferry, go into Virginia, pass through Virginia and then we’ll return to Maryland near Cumberland. Ultimately, the B&O railroad would make it all the way to the Ohio River near Wheeling. Well, no one predicted civil war in the 1830s and now the B&O railroad is literally caught between the jaws – clamped between the jaws of north and south. Now, this presented a predicament for the president of the railroad John W. Garrett, based out of Baltimore. President Garrett wanted to keep both sides happy. I mean, his interest was money. His interest was to keep those locomotives moving and to keep those rail lines open. So, he is trying to be friend to both the union and confederate authorities, including Jackson at Harper’s Ferry, because he knows Jackson can strangle him in a moment. Well, traffic is continuing in a rather normal pace. Trains would be stopped at Harper’s Ferry by Jackson. On occasion, they would be searched. But there was a lot of railroad traffic. Well, Jackson knew that the confederacy needed locomotives and cars. What better place than the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to potentially have that become not being old property but Confederate States’ property. So, May the 23rd, 1861, Jackson hatches a scheme. He has sent confederate forces under Captain Turner Ashby to Point of Rocks. He sends confederate cavalry under J.E.B Stuart to Martinsburg and there they are, along about a 30-mile stretch of the B&O railroad with Harper’s Ferry, roughly in the middle between Point of Rocks and Martinsburg. He has informed Mr. Garrett that his trains can no longer operate at night, because it disturbs the sleep of his men. They can’t rest. Now, I’ve lived in Harper’s Ferry and I know that, when those trains come through there, it’s extremely noisy. So, Jackson has a legitimate point. So, no more night travel by the B&O and, of course, Mr. Garrett complies, knowing that Jackson really holds the key to the continuation of railroad travel across the river. Well, during the daylight hours, Jackson now complains again and says: “My men can’t hear the commands because there’s too much rail traffic and so I’m going to order you to restrict your traffic between 11 am in the morning and 1 pm in the afternoon.” Mr. Garrett said: “Well, yes sir Colonel Jackson, I’ll do whatever you say, just so we can keep those railroad lines open.” So, now we have the busiest railroad in the United States trying to cram all of its locomotives and cars all of its business through this funnel at Harper’s Ferry between 11 in the morning and 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Well, Jackson has now set the stage for his trap. On May the 23rd, he sends orders to Stuart and to Ashby to allow the trains to pass by them into this 30-mile stretch; but, Stuart blockades all trains going west, so you can’t go beyond Martinsburg and Ashby blocks all trains going east so they cannot continue to Baltimore, and on that day between 11 and 1 o’clock Jackson will bag 56 locomotives and some 300 freight cars that belong to the B&O Railroad. Now that is the great train robbery. 

Joe Crane and His Family (by Tom Steptoe)

8321 words

https://web.archive.org/web/20190710022343/https://civilwarscholars.com/2011/06/joe-crane-one-man-and-his-family-tom-steptoe/

“Joe Crane – One Man and His Family” – Tom Steptoe
by Jim Surkamp on June 27, 2011 in Jefferson County
Joseph Minor Crane
Company B, 12th Virginia Cavalry
Grandfather of Actor, Randolph Scott

By Tom Steptoe

jj-crane_-joe_-dec_-62-sick_-killed-e1309209477339-300×199

I was a beneficiary of many family stories from Margaret Crane Steptoe and Sara Sadler Crane (who, hereinafter, will be identified by her nickname, “Tay”). I regret that I did not do more to record their recollections while they were living. This is especially true in the case of Tay, who was a brilliant, and immensely entertaining, oral historian. My goal is to record as much of what they told me as I can remember, while I can still remember it. I hope that this information might be of interest to present and future Sadler/Lionberger/Crane descendants.

Background of Joseph Minor Crane

Joe Crane was born in Charlestown, Virginia circa 1842. He was the son of John William Crane and Margaret Sadler. He was the grandson of Joseph Minor Crane and Catherine Price (“Kitty”) Strother. He was the great-grandson of James Crane and Lucy Minor. James Crane had come from Spotsylvania County into what would become the Charles Town area circa 1765 as a land agent for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. James went on to become one of the original trustees of the newly-formed Charlestown, Virginia (1786). Later (1802), James was one of the first two delegates elected from the newly formed Jefferson County to the Virginia General Assembly. James was the son of John Scanland Crane, who served as Colonel of the Colonial Militia, Justice of the Peace, and Sheriff of Spotsylvania County. James’ mother was Elizabeth Ferguson. John Scanland Crane was born in 1700 in Spotsylvania County, and was the son of another John Crane. That is as far as I have been able to go back on the Cranes. I will leave it to others who might be interested to ascertain when and from whence the Cranes came to Virginia. However, it has been suggested to me that they may have had roots on the Isle of Man, UK.

Like many Jefferson Countians, Joe had deep roots in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was a descendant of Robert Beheathland (of Cornwall), who was the only original settler at Jamestowne (1607) known to have left descendants in The New World. A recent article by Brantley Carter Bolling Knowles in the October 2009 Issue of the Jamestowne Society Newsletter goes even further by asserting that Robert Beheathland was the only member of the original expedition to now have living descendants anywhere, to-wit:

ROBERT BEHEATHLAND
“Ancient Planter”

Robert Beheathland is one of the “Gentlemen” listed as being on the three
ships that landed in what is now Virginia on that momentous day in May
of 1607. There are no exact listings of who was on each of the three ships,
but it is known that he was one of them. Recent research by John Frederick
Dorman has determined that Beheathland is the only person on the three
ships who has direct descendants living today.

Many of the original settlers were from near London. Research has revealed
the reason why Robert Beheathland, who hailed from the remote Parish of
St. Endelyon, Cornwall, was among this group. It is believed that Beheathland was a young cousin of Edward Maria Wingfield, one of the planners of the expedition to Virginia. The early settlers needed sheet copper to trade with the Indians. The Beheathland family was privileged and owned copper and
tin mines.

Robert Beheathland lived through the visits with Capt. John Smith for the
first Christmas at Kecoughtan, the Starving Time, and the Indian massacres.
He is listed as an “Ancient Planter” in the 1624/1625 muster roll, which
lists the survivors after the Indian attacks. His surname is unfamiliar today,
as Beheathland was survived by daughters.

Joe Crane shared this “bloodline” with quite a few members of Company B, including the Baylors and Aisquiths, through their common descent from Benjamin Strother.

The Strother Connection

It has been noted that Joe Crane’s grandmother was Catherine Price Strother Crane. The Strother connection to Jefferson County begins with Benjamin Strother. The following appears in Jamestown to Charles Town: Descendants of Robert Beheathland and Allied Families, an excellent book by Mary H. Tayloe (who was a Rutherford from Charles Town):

“Benjamin Strother, 1750-1807, son of Anthony Strother I, and his wife, Behethland Storke, m. 1778 Catherine Price, 1753-1805, daughter of William and Jane (Brown) Price of Westmoreland County. Benjamin was a midshipman in the Virginia Revolutionary Navy and later served in the Land Forces. Some of the Continental money with which he was paid for his services descended to his grandson, the late Gen. David Hunter Strother “Porte Crayon.” After the conclusion of the war, Benjamin immigrated with his family to the Valley of the Shenandoah and settled on a 600-acre farm he called “Park Forest,” three miles from Charles Town, then Berkeley County, now the County Seat of Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia. (In the County Clerk’s Office in Martinsburg, WV, there is a deed dated September 2, 1788 from Bushrod Washington to Benjamin Strother for a tract of 302 acres and another deed dated 1796 from Henry Lee and wife to Benjamin Strother for 305 acres).”

Benjamin and Catherine had five children who had descendents, to-wit: Catherine Price Strother who married Joseph Minor Crane; Elizabeth Strother who married Benjamin Pendleton; Margaret Strother who married Cato Moore, II; Mary S. Strother who married Richard Duffield; and John Strother who married Elizabeth P. Hunter.

“Park Forest” has long since ceased to exist, but the house appears to have been off the Leetown Road, northwest of Ranson. Its location can be seen on the old Howell Brown maps. At the time that Howell Brown produced his maps, “Park Forest” appears to have been owned by the Thomson family.

Essentially, Benjamin Strother’s girls married into Jefferson County families that would go on to be loyal Confederates; his son John, though, moved to Martinsburg, married a Hunter, and eventually settled in Berkeley Springs where he operated a hotel. His son, David Hunter Strother, the renowned artist “Porte Crayon”, would try to stay neutral during the Civil War, but would end up as a Union General under the tutelage of his Berkeley County cousin (on his mother’s side)—-the infamous, pyromaniacal General David Hunter.

