History and Notable Burials

The original deed for Edge Hill Cemetery was recorded in Jefferson County, Virginia on August 9, 1858.  The original land for the cemetery was given by John Stephenson.  Since that time, the cemetery has been in continual use as the primary burial site for the citizens of Charles Town and Jefferson County.

During the Civil War, 184 Confederate soldiers were buried in the military section of the cemetery.  Many of these men were killed locally in battles such as Battle of Antietam in 1862 and Cameron's Depot in 1864.

Edge Hill Cemetery also contains the graves of two figures from John Brown’s 1859 raid on the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry: 
  • Fontaine Beckham, the mayor of Harpers Ferry at the time of the raid and 
  • John AvisJohn Brown’s jailer in Charles Town, also one of the civilian casualties of the raid.
Other notable graves include:
  • Johnson, George William b. November 10, 1869  d. February 24, 1944. US Congressman. Elected to represent West Virginia's 4th District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1923 to 1925. He was defeated as Democratic in 1924. He was also an attorney. 
  • Wilson, William Lyne b. May 3, 1843  d. October 17, 1900.   US Congressman, Presidential Cabinet Secretary. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was elected to represent West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1883 to 1895. He then served as United States Postmaster General from 1895 to 1897, and established the first rural free mail delivery in Jefferson County.
  • Hawks, Major Wells Joseph  b. 1814 (Massachusetts).  d. May 28, 1873.  He served as commissioner and superintendent of public schools in Jefferson County, as mayor of Charles Town, and was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1855 and 1857.  Major Hawks was the Chief Commissary Officer of the famed Stonewall Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia under General T. J. Jackson during the American Civil War.  He also served on the staffs of Generals Ewell, Early and Lee.  After the war he returned to Charles Town.
  • Hopkins, Abner Crump b. October 24, 1835, in Powhatan
    County, VA. d. February 4, 1911, Charles Town, WV.  He graduated from Hampten-Sydney College in 1855.  He attended Union Theological Seminary and served as the minister at Martinsburg Presbyterian Church.  He was commissioned as the chaplain of the 2nd Virginia Infantry (Stonewall Brigade) on May 3, 1862 and served as the Chaplain of the 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.  After the war, he served as pastor of the Charles Town Presbyterian Church from 1866-1911 (5o years).
  • Hooff, Major James Lawrence  b. October 2, 1825. d. August 24, 1887.  Served as a private and as the Quartermaster Sargent in the Second Virginia Infantry (Stonewall Brigade) and as Assistant Quartermaster in the 11th Virginia Cav.  After the war he was a merchant in Charles Town and was elected to the WV legislature in 1875.  He later became President of the Jefferson County Court.

When visiting, please be sure to find the West Virginia Civil War Trails marker near the old entrance gate.  Also visit our Genealogy page.