Not just a two-day battle

In 1911 the United Confederate Veterans, Jefferson County Company, No. 123 published a booklet, “Military Operations in Jefferson County,Virginia (Now West Virginia) 1861-1865.” Its purpose was to serve as a guide to 25 monuments recently erected throughout the county marking where skirmishes or battles took place.

The booklet has been reprinted five times; the most recent issue was 2004, edited by James C. Holland, and is for sale at the Jefferson County Museum.

On Page 14 (2004 issue) is “Marker Number Four, Slaughter at the Cement Mill on the Potomac.”

There is a description of the action on “the twentieth of September,1862.” Near the end of this chapter, page 15, is the sentence, “this battle is known as the Battle of the Cement Mill, or Butler’s (Boteler’s) Ford.”

The booklet says “the effort to create the monuments began in 1910 when funds for the purpose were collected throughout Jefferson County, with Camp No. 123, not only making a major financial contribution, but also assuming responsibility for the production and placement of the markers. Those inevitably diminishing ranks of Confederate veterans, old men who believed that a worthy posterity would not forget the sacrifices of its ancestors, hoped that the monuments would help to keep alive the memories of the war.”

The Civil War veterans and other historical references gave a name to that battle. Why are current “save the battlefield” enthusiasts changing the historical name. Why not call the battle by the name our local war veterans called it?

And why is the emphasis only on “saving the battlefield”? Why isn’t all the history of this particular riverfront area being promoted and saved?

Limiting the history to a one-day battle is dismissing hundreds of years of history — Native Americans/ the Warrior’s Path, Packhorse Ford town and trail (the road name still exists in Berkeley County), the Philadelphia Wagon Road (present day SR480), the 1775 Beeline March, and the Boteler Cement Mill.

None of those histories should be treated as footnotes or afterthoughts, and “saving the battlefield” does just that. The riverfront‘s history is significant and unique, not only to Jefferson County, not only to West Virgina/ the Lower Shenadoah Valley, but to the development of the United States.

Since the Boteler Cement Mill had a long association with the C & O Canal, and is across the Potomac River from the canal, wouldn’t it be logical that the riverfront mill property come under the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park’s jurisdiction?


Diana Suttenfield




Concern to collaboration – a walking path

As our vision for Morgan’s Grove Market continues to evolve from a farmers market to a food hub to an agricultural campus and health collaboration, there have been some legitimate concerns voiced.

One, in particular, is the protection of Town Run, which we are committed to protecting. Mike Austin of the Shepherdstown Community Club requested a discussion be held at last week’s Shepherdstown Water and Sewer Board meeting on the subject. There, the Corporation of Shepherdstown clearly stated its dislike of package sewage plants and the Town’s interest in providing water and sewer to our location and others along Route 480. The Town also volunteered to facilitate a discussion with all interested parties, including SCC, Asbury Methodist Church, Colonial Hills, Tollhouse Woods, etc, which we readily agreed.

Mike Austin, speaking on behalf of the Shepherdstown Community Club, said they (he) would not participate in any such discussion. His position is confusing, because of known water, sewer and watershed protection (a 10+ year-old outstanding county bond) problems existing at the Park. We also don’t understand Mike Austin’s request at our Neighborhood Compatibility Meeting for an 8-foot high solid fence to surround the park. We have already started discussions with groups interested in putting a safe Walking Path above the potential water and sewer lines, achieving the long time goal of connecting the town proper to Morgan’s Grove Park. We see this as an exciting opportunity to move from concern to collaboration. For more information, please join us on April 10, 2012, when the Corporation of Shepherdstown will host a presentation on Morgan’s Grove Market.

TEAM – Together Everyone Accomplishes More – SHEPHERDSTOWN!

Peter S. Corum




Social worker responds to story

Having been a former resident of Charles Town, I read with interest Bryan Clark’s article, “These are my kids.”

As a social worker with a master’s degree from Columbia University and 25 years experience in clinical practice, I was appalled at the lack of education, training and the highly inappropriate behavior of the caseworkers on this case.

I fully appreciate the reality of the large caseloads Protective Services are mandated to investigate. But this fact is no excuse for substandard and inadequate services to families and children.

I applaud Mr. Clark’s article and hope that bringing this young mother’s situation to the public’s attention will help correct the wrongs in the community’s human services delivery of care.

Mary Lynn Corbin, MSW

Virginia Beach, Va.

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