The Sadler Connection

Joe’s mother was Margaret Sadler. Her parents were Leonard Llewellyn Sadler and Sara Boley Sadler. Unfortunately, I know nothing of Leonard’s forebears, nor even the place of his birth. According to Tay, Sara Boley had roots in Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana, which, if true, would suggest an Acadian connection. I believe that Leonard was born in 1799 and died circa 1860. What I do know is that Leonard was a successful furniture maker. He acquired what is known as the “Sadler Block” in Charles Town which fronted on West Washington Street (next to the former jail and current post office building) and extended back to West Congress Street (next to the former Board of Education building and current facility of American Public University). Over the years, a large building was constructed facing West Washington Street (which now houses Collins’ Barber Shop, Jumpin’ Java, and several other businesses and offices on the second floor) with a dependency (which recently housed a wine shop), and a small house facing West Congress Street (which Tay always called the “Link House” because a beloved teacher, a Miss Link, rented it as her residence for many years—the house is now owned by the American Public University and stands opposite their main facility in what used to be a hospital and, then, Knott Nursing Home), and a carriage shed extending back from West Congress Street (which was torn down in the 1960s to make room for the law offices of Avey & Steptoe— one of the partners, Thomas W. Steptoe, Sr., was married to a Sadler descendant).

Margaret Sadler (Crane) was the only girl of her generation; she had three brothers, John, George and Leonard, Jr. (who, in his youth, acquired the dubious nickname of “Loonie”). She was also the only Sadler to have children as the brothers remained bachelors. The boys continued to run and expand the business. Probably the most significant items of “furniture” that the Sadler Brothers fashioned were two coffins (in those days furniture makers were the precursors to the undertaking business which would develop more as a specialty later): a coffin for the body of John Brown and a coffin for the body of Confederate hero, Turner Ashby. As will be discussed later, there is, however, a question as to whether or not John Brown was actually buried in the Sadler coffin. With the onset of the Civil War, John and Leonard (“Loonie”) joined the Stonewall Brigade while George remained at home to keep the business afloat. John and “Loonie” survived the War and returned to the business. The last surviving brother was Leonard, Jr. At the time his closest living relative was Joe Crane, his nephew. However, perhaps because Joe had made some ill-advised business decisions, Leonard skipped over him to Joe’s son, my grandfather, Charles Leonard Crane—leaving everything to him.

After Leonard, Jr.’s death, the furniture and undertaking business were sold to the Strider family. Those businesses have survived into the present as the Strider Colonial Funeral Home and Ramey’s Furniture Store. But the family retained ownership of the Sadler Block. In the 1960s, Sadler descendants sold the old carriage shed to Avey & Steptoe, for the construction of a law office. Finally, in 19****, Sadler descendants Sara Sadler Crane and Margaret Crane Steptoe sold the remaining real estate to the Widmyer family of “Federal Hill.”

The Minor Connection

As previously noted, Lucy Minor was Joe’s great-grandmother. Like her future husband, James Crane, Lucy hailed from Spotsylvania County, Virginia. She was the daughter of a Thomas Minor by his wife, Alice Thomas. Thomas Minor owned about 2000 acres in Spotsylvania County including his primary estate, “Locust Grove.” James’ father, John Scanlon Crane, was a contemporary of Charles Washington in Spotsylvania County, where they both served as Justices. Because these families were acquainted, we have a possible clue as to why James Crane brought his young bride out to the “Bullskin Plantations,” leaving a commodious lifestyle in Spotsylvania behind to come to an area a generation or so removed from the frontier—he may have followed Charles Washington, who owned, along with other Washington family members, considerable real estate around present day Charles Town.

Uncle Joe—another Joseph Minor Crane

Tay always referred to this Joseph Minor Crane as “Uncle Joe” and I will do the same to avoid confusion between the “Joes.” Uncle Joe resided on the family home place, which has been referred to as “Locust Grove”—presumably being named after the Minor homeplace in Spotsylvania County. “Locust Grove” was a farm located at the end of present day “Crane’s Lane” which extends westerly from North Mildred Street (now State Route 115) in Ranson, crosses the N&W railroad tracks and goes back about a mile to the farm. It appears that this farm was originally a part of the greater “Park Forest” tract and probably represented Catherine Price Strother Crane’s inheritance from her father, Benjamin Strother. Uncle Joe was the last democratically elected Sheriff of Jefferson County, Virginia (1860). But he is best known in the family for what might be dubbed “The Battle of Locust Grove.” During the Civil War, two Yankee cavalrymen appeared at “Locust Grove” and started to take Uncle Joe’s horses. Although he was quite elderly at the time, Uncle Joe wasn’t going to suffer this theft without a fight. One Yankee slashed Uncle Joe with a saber and Uncle Joe shot and killed him. The surviving Yankee fled threatening to return with a squadron of cavalry to wreak vengeance. According to Tay, Uncle Joe then fortified himself in his barn with four muskets and his three daughters. Sure enough the Yankees returned in force. While the daughters reloaded the muskets, Uncle Joe kept the Yanks at bay and wounded the commanding lieutenant. Eventually Uncle Joe ran out of ammunition and the Yankees were able to seize him. This is when things really got interesting. The Yankees put him on one of his own horses and set out with him for their headquarters at Harpers Ferry. However, when they got east of Charles Town on the Harpers Ferry Pike (now US Route 340), they encountered General David Hunter Strother. According to Tay, Strother told the startled lieutenant: “That man is my cousin. If anything happens to him, I will personally shoot you!” An account of this incident appears in Strother’s A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War:

Several miles from town I saw a countryman riding down the
road guarded by a file of cavalry. I recognized my friend and
cousin, Joe Crane. He was riding a workhorse without a saddle.
His clothes were spotted with blood and his hand bloody and maimed.
His face was livid but firm. He said a trooper had come to his
house and was taking his horses before his eyes. He remonstrated
and resisted. The man sabred him and Joe shot him dead. I grasped
his hand, promised my best service, and advised him to immediately
report with his guard to headquarters. He rode on and left me sad
and appalled. Joe was my father’s favorite nephew and his best friend. He must be saved….

Had it not been for the intervention of David Hunter Strother, Uncle Joe would, in all likelihood, have been summarily executed. As it turned out, he got a fair trial before a military tribunal in Baltimore and was acquitted. According to Tay, the following dialogue took place between the presiding officer and Uncle Joe at the end of the proceedings:

Presiding Officer: Col. Crane, I have only one bone to pick
with you.
Uncle Joe: What is that, sir?

Presiding Officer: That you didn’t kill that damned lieutenant!

Another Uncle — Smith Slaughter Crane

Smith Crane had been involved with the company of Jefferson County men formed to go to California during the “Gold Rush.” The only story that I recall Tay recounting about Smith had to do with a youthful wager, a legend and St. George’s Chapel. Early on, St. George’s chapel had outgrown itself and it was abandoned in favor of the construction of a larger Episcopal Church in Charles Town—Zion Episcopal Church is the modern day incarnation of that project. Even in Smith Crane’s youth, St. George’s was a decaying edifice. According to Tay, the legend runs like this: A certain young lady was in love with two men—she could not decide between them. Eventually the young men fought a duel in which both died. Not long thereafter, the young woman died “of a broken heart.” All three were buried at St. George’s. At midnight on each anniversary of the duel, it was said that the young woman’s spirit would rise and flit back and forth between the graves of her two loves—still unable to choose between them.

And so, several of Smith Crane’s friends dared him to retrieve a specially marked Book of Common Prayer from a spot in the chapel ruins at midnight on the anniversary of the duel. He accepted the challenge. The specially marked book was placed in the chapel not long before midnight and Smith’s friends waited in Charles Town for his agreed return with the book not long after midnight. Smith rode out to St. George’s Chapel, collected the book and, then, suddenly, his horse bolted and raced back to Charles Town. Smith did not see a ghost, but apparently his horse did.

In his old age, Smith lived with Joe at “Glen Lavinia” in Rappahannock County, as his name appears on a census record of that household. It is also interesting to note Smith’s middle name—Slaughter. Since the Cranes generally used family names as middle names, that fact strongly suggests that the Cranes were kin to the Slaughters. I don’t know where the connection ties in, but I suspect that it comes through the Minor family.


Having discussed Joe’s background and relations, I will now come forward from 1859, with Joe, his brother, the Lionbergers, and his Sadler relatives.

