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Maryland Civil War Trails

Gettysburg Campaign:
Invasion & Retreat

~ Driving Tour ~


Cavalry Tour

VA  Brandy Station
Interpreted driving tour north of Culpeper off US 29
   Many trace the beginnings of the Gettysburg Campaign to this large June 9 cavlary battle.

VA  Middleburg, Upperville, Goose Creek Bridge, signs located along Route 50 between US 15 and 50 - Confederate cavalry screens Lee's northward movement in a series of mid-June cavlary battles.

MD Point of Rocks, signs located at the MARC (commuter rail) station near Route 28 and US 15 – Confederate cavalry captured a military train here June 17. Thousands of Union troops later marched through here on the way to confront Lee's army. Another sign describes activity here and near here on the B&O Railroad during the war.

MD Rowser's Ford, Trails sign on the C&O Canal, just off River Road southwest of Darnestown - Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and 5,000 cavalrymen began crossing the Potomac River here June 27, 1863. Before leaving the area for Rockville, the Southerners burned boats and damaged the locks on the C&O canal.

MD Darnstown, sign in Darnstown Park – JEB Stuarts cavalry passed through here shortly after crossing the Potomac at Rowser's Ford. They followed on the heels of elements of the Union army, which had recently passed through.

MD Rockville, see visitor center for locations – Several signs tell the story of the enthusisastic reception given to Confederate Gen. JEB Stuart's cavlary June 28. Some prisoners were taken.

MD Brookville, sign on Route 97 north of Route 28 - Stuart released nearly 400 civilian and military prisoners here after leaving Rockville.

Union Advance Tour

VA  Guilford Signal Station, sign located in the Claude Moore Park off Cascades Parkway south of Route 7 in Sterling – Site of vital communication link between the Union army and Washington. Reynolds' troops camp here on way to Pennsylvania.

MD  Edward's Ferry, Trails sign on the C&O Canal at River Road and Edward's Ferry Road southwest of Poolesville - More than 75,000 Union troops crossed here on pontoon bridges June 25-27, 1863, in pursuit of Lee's Confederates.

MD  Jefferson, sign at Jefferson Community Center on Lander Road between US 340 and Route 180 - Union soldiers received a warm welcome in this small town June 24-28 as they marched north in pursuit of the Confederate army.

Prospect Hall
MD  Prospect Hall, sign located on Himes Avenue just off of Route 180, near the Jefferson Pike exit from US 340 – Gen. George Meade took command of the Union army here, taking the place of Gen. Joe Hooker, on June 28. "Change of Command" marker now on grounds of St. John's Literary Institution.

MD  Downtown Frederick, stop at the visitor center downtown for more information about Civil War Frederick. Also see the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Campaign interpretive sign located at Patrick and Market streets and another a couple of blocks north on Market – Quotations and wartime photographs tell the story of the tens of thousands of troops moving through the city streets in 1862 and 1863.

MD  Rose Hill, sign located on Market Street north of Frederick, just off US 15 and MD 26 - The Union army's huge artillery reserve parked here in late June on the way to confront Lee, then in Pennsylvania. Site was home to Maryland's first governor, Thomas Johnson.

MD  Richfield, sign located off US 15, 0.8 miles north of Route 355 intersection - Large numbers of Union cavalry camped here June 28-29. Newly made generals George A. Custer and Elon J. Farmsworth -- both promoted from captain -- took command of their units here. Seeing their new general, some of Custer's men called him "the boy General of the Golden Lock." Farnsworth was killed at Gettysburg. Custer survived the Civil War but famously died at the Little Big Horn in 1876.

MD  Catoctin Furnace, ssign located on Route 806, two miles south of Thurmont - Union I Corps under Gen. John Reynolds marched past this busy iron manufacturing site June 29.

MD  Old Frederick Road, sign located 0.5 miles south of Route 77 at Loy's Station Bridge - Union soldiers marched north here paralleling Reynold's Corps to the west. Meade passed nearby after the battle.

MD  Middleburg, sign located at Lion's Club on Middleburg Road - Meade, in an effort to find a good "offensive/defensive" position to protect Baltimore and Washington until he discovered what Lee was up to, ordered the occupation of good ground at Pipe Creek. This is the left flank of that line. The line was never fully occupied. Events a few miles northwest at Gettysburg intervened.

MD  Uniontown, sign located at old elementary school on Uniontown Road - The Union II Corps under Gen. Winfield S. Hancock marched toward Pipe Creek, arriving here late June 29.

MD  Union Bridge, sign located at the B&O Railroad Museum, Route 75 - Union Gen. John Reynolds' body was brought here after his death on the first day of the battle. He was taken to Baltimore on the busy Western Maryland Railroad.

MD  New Windsor, sign located at Town Park, Route 31 - Union Gen. John Sedgwick's VI Corps camped near here June 29. Union cavalry, chasing JEB Stuart, passed through here that same day.

MD  Westminster, see the visitor center for Civil War Tours and complete listing for the seven Gettysburg Campaign interpretive signs in Westminster - Several Civil War Trails signs scattered through town tell the story of the intense cavalry battle here June 29, the tone of the town before the battle and the immense Union supply effort that passed through here.

MD  Manchester, sign in town park off Route 27 - This site was the right flank of Meade's Pipe Creek Line. The Union VI Corps camped here the night before they marched to Gettysburg.

MD  Union Mills, signs at site on Route 97 - Confederate cavalry camped here June 29 and early June 30. Hours after the Confederates left, Union infantry marched by.

MD  Taneytown, sign at the Memorial Park on Route 140 - Events were moving rapidly here June 30-July 1. Meade ordered Hancock north to Gettysburg as his men marched through on July 1 as the battle developed. Meade followed from here.

