Battle of Harpers Ferry Facts

September 12–15, 1862

Harpers Ferry Battle facts, including dates, location, casualties, leaders, who won, and more interesting facts you might not know. This fact sheet provides a quick overview of the battle and is for kids doing research and students preparing for the AP U.S. History (APUSH) exam.

Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Illustration

Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s victory at the Battle of Harpers Ferry was one of the greatest of his storied career. Image Source: Library of Congress.

Date

  • September 12–15, 1862

Locations

  • Jefferson County, West Virginia
  • Loudoun County, Virginia
  • Washington County, Maryland

Campaign

Principal Union Commanders

  • Brigadier General Julius White
  • Colonel Dixon S. Miles

Principal Confederate Commanders

Union Forces Engaged

  • Harpers Ferry Garrison
  • Martinsburg Garrison

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • Army of Northern Virginia Detachment

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 14,000

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 21,000–26,000

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 12,636 (44 killed, 173 wounded, 12,419 captured)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 286 (39 killed, 247 wounded)

Result

  • Confederate victory

Significance

  • The commander of the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry, Colonel Dixon S. Miles, was mortally wounded by a Confederate shell just after deciding to surrender.
  • Brigadier General Julius White surrendered the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry to Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on September 15, 1862.
  • Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s victory at the Battle of Harpers Ferry was one of the greatest of his storied career.
  • Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s victory at the Battle of Harpers Ferry resulted in the largest surrender of Union soldiers during the American Civil War.
  • Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s victory at the Battle of Harpers Ferry convinced General Robert E. Lee to continue his Maryland Campaign. Two days later, Lee’s decision led to the bloodiest single day of battle during the Civil War on September 17, 1862, along the banks of Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg.
  • The Battle of Harpers Ferry was the largest engagement of the Civil War fought in present-day West Virginia.

Timeline of the Maryland Campaign

These are the main battles and events of the Maryland Campaign in order.