The John Brown Execution

After John Brown was condemned to hang, the Sadlers were called upon to “handle the arrangements.” Brown was conveyed to the gallows in the Sadler’s wagon (which is now on exhibit in the Jefferson County Museum in the basement of the Old Charles Town Library), driven by George Sadler. In route, it appears that Sadler and Brown had a cordial conversation; however, I have seen so many different versions of it, that I am loath to pick one version over another, except that all versions appear to agree that the conversation ended with the following remark from Brown: “This is a beautiful country. I never had the opportunity to see it before.” After the execution, it was Sadler’s duty to convey the deceased, who had been secured in the coffin, to Mrs. Brown and a special train. According to Tay’s recitation of a Sadler family tradition, when Sadler arrived with the body, the door to a boxcar of the waiting train flung open, and several men jumped out, grabbed the coffin, flung it violently into the boxcar, jumped back in and slammed the door shut. Immediately thereafter, Sadler heard the sound of chisels and hammers. I do not know if this really happened, but it is plausible that an effort might have been made to ascertain if John Brown could be revived. And if it did happen, it is probable that the workmen did enough damage to the coffin that Brown’s body would necessarily have been transferred to another coffin for burial.

Stonewall Brigade

On May 28, 1861, Joe Crane enlisted in Company G of the 2nd Virginia Infantry at Camp Johnston at Harper’s Ferry. He remained in the infantry until his Baylor cousins formed a cavalry company, “The Baylor Light Horse”, later known as Company B, 12th Virginia Cavalry. Joe, and many others in the Stonewall Brigade from Charles Town, joined up. Joe brought along his younger brother, Charlie Crane, who was 15 or 16, and one of his uncles, Leonard L. Sadler, Jr. Another uncle, John Sadler, remained with the Stonewall Brigade.

Company B, 12th Virginia

George Baylor, in Bull Run to Bull Run, described Company B as follows: “Its members were principally the sons of farmers of Jefferson County, Virginia, mere school-boys, who had not attained their majority or completed their education…in its ranks were youths who today stand in the front of various occupations of civil life. There was ex-Postmaster-General William L. Wilson; Charles Broadway Rouss, the merchant prince and philanthropist, of New York; Charles Henderson, vice-president and general manager of the Reading Railroad; Hon. W. D. English, of California; Thomas D. Ransom, a prominent lawyer of the Staunton Bar; William L. Thomson, a leading member of the Atlanta Bar; H. D. Beall, of the Baltimore Sun; Julian Hutchinson, a capitalist and member of the City Council of Atlanta; Timberlakes, eight in number, all gallant soldiers; Washingtons, Mannings, Terrills, Cranes, Aisquiths, Gallahers, Alexanders, Craighill, Frazier, Mason, Sadler, Strider, McClure, Howell, Hunter, Lackland, Seldon, Yates, and many others whose names, in Virginia, suggest pride, prowess and parentage.”

Baylor, in Bull Run, continues: “No arms or equipments were furnished the company by the Confederate Government, the men owned their horses, and Uncle Sam very kindly and very soon provided us the very best pistols, sabers, saddles and bridles he had in stock. Everything but ourselves was branded U.S.” And again, “Early in the conflict we recognized the fact that the Federal officer was our equal, and that our chief strength and superiority lay in our rank and file. If our opponents were fought at long range, the officers had the opportunity to bring to their aid discipline and authority over the actions and conduct of their men; when in close contact, they lost control, and their men, lacking individuality, became as sheep without a shepherd; while with us, every private was a general and needed no guidance or direction from his officer. In the camp and in the field the Confederate soldier was ruled by affection and example, and was treated as an equal. Especially was this the case in our company, where we bore the relation of brother, cousin, school-mate, neighbor and friend.”

Early Exploits

One of Company B’s first missions was during the Battle of Kernstown (indeed, this incident occurred before “The Baylor Light Horse” was designated as Company B, 12th Virginia, and was just an independent company under the overall, but loose, command of Turner Ashby). Baylor relates the story in Bull Run: “In the beginning of this fight, a call was made for twenty men from our company to report to General Jackson. At this time a Federal battery a short distance off was pouring a vigorous fire into our ranks. When the call was made, it was accompanied with the report that Jackson wanted the men to charge that battery, and volunteers from the company were slow in responding. At this juncture, Charlie Crane, a youth then about sixteen, rode forward, saying, ‘Come on boys, we have but one time to die,’ took his place in the detachment, and, others following his example, the number was soon complete. Great was our relief, however, when on reporting to General Jackson, we were directed by him to take position on his extreme left and report any attempt of the enemy to outflank him.”

After the 1st Valley Campaign, General Jackson crossed the Blue Ridge to assist General Johnston and General Lee in the defense of Richmond, leaving only Company B to keep tabs on the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley. This assignment brought a detachment of Company B, under George Baylor, to Luray where Baylor had the initial misfortune of meeting one of our ancestors, John Lionberger. Lionberger, a former member of the Virginia General Assembly, was both elderly and outspoken. Baylor takes up the story in Bull Run: “Hospitable entertainment was afforded me that evening at the home of the Jordans, while Henry Beall and some others of the company had comfortable quarters at the Lionbergers. Mr. Lionberger was then quite an old gentleman, and having expressed in the presence of Beall a desire to see the officer commanding the company, Beall kindly offered to go over to the Jordans and introduce him. He came, he saw, and was sorely disappointed. At that time I was a mere stripling boy, just twenty years of age, weighing one hundred pounds, and not very attractive or warlike in appearance. Mr. Lionberger returned home much disgusted, and so expressed himself to Beall, saying, ‘What can you expect to accomplish with that stripling for a leader?’ Beall, like a true friend, reported his remark to me, and my blood boiled in my veins, but I said nothing—only thought. The next morning, with 25 men, I started on the road to Front Royal, inwardly resolved to do or die. No one knew how desperate the old gentleman’s disparaging remarks had made me…..About one-half mile south of the place (Front Royal), however, we came suddenly upon the enemy’s cavalry picket reserve, and finding the town occupied by a large infantry force. Our men were soon scattered, pursuing fleeing Yankees in every direction. Noticing a company forming in front of the hotel, with about 40 men in line, I called Henry Beall and Charlie Crane to my assistance, dashed in among them, and drawing my pistol on the officer in command, demanded a surrender. He turned to his men and commanded them to ground arms—an order quickly obeyed…Our handful of men were soon overwhelmed with prisoners, and I was satisfied that we must beat a hasty retreat…Our situation was critical indeed, and, gathering up as many of the prisoners as could hastily be gotten together, our retreat was begun. We left Front Royal with about 300 prisoners, most of them infantrymen, and among them a major and two captains….our little band returned to Luray, camping near that place for the night…On our return to Luray, the company met with an ovation and were feasted right royally. All doubts as to our fighting qualities were now removed, and Company B was on the ladder of fame. Mr. Lionberger very frankly congratulated me, and was ever after a warm friend and admirer, and one of his fair daughters composed and set to music a little song dedicated to the “Baylor Light Horse.” Only one verse can now be recalled:

At a town among the mountains,
Where amid the sparkling fountains
Camped a host of Yankees in their boasted might,
Baylor boldly charged among them;
From their sleep he did arouse them,
And, like Murat, rode bravely thro’ the fight.

Chorus

“Come, come, come boys, come,
Come all ye who’d live in story,
He will lead you to glory
O’er fields cold and gory,
He’ll lead you, boys, where honor’s to be won.”

I have not been able to determine which of John Lionberger’s daughters composed and played the song, but Lavinia Lionberger, one of his “fair daughters,” would, in 1865, become the wife of Joe Crane and, ultimately, the grandmother of Randolph Scott.

Who were the Lionbergers?

Before continuing with the adventures of Company B, this is as good a place as any to record the limited information I have on this family. According to Tay, the Lionbergers were German-speaking natives of Mulhouse in French-controlled Alsace. They were Protestants, then called Huguenots, who, due to the Counter Reformation, found it expedient to remove to the more tolerant environs of Bern in Switzerland. From that place they came to Virginia, probably as part of the migration sponsored by Joist Hite. They obtained a patent for 1000 acres from Lord Fairfax which appears to have covered bottom land and the flanks of Hawksbill Mountain, which places their holdings in the vicinity of present day Stanley, south of Luray. Eventually they moved to Luray and constructed one of those large, utilitarian houses like those one finds in Shepherdstown, on the main street of Luray. As of this writing the house still stands. I have seen some reference on the Internet from other Lionberger descendants who claim to have located the site of the original homeplace near Stanley, but I have not as yet located the same. According to Tay, the Lionbergers were extremely artistic and creative people.

