160 Years Ago Today: Battle of Hoke’s Run or Falling Waters

On the morning of Tuesday, July 2, 1861, Union Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport, Maryland with two brigades totaling approximately 8,000 men. Confederate Col. Thomas J. Jackson’s 4,000-man brigade was ordered to delay the Federal advance toward Martinsburg, then a town in Virginia (today, West Virginia), approximately 13.5 miles south…

Illustration of Robert Patterson

On paper, Irish-born Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson (1792-1881) was the perfect person to lead the Department of Pennsylvania in 1861. He served in the Pennsylvania militia during the War of 1812, led troops to suppress two separate riots in Philadelphia, and fought in the Mexican War as a high-ranking officer. He owned several cotton mills,…