MD  Emmitsburg, sign at the Emmitsburg Welcome Center off US 15 and three signs on the historic grounds of the Daughters of Charity on South Seton Avenue - Reynolds, commanding the left wing of Meade's army, hurried north from here to Gettysburg early July 1. He was killed there that day. Emmitsburg hosted tens of thousands of Union troops on their way to the battle. The Daughters of Charity assisted both before and after the battle. The Sisters were among the first to provide help in Gettysburg after the fighting.

 PA  Gettysburg, see Gettysburg.

Confederate Advance Tour

VA  Stephenson's Depot, located north of Winchester near Route 11 – Confederate victory here June 15 cleared the way for Lee's move north.

MD   "Cumberland Surrenders" – Trails sign located in Constitution Park, Cumberland MD. [Road map]
The citizens of Cumberland found themselves in no-man's land as Confederate forces marched north through the Shenandoah Valley in June 1863. Confederates ordered to protect Robert E. Lee's left flank negotiated the surrender of the town June 17. The Southerners proceeded to "buy" footwear and dry goods using Confederate script.

MD  Williamsport, Trails sign on the C&O Canal towpath near the visitor center - Confederate forces began crossing into Maryland here June 15, 1863. More than 50,000 Confederates crossed here over the next 11 days. Confederate wounded from the battle began arriving here July 5 and piled up for more than a week due to flooding in the Potomac. The small town became a hospital for thousands.

MD  Shielding the Army, sign located on Route 63 north of I-70 - Confederates moved quickly toward Pennsylvania along this route, shielded from the Union forces by the South Mountain range.

MD  Crossing the Mason and Dixon, sign located on Route 63 near Route 494 – Lee's Confederate army excitedly approached the Mason and Dixon line, the dividing line between North and South.

 PA  Cashtown Inn, sign located on grounds of the building on Old Route 30 west of Gettysburg – Lee and A.P. Hill met here July 1, 1863, and listened to the sounds of the growing battle just ahead near Gettysburg. Much of the Confederate army passed by here on the way to the fighting.

 PA  Gettysburg, see Gettysburg.

Retreat Tour

MD  War Returns to South Mountain (Monterey Pass), Trails sign at Pen Mar Park, 11400 Pen Mar High Rock Road, Cascade MD 21719 [Road map] – Following the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg, Union Cavalry caught up with Lee’s retreating wagon train July 4 at Monterey Pass just north of here. In a vicious six-hour night fight in a thunderstorm, Union troopers broke through and headed this way, later continuing their pursuit of the wagons.

MD  Leitersburg, sign located on Route 418 just north of town – Union cavalry struck here July 5 after the Confederate army ended a 12-hour march through rain and mud.

MD  Smithsburg, sign just east of Route 77 north of Route 64 - Union cavalry got a warm welcome from the citizens here July 5 after a wet night of following the Confederate retreat from the battlefield. JEB Stuart, protecting Lee's retreat routes to the Potomac, engaged the Northerners, damaging several houses in town.

MD  The Wagoners' Fight, sign on Route 68 between US 11 and Route 65 - Union cavalry, in hot pursuit of the Confederates, caught up with Lee's wagon train here July 6. Confederate wagoners were pressed into service to hold off the attacks. The defense saved 4,000 wagons and 10,000 horses for the Confederate cause.

MD  First and Second Battles of Hagerstown, signs in town's public square near the visitor center – The citizens of Hagerstown witnessed fighting in the streets twice following the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 6, 1863, while Lee was retreating to the Potomac River, Union cavalry tried to clear the town of Confederate defenders but were unsuccessful. Six days later, a second Union attempt, led by Gen. George A. Custer, succeeded in taking the town.

MD  Battle of Boonsboro, sign just south of Alternate Route 40 - Buying time for Lee's army, JEB Stuart attacked Union cavalry here along the National Road on July 8. After gaining some advantage during the largest cavalry battle of the retreat, Stuart began to encounter Union infantry. That ended his advance.

MD  Battle of Funkstown, sign on Alternate Route 40 just north of I-70 - JEB Stuart's Confederate cavalry fought a defensive battle here July 10. The Confederates succeeded in gaining yet another day for Lee's army as it continued to the Potomac River.

MD  Jones's Crossroads, Trails sign at intersection of Routes 65 and 68 south of Hagerstown – For the first time since the Battle of Gettysburg, the Union and Confederate armies faced each other in force behind entrenchments near here July 12, 1863. The Confederates were able to escape across the Potomac River the next day.

MD  Meade's Headquarters, sign at Devil's Backbone Park, Route 68 north of Boonsboro - Union Gen. George Meade held a council of war here July 12 to decide whether to attack Lee in his fortified positions near Williamsport. Despite a decisive "no" vote from his corps commanders, Meade attacked to little effect two days later.

MD   "High Knob" – Trails sign located in Gambrill St. Park, 8602 Gambrill Road, Middletown MD 21769. [Road map]
This site offers a picturesque view of the valley that was the rendezvous point for Union forces pursuing the retreating Confederates following the Battle of Gettysburg. This part of the march was particularly dangerous and tedious for the Federals owing to the steep, rocky climb.

MD  Falling Waters, Trails sign on the C&O Canal towpath (no direct automobile access and visitors must hike in 2–3 miles from Williamsport) – Most of Lee's army crossed on pontoon bridges here on a flooding Potomac River July 10–14, 1863, escaping the Federal pursuit following the Battle of Gettysburg.

MD Brunswick, sign at the MARC station - Union troops crossed the Potomac River here at this active transportation town (formerly Berlin) in July, part of the pursuit of Lee's Army.

VA  Bel Air, located near the visitor center in Front Royal - Diarist in this handsome mansion records visit by Lee July 22.

See also More Maryland for Western Maryland sites also included on the Gettysburg Campaign Civil War Trails Map.