French Leave

During the winter of 1863, Company B was in camp near New Market. Apparently the men pined for their native Jefferson County and sought permission to “scout” the Lower Valley. George Baylor, in Bull Run, takes up the story: “Permission was asked of General Jones for the company to make a scout in the lower Valley, but the request was refused on grounds we esteemed unreasonable and insufficient. Plans were laid by some of the men, including Lieutenant Rouss and myself, to outgeneral the General. The camp-itch, a disease peculiar to soldiers living on hard-tack and mess-pork, was then prevalent in our brigade. Taking into our confidence our regimental surgeon, Dr. Burton, one morning about a dozen of us appeared before the surgeon’s tent and made application to be sent to the hospital at Harrisonburg to be treated for this disease, and certificates were accordingly granted us. Reporting to the surgeon in charge of the hospital, Dr. Waddell, a Virginia gentleman of the old type, our certificates were presented and we were booked as patients at that institution. Without critical examination into our cases, some anointing ointment and a little bottle of Fowler’s Solution of Arsenic was furnished each of us and permission granted to make our stay with friends and acquaintances in the vicinity of the hospital, with directions to report occasionally at the surgeon’s office. Having now arranged our program satisfactorily, the following morning we started down the Valley, determined to try our hands on the Yankees in that section, well assured that a successful venture would make the amende honorable and sufficient excuse with our officers for our little deviation from the line of military rectitude. Our little band of about a baker’s dozen was composed of Lieutenant Rouss, John Chew, Billy Manning, Charlie Henderson, Charlie Crane, John Yates, John Coleman, George Crayton, Billy Gibson, Up Manning, Joe Crane, Duck English and myself. We crossed the mountain to Luray and passed through Front Royal, stopping at regular intervals with friends along the route. February 12th found us at Summit Point, where information was received of a small scouting party of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry, numbering 21 men, passing that place a short time before our arrival, going in the direction of Middleway or Smithfield…This information greatly pleased us, and off we started in pursuit of the Yankee scouting party. Passing “Happy Retreat,” the home of one of our sweethearts, we were urged not to pursue, as the enemy was too strong for us, but we had travelled 60 miles in hunt of a fracas, and nothing could dissuade us. In fact, we were spoiling for a fight. As Middleway is approached from the direction of Summit Point, there is a straight stretch of road, probably a mile in extent, just before entering the town. Here the enemy was in full view, slowly sauntering along, totally oblivious of the fact that any foe was in the vicinity. Nearing the hill just south of the town, our gait was accelerated, our pistols made ready, and we struck its rear, with the head of the column just over the hill. So intent were they in conversation and so unmindful of our presence, that the rear file was shot down and we were pressing into the column before they were aware of danger. No resistance was made, but pell-mell down through the town they ran, with our little band, yelling like hyenas, in close pursuit, suffering mostly from their mud-pelting, and closing the race at the toll-gate just north of the town…With the prisoners and horses we returned to Summit Point, and thence down to Locke’s Shop, where a stop was made to let Lieutenant Rouss have his horse shod. Fatal stop. The smith had nearly completed the job when a body of Yankee cavalry was seen approaching from the direction of Charlestown. The prisoners with horses and a small guard were hurried down Locke’s lane, and with a handful of men a dash was made on the advance of the enemy’s column, to hold it in check a few moments, to give prisoners, captured horses, and guard a little start. The movement was more successful than we anticipated, as the head of the column was broken and thrown into confusion. In this charge, John Chew and Charlie Crane displayed conspicuous gallantry.”

Brandy Station

In June 1863, Company B found itself in the thick of the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Brandy Station, as it was the first Confederate unit on the field to contest the Yankee seizure of Fleetwood Hill, a strategic location.

Baylor takes up the story in Bull Run: “At this critical juncture, our regiment and White’s Battalion were ordered to repair in haste to Fleetwood Hill, about a mile in our rear, to meet a column of Federal cavalry under General Gregg which had passed to our right and rear and was in possession of Brandy Station. The Twelfth regiment moved off in a gallop, Company B in the advance, with instructions to charge the enemy as soon as he appeared in sight. The regiment, in the great haste with which it repaired to the point designated, became much scattered and lengthened out, with Company B considerably in advance. When the summit of Fleetwood Hill was gained, we discovered the enemy’s cavalry, which proved to be the First Maryland, coming up the southern slope of the hill, in platoons, with its flag and guidons fluttering in the breeze, closely followed by the First Pennsylvania and the First New Jersey to our left, all under the command of Colonel (Sir Percy) Wyndham, who, in 1862, our brigade had captured near Cross Keys. These Federal regiments presented a beautiful, but awe-inspiring, sight to our little troop; but Lieutenant Rouss, in obedience to orders, gave the command to charge, and down the slope we darted, striking the head of the column and throwing it into rout and confusion. But our success was of short duration, for the First Pennsylvania, now charging, by force of numbers pressed our company back to the top of the hill, when the residue of the Twelfth regiment coming up, the fight for the possession of the hill became general…..While the Twelfth Cavalry was wrestling with the enemy for the possession of Fleetwood Hill, Colonel White, with his battalion, arrived, and, making a gallant charge, drove the enemy back and seized their guns, just planted to the south of the hill; but after holding them for a few minutes was driven back. General Stuart in person now joined us in the fight, and the contest was renewed with increased vigor under General Stuart’s personal leadership, without much regimental or company organization, but more as a body-guard. Several times the enemy reached our guns, which had taken position on the hill and had become our rallying point; but after a desperate struggle had been driven back in confusion and with great loss. We were now fighting Gregg’s entire division of cavalry and Russell’s brigade of infantry. At this juncture, the Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Virginia Cavalry of our brigade came up, and, charging the enemy, captured their guns and drove them back and away from Brandy Station, causing Gregg to retreat in rout and confusion, and so the day’s fight was virtually ended.”

Company B Impresses General Stuart and General Lee

On October 12, 1863, Company B was involved in action at Warrenton Springs. According to Baylor, in Bull Run, “Pressing on to the river at Warrenton Springs, we found the enemy had posted his artillery on an eminence beyond the stream and placed their dismounted men in rifle-pits near the banks of the river to contest our advance…At this juncture, General Stuart ordered me to charge with Company B across the river and drive the enemy from their rifle-pits…Generals Robert E. Lee, Ewell, Stuart and others were in full view, watching the movement. It was the occasion of our lives. The order was given, and down the road the company dashed amid a shower of bullets, and reached the bridge over the river, to find the flooring torn up. Here we were forced to halt, face about and strike for a ford below. This movement was effected without faltering, and soon the river was crossed and the rifle-pits, with a large number of prisoners, in our possession….As we passed up out of the river and our horses leaped over the rifle-pits, our infantry on the opposite banks greeted us with loud cheers. This was the first and only occasion during the war, that I know of or heard of, where the infantry showed such appreciation of the cavalry…General Stuart, in his report of this engagement, says: ‘This little band of the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry was worthy of special praise, as it was made under circumstances of great embarrassment. Charging first up to the pier of the bridge, it was discovered that it had been taken up, thus exposing them to a dangerous fire from the enemy on the opposite side. Nothing daunted in purpose, however, they turned about and took the road to the ford below, which they plunged into in the face of the enemy’s fire without halt or hesitation’….on the 20th we moved back and took up quarters near Culpeper, establishing pickets on the south bank of the Rappahannock. On the morning after our return, Company B was agreeably surprised by an order from General Lee, received through General Stuart, granting the company a furlough of ten days, with permission to return to our homes in Jefferson, as a reward for gallant conduct at Warrenton Springs. A shout went up as we moved off for home, friends and relatives; and, notwithstanding the fact that those homes were within the Federal lines, no blockade was sufficient to keep us out, and the time was happily spent.”

The End

Joe and his brother, Charlie Crane, were with a group of Company B on detached duty in Luray when word of Appomattox came. It was over. The Crane brothers had survived the War without serious wounds. This was particularly remarkable in the case of Charlie Crane, who had earned the reputation of being one of the most reckless combatants in a unit that enjoyed that reputation generally.

The Crane brothers started down the Valley to surrender at Winchester and then continue further down the Valley to home (or what was left of it) in Charlestown. But only Joe would make it home.

On an apparently warm spring day, the Cranes and their companions stopped by the Shenandoah River where Charlie Crane entertained the group with trick diving. When he did not resurface, his companions initially assumed that he was up to his usual pranks. They discovered, too late, that Charlie had struck his head on a submerged rock and drowned. His accidental death, which devastated Joe, was an irony of ironies considering what he had recently survived.

