German immigrant Frederick Roeder was a prosperous baker, the father of seven children, and a recent widower. Roeder was also about to die. The Fourth of July was normally a day of celebration, but not this year - not 1861. In March Roeder buried his wife, Anna Maria; the following month Civil War erupted, Virginia seceded and Harpers Ferry became a war zone - businesses collapsed and the local economy crashed.A Union sympathizer, Roeder longed to catch a glimpse of the United States flag flying on the Maryland shore. Venturing out to the Potomac River, he gazed across at the Stars and Stripes, only to be struck down by a ricocheting bullet fired by a Union soldier. He crawled back to this building, his home, where he died.Roeder was the first townsperson to die during the war. His home, business and other property were confiscated by the Union Army for use as a military bakery, post office and headquarters.His orphaned children abandoned their home, but returned a year later and lived here until 1881. They filed claims with the government for extensive wartime damage to this house and other family property. They were finally approved for compensation of $504.00 in 1906.