• Sun beginning to set at Harpers Ferry, as seen from Maryland Heights. Photo by NPS Volunteer Buddy Secor.

    Harpers Ferry

    National Historical Park WV,VA,MD

Thomas J Jackson

Thomas J.

Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson

Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, one of the Confederacy's most famous soldiers, became intimately familiar with Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. On April 28, 1861 – just ten days after Virginia seceded from the Union – Colonel Thomas J. Jackson arrived at Harpers Ferry to assume his first command of the Civil War. He spent the next six weeks drilling thousands of Virginia volunteers encamped on Bolivar Heights before withdrawing south into the Shenandoah Valley.

Major General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson returned to Harpers Ferry on September 13, 14 and 15, 1862. Now a celebrated Confederate commander and one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted generals, Jackson took possession of MarylandHeights, LoudounHeights, and School House Ridge, trapping the Union Garrison inside Harpers Ferry. "Stonewall's Brilliant Victory" secured the surrender of 12,500 Union troops – the largest capitulation of Federal forces during the entire Civil War. [Learn more about the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry]

Did You Know?

Robert Harper was granted an exclusive ferry concession in 1861.

Robert Harper operated a ferry across the Potomac River in 1747. His heirs, the Wagers, maintained the operation until 1824 when a bridge was built across the Potomac.