Charlestown, Virginia had become Charles Town, West Virginia

An entire paper could be devoted to the circumstances surrounding West Virginia’s expropriation of Jefferson County. But that is not my focus here, although some discussion of it is necessary to explain what Joe Crane did and why.

When the trans-Allegheny counties of Virginia were considering secession from Virginia, their representatives canvassed as far east as the Shenandoah Valley to ascertain if there existed any interest there in joining the new state of West Virginia. There was none, especially in Jefferson County, which, according to Tay, had sent a higher percentage of its fighting age male population to the Confederate military than any other county in Virginia, except Henrico. And all things being equal, the founders of West Virginia probably would have left Jefferson County alone, as they did Clarke County and Frederick County (Winchester). But all things were not equal because the B&O Railroad’s main line to the West crossed the Potomac at Harpers Ferry from Maryland into Jefferson County, Virginia, and continued through Jefferson County towards Martinsburg. The founders of West Virginia wanted that railroad in “their” state; the B&O, still smarting from Stonewall Jackson’s seizure of their locomotives, wanted their lines in a “friendly” state; and so it was decided that West Virginia must have Jefferson County. In this chicanery the founders of West Virginia found powerful allies in the Lincoln Administration, which had a cozy relationship with the B&O, and, by extension, the United States Army that by 1863 controlled most of Jefferson County, at least by day. But they needed to appear to have the support of the residents of Jefferson County which they knew would never be forthcoming. So they conducted an unpublicized “plebiscite” with polls open only at Harper’s Ferry and Shepherdstown where they were guarded by federal troops. Any voters who did show up were required to give an oath of allegiance to the United States in order to vote. Most residents of Jefferson County did not know of the plebiscite until after the fact. When they did become aware of it, they did not take it seriously as they still clung to the belief that the South would win its independence. By the time Joe Crane returned home, efforts were being made to seek reunification with Virginia. When the Virginia General Assembly was made aware of the fraud, Virginia sued in the United States Supreme Court for recovery of Jefferson County, and other counties where similar tactics had been employed. But there was to be no justice for ex-Confederates in the Supreme Court which turned a blind eye to one of the most fraudulent plebiscites ever conducted on American soil. When the residents of Jefferson County tried to vote for a Virginia congressman, the Governor of West Virginia sent in federal troops to restrain them. Charlestown, Virginia, which was closer to Richmond than Winchester, would be Charles Town, West Virginia forever.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to live in West Virginia”

According to Tay, that is what Joe Crane said when Virginia’s effort to recover Jefferson County failed. Jefferson Countians were heartbroken over what one resident termed “the deep damnation of our taking off from our dearly loved mother.” Joe Crane left. He returned to Luray, his wartime home, where he married Lavinia Lionberger; and then, in time, took Lavinia east across the Blue Ridge to Rappahannock County where he, and some other expatriate Jefferson County families, settled. He built an extravagant house on property just east of Sperryville which he named “Glen Lavinia.” With the assistance of a distant cousin, James William Fletcher, Esq., of “Thornton Hill” near Sperryville, I have been able to locate “Glen Lavinia” as being about 2 miles east of Sperryville on US Route 522, off a road called Slaughter Lane, in a relatively flat area still known locally as “Crane’s Bottom.” When I visited this area I noticed two Victorian structures about 100 yards apart that looked like they might have been once connected as one structure—my speculation is that these two structures are, indeed, what is left of “Glen Lavinia.” Joe had exercised poor judgment in constructing such a mansion given the nature of farming in the Reconstruction South. Eventually he lost “Glen Lavinia” and moved to Roanoke where he wrote for the local newspaper while Lavinia ran a boarding house. In the fullness of time, though, Joe would return with his family to Charles Town.

The Next Generation

Joe and Lavinia Crane had six children, five girls and one son. The son was named Charles Leonard Crane in honor of Joe’s deceased brother. The girls were Mary Blanche Crane, Margaret Sadler Crane, Lucy Lionberger Crane, Georgia Newton Crane, and Elizabeth Isabel Crane. Charles L. Crane was born while the family lived in Rappahannock County. During his youth, Charles developed a friendship with a Henry Turner, an artist who lived nearby off Yancey Road. Turner was a widower who had also lost his only child, his daughter Lottie. He insisted that Charles Crane, whom he may have regarded as a surrogate son, have two of his most valued paintings: one of his daughter, Lottie, and the other, styled ‘The Convalescent’, which was a self-portrait, painted while he was studying art in Dusseldorf, Germany. Both paintings remain in the hands of Crane descendants.

In 1891, one of Charles’ sisters, Lucy Lionberger Crane, married George C. Scott. They would become the parents of George Randolph Scott, who would later drop his first name.

In 1899, with the passing of Leonard L. Sadler, Jr., the last of the Sadler brothers, Charles Crane inherited the Sadler estate which consisted of stocks and bonds, a furniture and undertaking business, and the business real estate known as the Sadler Block. So, at the age of 20, Charles Crane, who had grown up in post-Reconstruction Virginia in difficult circumstances, found himself to be “a man of property.” Because the inherited assets were in Charles Town and had to be managed, Joe swallowed his pride and returned with his family to his hometown.

Colonel Preston Chew was one of the most respected men in Charles Town at the time. He had led Stuart’s famous “Flying Artillery” unit and was credited, among other things, with having saved Charlottesville from George Armstrong Custer’s legions. After the war, Col. Chew became a stockbroker, but the boldness that distinguished him as a soldier did not serve him or his clients well in business. According to Tay, he convinced young Charles Crane to liquidate $20,000 (in 1900 dollars) in US Steel stock to invest the proceeds in a mid-western railroad venture that proceeded to go belly up. But, nonetheless, the Crane family continued to carry on in Charles Town in relative prosperity. In 1904, Joe died and was buried at Zion Episcopal Church.

Charles purchased the house at 201 West Washington Street (located across Washington Street from the library and across Samuel Street from the Old Moose Club, which is now owned or leased by the American Public University). This house is known now as the “Tate-Fairfax-Muse House” in honor of its original inhabitants, but during the first half of the twentieth century it was known as the Crane House, as the Cranes owned it longer than any other family. In 1909, Charles Crane married Annie Megquier Lionberger, of Booneville, Missouri. They had three children: Sara Sadler Crane (Tay), Margaret Leonard Crane (Steptoe) and Charles L. Crane, II. The Crane House appears to have been somewhat of a social center in Charles Town, reflecting Charles’ social personality, with the constant comings and goings of cousins and friends such as the Daniels, Browns, Alexanders, Wysongs, Nelsons (including the future Mrs. Edward McDonald), and Browses (including the future Mrs. J. Blackwell Davis).

Because Charles was, at the time, the most prosperous of his generation, he frequently entertained the families of his sisters, including that of Lucy Lionberger Crane Scott, then living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because of the expense involved in travel, when family came to visit, they generally stayed for months. According to Tay, Charles Crane often complained that “from the first crocuses of spring until the last leaf of fall, I run a boarding house.” But his complaints were in jest, as it appears that he enjoyed his family, and generally liked people, and he was especially fond of the Lucy’s son, George Randolph Scott, who went by the nickname “Randy.”

Randy Scott and his family came to Charles Town almost every summer in the first two decades of the 20th Century. His uncle, Charles Crane, taught him how to ride, which would serve him well in later years, and another relative, “Unc” Perry, to whom he was related through the Strother connection, taught him how to swim. During his visitations, Randy also developed a friendship with John Peale Bishop, through whom he may have met F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Charles Crane either owned or leased a farm known as “The Tyler Farm” which was located down the Keyes Ferry Road near the Shenandoah. It was there that he and a group of friends, including Philip Nelson, grandfather of Philip Nelson McDonald of “Rock and Tile,” constructed the first 9-hole golf course in Jefferson County.That property has probably now been completely swallowed up by one of the limestone quarries operating in the Millville area. Their summer playground was a stretch of the Shenandoah River known locally as the “Big Eddy” where “Unc” Perry owned a property called “Camp Easy.” Later on, in 1929, Charles Crane and his friend Francis Daniel would acquire 100 acres on the western flank of the Blue Ridge directly above the Big Eddy, where Francis constructed a cabin and Charles maintained a cook-out spot, behind an overlook constructed by the highway department (which is now closed). A good portion of this land was eventually sold under threat of eminent domain to the Department of the Interior as a buffer for the Appalachian Trail, but a portion of the residue of that land remains to this time in the hands of descendants of Charles Crane, Thomas W. Steptoe, Jr., and Capt. James Ormond Crane.

