Harper’s Ferry, WV Harpers Ferry, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers where the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet, is best known for John Brown's raid. In 1859, the white abolitionist John Brown attempted to start an armed slave revolt by seizing the US arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Brown's raid was defeated by a unit of U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee with Lt. J. E. B. Stuart as his aide. The raid was a catalyst for the Civil War. We drove into Lower Town Harpers Ferry and found one of the last parking spots. The streets are very narrow and very steep so there are not many places to park. We walked along the Shenandoah River, poked in the various shops, visited all of the restored buildings (restored to 1859), and read all the exhibits. We walked up the stone steps to St. Peter’s church (lovely) and saw the ruins of St. Johns Church. Then we went out to Jefferson Rock. Thomas Jefferson stood at that spot on October 25, 1783. Harpers Ferry was visited by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Merriweather Lewis as well as Robert E. Lee and JEB Stuart. Quite a list! We also walked along the Appalachian Trail. The trail stretches from Maine to Georgia and Harper’s Ferry is about half way. Harper’s Ferry was also the site of numerous battles in the Civil War. The town changed hands 8 times before the war ended. At the battle at Bolivar Heights the Union army surrendered 12,500 men to the Confederates, the largest number of army surrenders until the Bataan battle in WWII. At the start of the Civil War, Harper’s Ferry was a thriving town of 3,000 with factories and a US Armory where guns were made and stored. The Armory could make over 100,000 rifles a year. It was also a major stop on the C & O Railroad. By the end of the war only 100 people were left and most of the buildings were destroyed. While Harper’s Ferry did recover some, today only 286 people live in town.