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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

A historical look at Harpers Ferry

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postedNovember 4, 2019

This year marks the 75th year of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park being part of the U.S. National Park Service. Travelers can learn about key events pertaining to the U.S. Civil War at the attraction, which is located in West Virginia at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

Before the conflict began, John Brown and his followers raided a U.S. armory in Harpers Ferry with the goal of gaining weapons that slaves could use in a rebellion. Even though the 1859 attack was unsuccessful and Brown was hanged for treason, the uprising called further attention to anti-slavery sentiments.

The eastern West Virginia city also was the site of many Civil War battles and troop movements. In September 1862, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson captured 12,500 Union troops, which was the largest number of northern troops to surrender at one time.

In addition to learning about the war, visitors can walk along the three miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that run through the park and enjoy year-round ranger-led workshops at Lower Town that focus on typical trades from the 19th century. Other popular spots include Loudoun Heights, Murphy Farm, John Brown Fort, and Bolivar Heights.

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Top photo: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Photo by CC Flickr/Erik Drost: