Locust Hill

Locust Hill (HM13Z8)

Location: Charles Town, WV 25414 Jefferson County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 17.436', W 77° 54.516'

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Inscription

Home of Lucy Washington Packette

— Built 1849 —

When George Washington surveyed his brother Samuel's Berkeley County land in preparation for the building of Harwood, the property included a sizable portion which has since been separated from the Harwood Estate. Dr. Samuel Washington, Colonel Samuel's grandson, gave to his daughter Lucy Elizabeth a beautiful section of the home property. In 1840 after her marriage to John Bainbridge Packette, Lucy built a beautiful square mansion and named the property "Locust Hill". The house was planned for hospitality and protection. The wide entrance door opens in the center to be flung open to welcome guests. The same door is fitted with an oak bar secured by strong iron slots on either side to discourage unwanted intruders. The entrance hall is spacious, with front rooms opening on either hand. Two large rooms at the rear of the hall can be thrown together by opening the nine-foot doors between them to form one immense drawing room or ballroom. During the 1870's the basement kitchen was moved to its present location, and enclosed former porch extending the full length of the house. The second floor rooms mirror those of the main level. Locust Hill, facing east, commands a magnificent view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Harper's Ferry Gap, eleven miles away. An old stone smoke house and carriage house are still standing on the property. Locust Hill became a fort during the Civil War. General Philip Sheridan and his men took possession of the estate in the summer of 1864, placing the Packette family along with servants and guests in the basement under guard. The General used the house as his headquarters until August 21st, when General Jubal Early sent word that the house would be shelled and any civilians in residence should be removed at once. General Early waited at the back of the stone fence, which served as the west boundary line of Locust Hill., separating it from Sulgrave. Tired of waiting, General Early's troops fired a cannon ball down the chimney and blew the stove to pieces as the family was leaving the kitchen under guard. Some of the Federal soldiers dressed themselves in clothes abandoned by the ladies and appeared at the windows, hoping that General Early and his men would think that the family was still in the main house. The scam was recognized and all were killed. After burying their dead on the estate, General Sheridan and his troops withdrew towards Harper's Ferry. At the close of the War, the bodies were removed from Locust Hill and reburied in the National Cemetery at Winchester. Bullets and cannon balls damaged the rear wall of the house, and their marks remain there today. A long north porch, destroyed in the conflict, has recently been restored. A pyramidal concrete marker identifies the battle scene, number twenty of twenty-five erected in Jefferson County to distinguish places of battle during the War Between the States.
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Details
HM NumberHM13Z8
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 10:20am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 249151 N 4353059
Decimal Degrees39.29060000, -77.90860000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 17.436', W 77° 54.516'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 17' 26.16" N, 77° 54' 30.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 120 Sheriden Dr, Charles Town WV 25414, US
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