The most striking historical aspect of the house is that for a brief period at the beginning of the Civil War it served as Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters. This was in the spring of 1861, before Jackson earned himself the nickname "Stonewall" at the first battle of Manassas, or Bull Run.
Lee had assigned Colonel Jackson, then an instructor at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, to whip a bunch of Confederate volunteers into shape. Those volunteers later became known as the famous "Stonewall Brigade." Jackson came to Harpers Ferry in April 1861, setting up his headquarters in this very house, his room the front bedroom on the second floor.
While here, he wrote his wife a charming letter telling her, “I have a nice, green yard, and if you were only here how much we could enjoy it together! But do not attempt to come as before you could get here I might be ordered elsewhere. My chamber is on the second story and the roses climb even to that height, and come into my window, so that I have to push them out, when I want to lower it. I wish you could see with me the beautiful roses in the yard and garden, and upon the wall of the house here; but my sweet little sunny face is what I want to see most of all!”
The rose to which he referred, a very fragrant pink climbing rose, still thrives, and has ever since been known locally as the “Jackson Rose." When we first arrived at the house, the rose bush had taken over the right corner of our front yard. It had been moved there, away from the house, during the 1971 renovations in order to protect it from harm. We have since transplanted the bush to the arbor at our front walk, and can attest that the Jackson Rose is a hearty plant that will surely survive us all.