Extra-Familial References

Baylor, George. (1900).”Bull Run to Bull Run: Four years in the army of northern Virginia.” Richmond, VA: B. F. Johnson Publishing. Print.

Baylor, George. (1900). “Bull Run to Bull Run: Four years in the army of northern Virginia.” Google Books. 19 July 2008. Web. 24 Dec. 2010.

Strother, David H., (1961). “A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War: The Diaries of David Hunter Strother.” ed. Cecil D. Eby, Jr. Chapel Hill, NC: Univ. of North Carolina Press. Print.

Strother, David H., (1961). “A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War: The Diaries of David Hunter Strother.” ed. Cecil D. Eby, Jr.

FLICKR SETS:

Joe Crane
Charles Crane
George Baylor
SOURCE:
Baylor, George. (1900).”Bull Run to Bull Run: Four years in the army of northern Virginia.” Richmond, VA: B. F. Johnson Publishing. Print.

Baylor, George. (1900). “Bull Run to Bull Run: Four years in the army of northern Virginia.” Google Books. 19 July 2008. Web. 24 Dec. 2010.

Park Forest
Strother, David H., “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, New York, NY: Harper and Bros. Volume 33, Issue: 193, June, 1866. P. 4. Print.

Strother, David H. (June, 1866). “Personal Recollections of the Civil War.” Harper’s Magazine. 7 May 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.

Fightin’ Fever in Charlestown, Va. April, 1861 – David Hunter Strother

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VIDEO: Fightin’ Fever Charlestown, Va. April, 1861 – David Hunter Strother TRT: 8:11

David Hunter Strother

David Hunter Strother, who wrote for Harper’s Monthly for many years, with the nom de plume “Porte Crayon”, was born in 1816 in Martinsburg. His was a prominent, but a divided family. His wife came from the Hunters in Charlestown (Va.). Ardently Confederate. In fact, John Brown was hanged on land offered by Rebecca Hunter, called “Hunter’s field,” for his hanging. In the June, 1866 volume of Harpers New Monthly Magazine, Strother wrote down some of his personal recollections of the war:

“The New York papers speak of the Southern people as ‘effete;’ and there seems to be an impression prevailing generally in the North that the physique of the Southern people is deteriorated by a life of luxurious and dissolute idleness. If the dapper ideologist who entertains such an idea should happen to come in contact with some hardy Southern mountaineer carrying a hundred and fifty pound buck on his shoulder – some stark and sinewy swamper with his swivel of a ducking-gun – some hard-riding Tony Lumpkin of the rural gentry, the preux chevalier of tournaments, cock-fights, and quarter-races, he would presently find out who was ‘effete.’

“There is probably not a population to be found who, by their habits of life, occupation, and amusements, are better fitted for soldiers than that of the Southern States. Horses and firearms are their playthings from childhood. Impatient of the restraints of school houses and work shops they seek life and pleasure in the soil, and thus early learn the topography of nature, the ways of the fields and forests, swamps, and mountains. Their social and political life, but little restrained by law or usage, develops a vigorous individuality. For the most part, ignorant of the luxuries and refinements of cities, they prefer bacon and whisky to venison and champagne. Tall, athletic, rough, and full of fire and vitality, the half-horse, half-alligator type still predominates in the lower and middle classes of the South.”

“While there were still a few men found in Charlestown in April, 1861, who stubbornly struggled against the sweeping current, the women of all ages and conditions threw themselves into it without hesitation or reserve. Their voluble tongues discussed the great question as rationally and philosophically as might be expected under the circumstances, while their nimble fingers aided more intelligently in solving the problem of clothing and equipping the hastily levied defenders of ‘God’s glory and Southern rights.’

“Sewing societies were organized, and delicate hands which had never before engaged in ruder labor than the hemming of a ruffle now bled in the strife with gray jeans and tent cloth. Haversacks, knapsacks, caps, jackets, and tents were manufactured by hundreds and dozens.

The gift most in vogue from a young lady to her favored knight was a headdress imitated from those worn by the British troops in India and called a Havelock. Laden with musket, sabre, pistol, and bowie-knife, no youth considered his armament complete unless he had one of these silly clouts stretched over his hat. Woe to the youth who did not need a Havelock; who, owing to natural indisposition or the prudent counsel of a father or a friend, hesitated to join the army of the South. The curse of Clan Alpin on those who should prove recreant to the sign of the fiery cross was mere dramatic noise compared with the curse that blighted his soul. His schoolmates and companions who had already donned ‘the gray’ scarce concealed their scorn. His sisters, rallied, reproached, and pouted, blushing to acknowledge his ignominy. His Jeannette, lately so tender and loving, now refused his hand in the dance, and, passing him with nose in air, bestowed her smiles and her bouquet upon some gallant rival with belt and buttons. Day-after-day he saw the baskets loaded with choice viands, roasted fowls, pickles, cakes, and potted sweetmeats, but not for him. Wherever he went there was a braiding of caps and coats, a gathering of flowers and weaving of wreaths, but none for him – no scented and embroidered handkerchiefs waved from carriage-windows as he rode by. The genial flood of social sympathy upon which he had hitherto floated so blandly had left him stranded on the icy shore. Then come the cheering regiments with their drums and banners, the snorting squadrons of glossy prancing steeds the jingling of knightly spurs, the stirring blast of the trumpets. There they went – companionship, love, life, glory, all sweeping by to Harper’s Ferry!

“Alas! poor boy, what sense of duty or prudent counsels could hold him in the whirl of this moral maelstrom? What did he care for the vague terror of an indictment for treason, or the misty doctrine of Federal supremacy? What did he know of nationality beyond the circle of friends and kindred? What was his sneaking, apologetic, unsympathetic life worth after all? The very bondsman who held his horse as he mounted for his morning ride seemed to reproach him, as, touching his hat, he remarks, suggestively, ‘Young master, dis hoss of yourn is mighty proud and mettlesome – he would look fine in the cavalry.’ Very well; in two days – more or less – you might see young master in the cavalry, prancing gallantly with the rest of them, a Havelock flapping about his ears, spurs jingling on his heels, the light of manhood rekindled in his eye, and a fresh posy in his button-hole, atoning for his former hesitancy by distinguished seal in the great cause.

“But according to my judgment the greater number of these young volunteers were moved neither by social pressure nor political prejudice. The all-pervading love of adventure and fighting instincts were the most successful recruiting officers of the occasion. For they had heard of battles, and had longed to follow to the field some warlike lord – so at the first roll of the drum they rushed cheerily from school house and office, counter and work shop, field and fireside, earnest, eager, reckless fellows, marching with a free and vigorous step, sitting their horses like wild Pawnees, most admirable material for a rebellion, just as good soldiers for the Government if perchance the rub-a-dub of the Union drums had first aroused their martial ardor.”

Made possible by the generous, community mind support of American Public University System. (apus.ed) Sentiments and views portrayed in this series do not in any way reflect the modern-day 21st century policies of the University, but are offered to encourage fact-based discussion on the evolution of the foundational values of the United States.

David Hunter Strother (September 26, 1816 – March 8, 1888) was an American journalist, artist, brevet Brigadier General, innkeeper, politician and diplomat from West Virginia. Both before and after the American Civil War (in which he was initially a war correspondent), Strother was a successful 19th-century American magazine illustrator and writer, popularly known by his pseudonym, “Porte Crayon” (French, porte-crayon: “pencil/crayon holder”). He helped his father operate a 400-guest hotel at Berkeley Springs which was the only spa accessible by rail in the mid-Atlantic states. A Union topographer and nominal cavalry commander during the war, Strother rose to the rank of brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers, and afterward restructured the Virginia Military Institute, as well as served as U.S. consul to Mexico (1879–1885). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hunter_Strother

Dennis Frye – Virginia Militias Attack Harper’s Ferry Arsenal – April, 1861

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VIDEO: Dennis Frye – Virginia militias attack Harper’s Ferry arsenal – April, 1861 – TRT: 4:45

