HARPERS FERRY, WV- Through out this summer, WHAG will show
you a series of "Quick Getaways." The first spot is a small town in West Virginia that was the site for four consecutive
years of battles, but the history starts with a raid led by a famous
the town of Harpers Ferry in West Virginia has a population of less than a 1,000
people with tourists around the world visiting its historical sites. But
more than a century and a half earlier, Harpers Ferry was filled with non-stop carnage and
bloodshed between the Union and
Confederate troops during the Civil War.
Battle of Antietam was one day in American history, the Battle of Gettysburg is
three days in American history, but for the Civil War, Harpers Ferry was 1,400 consecutive days of the Civil
War, as a result of this location," says Dennis Frye, the Chief Historian
this day many of the Civil War sites are preserved in Harpers Ferry. Visitors come to this historical
hilltop in West Virginia, overlooking the Potomac River to the MarylandHeights, which was fortified by the Union, to prevent the Confederates from
possibly invading WashingtonDC, 60 miles away. During those years,
both the Union and Confederacy tried to control the town
for strategic reasons.
out this end of the Shenandoah
Valley, in many
respects could control invasion routes to Maryland and Pennsylvania, can control invasions routes from Pennsylvania into Virginia, the Confederates could potentially
threaten WashingtonDC, "says Dennis Frye, the Chief
Historian at Harpers FerryNationalHistoricalPark.
Harpers Ferry was home to one of the largest United States armory and arsenal site which once stored
about a 100,000 weapons is now part of the Harpers FerryNationalHistoricalPark. Before the war, the abolitionist
John Brown led a group of 18 men to seize weapons to launch a war against
slavery, but Brown was surrounded then captured by US Marines led by Colonel
Robert E. Lee, the whole story of John Brown can be found at the JohnBrownWax Museum.
very fact, John Brown comes to Harpers Ferry seizes the United States Armory
and Arsenal was an attack on the United States of America, and attack on
Slavery permitted in the United States," says Dennis Frye, the Chief
Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
attractions include, the Lockwood House, which were the headquarters for Union
General Philip Sheridan, then the Odd Fellows Lodge which housed the New York
Regiment, and to the Battlefields of Bolivar Heights.
was the precursor to Antietam, this was the battle that allowed the Battle of
Antietam to occur, in 1863 when the Gettysburg campaign occurred there would be
fighting at Bolivar Heights, before the Confederate Army got to
Gettysburg," says Dennis Frye, the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry
National Historical Park.
be sure to check out the bridge piers ruins of the Baltimore-Ohio Railroad,
which was built and destroyed 9 times during the war, the Saint Lutheran's
church that was transformed into a hospital. Before the Civil War, the bell on
the church was rung to sound the alarm of John Brown's raid.
the war, Harpers
hands eight times, between the Union and the Confederacy.