Since last April, a group of living historians and preservationists from West Virginia and Maryland have been laying the groundwork for a new organization dedicated to the research, study and interpretation of the events, sites and people associated with General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's 1862 Bath-Romney Campaign during the American Civil War.
The Bath-Romney Campaign Historical and Preservation Association is based in Berkeley Springs. Their primary purpose is to continue the study of the campaign, provide a forum exchange of ideas, educate the public by
living history events and other forums, and document and preserve sites, structures and artifacts.
Known as Bath during the Civil War, Berkeley Springs was a key site in Jackson's efforts to rid Northwestern Virginia of Union Troops during a brutal winter campaign in January of 1862. The campaign began and ended in Winchester, involving over 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers as it spread across much of Morgan and Hampshire counties in what is present-day West Virginia.
The highlight of the campaign occurred on the afternoon of January 4, 1862 when about 10,000 soldiers fought over four hours for the control of Berkeley Springs, Sir Johns Run, Great Cacapon and Hancock.
The organization grew out of a chance encounter between two groups of living historians that have been conducting small independent commemorations of the campaign every January for a number of years, but were unaware of each other's efforts. They realized the overall landscape and many of the sites have changed little in the last 45 years, providing an opportunity for the preservation and interpretation of sites at time when development pressures are on the horizon.
January 12-14 events
The first public event hosted by the new group will be a three-day commemoration of the 145th Anniversary of the campaign. Up to 50 reenactors are expected to take part in an eight-mile preservation march, in addition to providing various living his-tory senarios for the public throughout the January 12-14 weekend.
Events will take place at Oakleigh, a home at Unger's Crossroads where Jackson made his headquarters, at Ambrose Chapel, which was used as a field hospital for soldiers that became ill on the march, and finally, at Berkeley Springs State Park. Oakleigh was, in various diaries kept by Jackson's men, affect affectionately referred to as Camp Mud.
The schedule is:
Friday, January 12–9 a.m.-
4 p.m. Driving tour of Unger's Crossroads, Berkeley Springs, Sir Johns Run, Great Cacapon, Hancock 5 p.m.–8 p.m. Free, open to the public. Living history at Unger's Crossroads, historic Oakleigh.
Saturday, January 13–8 a.m.-10 a.m. Living history at Unger's Crossroads, Oakleigh. Then an eight-mile preservation march (by invitation only).
At 1 p.m. there will be a graveside ceremony at Oakland cemetery.
Sunday, January 14–Noon-
4 p.m. Living history events
in Berkeley Springs State Park.