Dennis Frye

Well, the burning of the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in April, 1861 is a transformative moment, not only in the history of Harper’s Ferry, but in the Shenandoah Valley and in the mid-Atlantic region. It really did change the nature of Harper’s Ferry and Jefferson County, setting the stage for what would become a bloody, bloody four years. This is what happens in Virginia, following Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers to squash the rebellion. This comes on April the 15th – Fort Sumter, of course, occurred on April the 12th – so the president responds. This means that Virginia had to dedicate troops to the fight and they had to put troops in the fight against their fellow southerners, their brothers and sisters in southern states. This was too much. This was too much for Virginia. So, on April the 17th, Virginia will decide to secede. The convention will vote 88 for, 55 against, but the majority will carry. As that’s happening Virginia militia will be called forth and sent to Harper’s Ferry for the express purpose of capturing, not destroying but capturing, the United States armory and arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Virginia wanted those weapons. There were thousands of weapons and storage at the arsenal. The estimate is up to 15,000 weapons are stored there in the two arsenal buildings. These were the same arsenal buildings that John Brown had attempted to seize in October of 1859. The armory – the factory where the weapons were manufactured – all that valuable machinery, all those those machines that could produce the rifles and the barrels and the locks, the stocks – all of it there, Virginia wanted possession of that. They needed it now for their new country. So, Virginia militia, on the night of April the 18th, are in route to Harper’s Ferry. They’re coming from Charlestown principally from Charlestown. They’re following the road from Charlestown to Halltown to Bolivar to Harper’s Ferry. But the U.S. commander at Harper’s Ferry Lieutenant Roger Jones knows they’re coming. He’s aware. He was there when the former superintendent of the armory, Alfred M. Barbour, announced to the citizens of Harper’s Ferry that Virginia would seize the armory. He and his men heard this. So, on the 18th, Jones had his men spread powder and powder kegs throughout the armory arsenal buildings in preparation for a possible Virginia advance. Well, about 9:30-10 o’clock on the evening of of the 18th of April, Jones is informed that the lead advance – the Virginia militia – have actually arrived on Bolivar Heights. They’re now less than two miles away from downtown Harper’s Ferry. Then, he gives the orders to his men to strike those powder kegs, put the match to them and blow up the arsenal and armory buildings. At about 10 p.m., Harper’s Ferry citizens, asleep, suddenly are rocked out of their beds just shocked by this massive explosion that occurs. In fact, it’s reported that the explosion is so intense and the flames shoot up so high and so brightly that every tree and rock on Maryland and Loudoun Heights just lit up, like the sun was shining on it. With that, the arsenals were in full flame, totally engulfed and would be destroyed in moments. The armory buildings, however, a different story: the local town citizens – once they overcame their initial shock – realized that their jobs were going up in smoke. Now, it wasn’t a case of being in favor of the United States or in favor of the confederate states. This was all about self-preservation. It all became: “I must preserve my job. My job cannot burn and so citizens – the armorers – rushed into the armory, pulled out the fire engines from the the fire engine house that John Brown had made so famous and began to pump water into the flaming armory buildings – so much so, that most of those buildings would be saved, protected from the total destruction of the flames and the Harper’s Ferry machinery there would be used ultimately to help produce weapons for the confederacy. That was the opening night of war at Harper’s Ferry, the opening night of war in Virginia, and the opening night of four more years of war to come.

Dennis Frye – The Esprit de Corps of the 2nd Virginia

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VIDEO: Dennis Frye – The Esprit de Corps of the 2nd Virginia – TRT: 4:23

Dennis Frye

When the 2nd Virginia infantry came together in April and May of 1861, many of these men didn’t know each other. Now, they knew each other within their companies because – remember, their companies have been coming together and drilling and practicing for more than a year now, since the John Brown raid. So, within a company, you knew your brother or your neighbor or the man that was shoulder-to-shoulder beside you. But once you combined the companies, men from Charlestown joining with men from Martinsburg, joining with men from Hedgesville, joining with men from Harper’s Ferry – you put all those disparate groups into one regiment – many of the men didn’t know each other very well. But by June and mid-July of 1861, that had changed. The men of the 2nd Virginia had coalesced into one unit. They knew their neighbors. They still had their company designations, but now, their affiliation was with the regiment: the 2nd infantry. “I am a proud member of the 2nd Virginia infantry, 1st Virginia brigade, Thomas Jonathan Jackson, commanding.” So, I’d like to share with you just a few sentences from my book on the 2nd Virginia infantry, as to what it was like for them in 1861, before they would stand like a stone wall in the battle of First Manassas – the men of the 2nd infantry:

Indeed, the men did know each other well. Two months of marching, drilling, campfire chats had transformed a collection of strangers into a family of friends. Members of this new family – the 2nd Virginia infantry – had discovered through continuous conversations that George Washington dominated the ranks as the regiment’s most popular name. America’s first hero shared his name with 44 of the muster rolls’ surnames. Some had even learned that company B or company G’s George Washington have been born in 1842 on the former president’s 110th birthday. In addition to the Washington name, the regiment proudly claimed Lieutenant Richard Henry Lee of company G. Word had spread that Lee was the grandson of the mover of the Declaration of Independence. The regiment’s fraternity-like spirit also affected relative unknowns, like Benjamin Boyd and John Yates Beall. No one realized, of course, in 1861 that Boyd soon would become famous as father of the confederate spy, Belle-Boyd and that Beall would be hanged in 1865 after being sentenced by federal authorities as a guerrilla and a spy. Two months of war had revealed several anomalies in the regiment. The six-foot-three-inch frame of company I’s William Hannum towered above all others in the 2nd Virginia. On the other hand, all others dwarfed the five-foot stature of company E’s James Blattner the regiment’s shortest member. Although 73 percent of the soldiers in the 2nd infantry ranged between 18 and 30 years of age, Albert Moore and George W. Rutter proved notable exceptions, Moore, a boy 15-years-old in company A (the Charlestown company) enlisted as the regiment’s youngest recruit. Company C’s Rutter occupied the opposite end of the age scale and at age 53, he represented the regiment’s most senior member. Indeed, the men knew each other well.

Dennis Frye – General Jackson at Harper’s Ferry in 1861

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VIDEO: Dennis Frye – General Jackson at Harper’s Ferry – TRT: 4:15

Dennis Frye

Well, the Virginia militia, of course, is citizen soldiers. It would be like our national guard today, but with this difference: many of these militiamen that would start to stream into Harper’s Ferry in the early days of the war right after April the 18th, right as Virginia occupied fully Harper’s Ferry, many of these men had practiced as militiamen, drilled as militiamen, but certainly had never been soldiers before, certainly never soldiers in battle. So, hundreds and, then thousands – ultimately up to eight thousand men – start to descend on Harper’s Ferry in the opening weeks of the war. Now remember that the population of Harper’s Ferry, Bolivar and Virginius Island – all combined – was only about 2.900 citizens. The town’s population almost triples within a month as a result of all these soldiers massing at Harper’s Ferry. Initially, these soldiers were commanded by Virginia militia generals with very gaudy uniforms and very colorful. They brought with them their big staffs and they had lots of whiskey and whiskey became the principal liquid nourishment of the day for many of these soldiers as they came into town as favors would be asked and favors would be passed. It really was a circus. In fact, Henry Kyd Douglas, who lived in Maryland, opposite Shepherdstown, decided to cast his lot with the new confederacy. (He) would cross the Potomac, come to Shepherdstown, joined company B – the Hamtramck guard of the 2nd Virginia infantry and would come to Harper’s Ferry. A lawyer who would volunteer as a private and he would report in the early days of the war that nothing was serious, yet everything was a joke.

Well, this would soon end – this joke. A serious face and a serious person would soon arrive and his name is Jackson – Thomas Jonathan Jackson; yes, same as “Stonewall” Jackson, but in April of 1861, he isn’t known as “Stonewall.” He is known as a Professor Jackson, a professor at the Virginia Military Institute where he taught physics and he taught artillery to the men, the young students there at VMI. Virginia needed someone who had experience to command at Harper’s Ferry and to take these militia – these citizen soldiers and make them real battle-hardened soldiers. Jackson himself was battle-hardened. Jackson himself was a graduate of West Point. Jackson had fought in Mexico and had fought with great bravery in Mexico and was acknowledged for his bravery as an artilleryman while fighting in the Mexican war. Of course, he had come to Lexington where he had lived for just about 10 years prior to the outbreak of the civil war. But when Virginia seceded, Jackson, who himself was opposed to secession just like Robert E. Lee, Jackson would cast his future with his home state, with Virginia, and his very first assignment of the civil war would be to take command at Harper’s Ferry. No one then knew that the famous – soon to become very famous – Stonewall Jackson had arrived.

