Falling Waters Battlefield Association - Martinsburg, WV


For those of you in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia area, the Falling Waters Battlefield Association is an organization that was formed in 2004 for the preservation and awareness of the July 1861 skirmish at Falling Waters, WV (then Virginia). The association usually meets monthly that features a short talk followed by a business meeting.


I just joined myself this past May and have really enjoyed it. I just wanted to pass along the information in case if there is anyone in the area that may be interested. You do not need to be a member to attend the meetings.

For those who do not know, the Battle of Falling Waters (which is also referred to the Battle of Hokes Run or Haines Mill) took place just prior to First Mananas and is actually the first battle in the Shenandoah Valley. Stonewall Jackson was there (then Colonel Jackson - just prior to receiving the nickname of Stonewall) as well as JEB Stuart and Henry Kyd Douglas (he was in reserve with the 2nd VA Infantry). The website provides a lot of detail, including Jackson's first recorded Civil War era "coolness" under fire and Stuart fooling Union soldiers and taking them prisoner (since it was the beginning of the war, he still had a blue uniform!).

Since this encounter was so early in the war, it received a lot of press coverage which included illustrations (seen below). This skirmish was also significant because Jackson fought a delaying action against the advancing Union troops, preventing them from arriving in Mananas to support Irvin McDowell.



Unfortunately, there isn't much of the battlefield left that is undeveloped (Interstate 81, houses, a hotel, Walmart, etc.) but the association has done a great job at adding interpretive signs around the area, detailing the encounter.

Falling Waters is more widely recognized as part of the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign as part of Lee's retreat where the Union harassed the treating Confederate Army. This was the encounter where Pettigrew was mortally wounded. All of this was actually on the Maryland side of the river and was originally called the Battle of Falling Waters Road because of the road where the action was but the "road" part dropped off over time and has caused great confusion.

Calvry Team

Aug 16, 2012
Thanks for posting this information. I am from Berkeley County and have been researching and focusing on other areas of the county, but this is really interesting. It's also good to meet people who have an interest in CW history from the area, or re-enacting. I'm working on several projects right now and finding interested people is the hardest part.


First Sergeant
Jan 31, 2009
Fremont, MI
Yes, thanks. I'm from Michigan but was in Maryland last week and drove down the Falling Waters Road as far as I could before the Gun Club gates and warnings kicked in. Does anybody know if they allow the rabble onto their property with special permission or perhaps on one special day every year?