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7 Pieces Of History Near Shepherdstown, WV

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Shepherdstown is a small town in West Virginia that is rich in history. Founded in 1762, the town has been witness to many significant events that have taken place within or near its borders. Here are 7 historical events that took place near Shepherdstown, WV.

1. Battle of Antietam: One of the deadliest battles of the Civil War took place near Shepherdstown at Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The battle was fought on September 17, 1862, and claimed the lives of over 23,000 soldiers from both sides. Some of the heaviest fighting took place near Shepherdstown, as the Union Army pursued the retreating Confederate Army across the Potomac River.

2. John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry: The notorious abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry in 1859. The raid was an attempt to spark a slave rebellion, but it ultimately failed, and Brown was captured and executed. Shepherdstown was just a few miles from Harpers Ferry, and many of its residents were involved in the incident.

3. Battle of Shepherdstown: On September 19-20, 1862, the Confederate Army crossed the Potomac River and engaged the Union Army in a battle near Shepherdstown. The battle was part of the larger campaign that included Antietam, and it resulted in a Confederate victory. The battle marked the end of Lee's first invasion of the North.

4. Founding of Shepherd University: Shepherd University, located in Shepherdstown, was founded in 1871 as the Shepherd College. The college was originally a private liberal arts institution but was later absorbed into the West Virginia university system. Today, Shepherd University is a public university that offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

5. Shepherdstown Train Wreck: On December 23, 1900, a train carrying passengers and mail collided with a freight train near Shepherdstown. The wreck killed 11 people and injured many others. The accident remains one of the deadliest train wrecks in West Virginia history.

6. Burning of the Potomac River Bridge: During the Civil War, Confederate troops burned the railroad bridge that crossed the Potomac River near Shepherdstown. The bridge was a critical link for Union troops, and its destruction caused a major disruption in their supply lines. The bridge was eventually rebuilt, and it still stands today as a National Historic Landmark.

7. Shepherdstown Battlefield: In 1864, Confederate troops under General Jubal Early attacked Union troops near Shepherdstown in what was known as the Shepherdstown Battlefield. The battle was part of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and resulted in a Union victory. Today, the battlefield is a National Historic Landmark that is open to the public.

In conclusion, Shepherdstown, WV, has been the site of many significant historical events, from battles to train wrecks to the founding of a university. These events have played a crucial role in shaping both the town and the country as a whole, and they serve as a reminder of the sacrifices that have been made throughout history. Visitors to Shepherdstown can still see many of these sites and learn more about the events that took place there.
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