Dennis Frye – Robert E. Lee’s Invasion of Maryland Heights

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VIDEO: Dennis Frye – Robert E. Lee’s Invasion of Maryland Heights – TRT: 6:03

Dennis Frye

War isn’t accurately portrayed and remembered. Are there any examples of that and what about Jackson’s invasion of Maryland? Well, Colonel Thomas Jackson at Harper’s Ferry, charged with the defense of Harper’s Ferry, looked around and he saw mountains. As you probably know, Harper’s Ferry sits in the bottom of a hole, a hole that’s been formed by the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers that have carved their way through the mountains of the Blue Ridge. So, surrounding Harper’s Ferry are three mountaintops. Think of Harper’s ferry as a triangle and, in the middle of that triangle, is the town, but on the edges of the town are these three “hills,” “bluffs,” “heights.” One of them, called Bolivar Heights, is to the west. Another called Loudoun Heights, which is on the south side of the Shenandoah River, is the second of the highest. But, the highest of the mountains is in Maryland on the north bank of the Potomac River and it is referred to as Maryland Heights. Now, Jackson looking around, charged with the responsibility of defending Harper’s Ferry. In fact, he would write to General Lee that he intended to defend Harper’s Ferry with all the spirit which actuated the defenders of Thermopylae. He’s going to make a stand: “we are not going to be removed from this location.” But Jackson has a problem and the problem is elevation. Elevation – West Point will teach you – every military commander knows, every man in the ranks knows – you must hold the high ground. You always have tactical advantage when you are placed on the highest position. Whilst Jackson is looking around at these Heights surrounding Harper’s Ferry – Bolivar Heights, Loudoun Heights, Maryland Heights, (Maryland Heights, of course, is actually in the state of Maryland) and this is precisely Jackson’s quandary. For him to hold the high ground means that he would have to actually invade Maryland with Virginia or confederate troops. Now, remember: Maryland has not seceded. Maryland is not a member of the confederacy, but Maryland is a sister state. The confederacy is working very hard to woo into the south and, if Jackson sends troops into Maryland, the response could be very negative. I mean, they’ve already responded negatively to United States troops coming into Maryland. The Baltimore riots of April the 18th, where Massachusetts soldiers- the 6th Massachusetts – these men are actually attacked and some of them killed because it’s considered an invasion of the sovereign soil of Maryland. So, what makes Jackson any different for Marylanders, if he sends troops from Virginia across the Potomac and has his own invasion of Maryland to hold Maryland Heights. So, it’s a very serious predicament for Jackson. Well, Jackson decides to throw politics aside and, of course, he sends his troops across the river and he occupies Maryland Heights with Virginians and also men from Kentucky, thinking that Kentucky, a border state like Maryland, might help soften the blow. Well, Maryland will have none of it. The governor of Maryland would write to the governor of Virginia and bitterly complain about Jackson’s incursion-invasion into Maryland. We often think of the first invasion of north occurring during the Antietam campaign of 1862 – September, 1862. No, it’s in May of 1861. The first confederate troops who go north of the Potomac River, go there by the order of Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson to hold Maryland Heights. Not only does he hold Maryland Heights, he sends troops down the Potomac River to Berlin (which is modern day Brunswick) and even further down the Potomac River to Point of Rocks – all to control the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and any possible approach by the yankees using the rails toward Harper’s Ferry. So, Jackson is now the master of his defense, while Governor Letcher and General Lee are going berserk in Richmond. “What is this man doing? He is crazy! We are trying to have an amicable relationship with the state of Maryland and here is this wild man out there who is suddenly sending troops into Maryland soil without Maryland’s permission or Maryland’s invitation!!” So, we actually reprimand Jackson. Lee says: “it is not a good idea to keep your troops in Maryland. You must remove them unless the contingencies of war require you to keep them there.” Even that early, Lee was giving discretion to his men in the field, not trying to control from Richmond. But giving Jackson immediate operational control over his immediate operational district, Jackson knows he must hold the high ground and he decides to stay in Maryland. He will remain. Eventually, it’s resolved like this: Baltimoreans come to Harper’s Ferry, join Jackson in the confederate army, and Jackson then places Maryland troops to occupy Maryland Heights. Hence, no longer do we have foreigners – men from outside the state of Maryland – holding the Heights. So, Jackson is now in charge of Maryland Heights. Marylanders are on Maryland Heights and the crisis is resolved. We see at this point the resolve of Thomas Jonathan Jackson and his eagerness to defend Virginia and his willingness to take the advantage of the high ground, hold it with utmost determination, a character trait that we will soon see repeated again and again.

Dennis Frye – Jackson’s Mission at Harper’s Ferry

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VIDEO: Dennis Frye – Jackson’s Mission at Harper’s Ferry TRT: 5:49

Dennis Frye

At Harper’s Ferry at the beginning of the war, Robert E. Lee had a very specific mission for Thomas Jonathan Jackson. Harper’s Ferry – now keep in mind the structure of command. Lee is the overall general in command of all Virginia forces. All state forces defending Virginia belong to Lee. Jackson is directly under Lee and he is a colonel. He is a colonel in the Virginia militia responsible for the area at Harper’s Ferry. Lee assigns him the following responsibility: 1) get the armory machinery out of Harper’s Ferry, remove it. Remove it quickly, efficiently. Lee was very concerned that Harper’s Ferry, because it was so far to the north and could be so easily attacked and so vulnerable to a northern advance. They wanted to make sure that the armory machinery would be removed. This was very disappointing to the people of Harper’s Ferry and it was absolutely disheartening to the armorers, who worked there, when our Alfred Barbour, the former superintendent of the armory, had announced that secession would occur and that Virginia would move in and seize the machinery. There were high hopes that Virginia would continue the operation of the armory at Harper’s Ferry, but when it became very evident that the Potomac River, rather than the Mason-Dixon line, was to become the northern border of the confederacy. That machinery in that location in Harper’s Ferry was too vulnerable. So, Jackson, shortly after arrival, is given an assignment by Lee to remove that machinery and he begins immediately. He begins to dismantle the machinery, first in the musket factory, along the Potomac River, and then, ultimately, follows up, removing the machinery from the rifle factory along the Shenandoah River. It’s very methodical, very systematic. Jackson will use wagons, the Winchester-Potomac Railroad, and he will ship the machinery to Winchester. Ultimately, then it will be carried over land from Winchester to Strasburg, where it will be placed on the Manassas Gap Railroad and then, move further into the interior. So, within one week after Jackson’s arrival, (and incidentally he arrives on April the 29th) the war is only about 11 days old when Jackson arrives at Harper’s Ferry. He is already moving the machinery and has two-thirds of it moved into the interior within one week after his arrival. It was a very impressive performance by Jackson. This machinery had to be dismantled. It weighs tons and tons. He had to put the wagons and the trains together and move it when he didn’t get all the cooperation he needed from the local citizens. He impressed wagons and impressed the trains. He reminded people that we are now at war and that I’m in charge, not your local mayors and not your local county commissioners. So, with all of that, Jackson got that job done. Now, Lee gave him another assignment and that was to organize the burgeoning force that was organizing in Harper’s Ferry. These thousands of men that were coming not only from Virginia now, but also men were arriving from Mississippi and Alabama. The deep south states – the original seceding states – were sending men to Harper’s Ferry to be part of the confederate defense of Virginia. So Jackson was responsible for organizing all these men. His principal area of concentration were Virginians. There were almost 5,000 Virginians that had had concentrated at Harper’s Ferry, but they all arrived as militia companies with their own commanders – some trained, some with very little training. So, it was basically a pretty disorganized mob. Some were in uniform; some were had weapons, many did not; some who did have weapons had not very modern weapons. They would have been used during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812. This was not what you would call an army. So, Jackson had to take this this mob of men – these citizens – and make them soldiers. The first thing he did was begin to organize them into regiments and brigades. For example, the 1st Virginia brigade that Jackson himself would soon command. The 1st Virginia brigade would consist of five Virginia regiments. Almost all of those men and those regiments coming out of the Shenandoah Valley. The local regiment that Jackson organized was called the 2nd Virginia infantry and it was comprised of men from Charlestown and Shepherdstown and Harper’s Ferry and little old Duffields. Even Duffields had a company in the 2nd Virginia infantry, but it also extended further south into Clarke County and included a company from Berryville and also further west into Martinsburg companies, coming from Martinsburg and Hedgesville. All of these local men in Berkeley and Jefferson and Clarke County in the lower Shenandoah Valley would become part of the 2nd Virginia infantry. In fact, there was even one Winchester company in there, coming out of Frederick County, Virginia. So, Jackson would work very hard to organize the men. Most of these men would be encamped on Bolivar Heights and it was there on Bolivar Heights that they would sleep and eat. But more than anything, they would drill and they would drill some more. They would drill some more, Jackson transforming these sons of Virginians into these very, very, very disciplined soldiers. But even with that discipline, the question was: how well would they fight on a battlefield? How well would their discipline stand up to the bullets of the enemy, whizzing toward them? That question still remained unanswered.

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