|1.0 hours plus a 15 min
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Part of the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, the Murphy Chambers Farm became a battlefield during the Civil War. Edmund H. Chambers bought the farm in 1848. Although Chambers was a loyal Unionist, the Union confiscated his farm in 1862 forcing the family from their home. The U.S. Army arranged for an appraisal of the farm in the event of damage. At war's end Chambers found the property destroyed and filed a claim demanding restitution. In 1888, 23 years after the end of the war he was still trying to settle his claim. There is no evidence he was ever paid. He died in 1890. - Harpers Ferry/NHP.
This is an easy walk with well maintained trails. There are three other hikes in the Harpers Ferry area: School House Ridge, Loudoun Heights and the Maryland Heights hikes.
Battle of Harpers Ferry - September 12-15, 1862
As Robert E. Lee advanced into Maryland with the Army of Northern Virginia, he ordered Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson to capture the garrison at Harpers Ferry to secure a supply line back to Virginia. Jackson's troops located on School House Ridge were under the command of A.P. Hill, Lawton, and J.R. Jones. McLaws commanded on Maryland Heights, and Walker and Crutchfield on Loudoun Heights. The first day of fighting saw heavy cannon fire but not advancement by the Confederate forces on Harpers Ferry. To press the battle after a second day of fighting Jackson ordered A.P. Hill to flank Miles's Union troops to the south of their location on Bolivar Heights. That night A.P. Hill moved into position next to the Shenandoah River with 3,500 troops and 20 cannon.
After heavy bombardment on the third day by the Confederate troops Union Col. Dixon S. Miles realized the fight was hopeless and surrendered to Jackson's forces, but died of wounds from Cannon fire before the surrender took affect. Although by Civil War standards the loss of life was considerably fewer, with 44 Union troops and 39 Confederate troops killed, the battle saw the largest surrender of Union troops in one engagement with 12,000 becoming prisoners of war.