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Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Cumberland
Strategic Center
 
Cumberland Marker Photo, Click for full size
November 28, 2008
1. Cumberland Marker
 
Inscription. In 1860, Cumberland was a small town of 7,302 residents, most of whom lived in the valley of Willís Creek. The town was an important stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. When the Civil War began in 1861, some residents supported the United States and others the Confederacy. Outright dissention ceased when Union forces garrisoned the town in June.

Cumberland soon became the administrative center for the defense of the western section of the railroad, the canal, and northern West Virginia. About 3,000 Union soldiers usually were stationed here, although the number increased periodically to as many as 8,000. Cumberland also served as a hospital and supply base, and when the war ended, it became a demobilization center. Military administrators occupied many buildings here during the war, while encampments sprang up on the outskirts of town and troops constructed fortifications on the surrounding hills to control approaches.

Confederate cavalry raiders frequently threatened to destroy area railroad facilities and bridges. The long-distance raids came from the east along the railroad or passed through West Virginia from the south, usually targeting less well-defended parts of the line. These hit-and-run raids created turmoil throughout the war. The Confederates attacked
 
Cumberland Civil War Trails Marker Photo, Click for full size
November 28, 2008
2. Cumberland Civil War Trails Marker
At Cumberland's Constitution Park.
 
Cumberland itself only twice, most spectacularly on February 21, 1865, when Lt. Jesse McNeill and his Partisan Rangers (guerillas) captured Union Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley, who commanded the troops protecting the railroad, as well as Gen. George Crook.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 38.978′ N, 78° 44.992′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker can be reached from Fort Avenue. Click for map. This marker is located on the grounds of the City of Cumberland's Constitution Park. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. McNeillís Raid (approx. half a mile away); Capture of Generals (approx. half a mile away); The First National Bank and Trust Company of Western Maryland (approx. 0.6 miles away); Military Hospital (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today (approx. 0.7 miles away); The National Road (approx. 0.7 miles away); Life on the Canal (approx. 0.7 miles away); Boat Building at the Cumberland Basin (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cumberland.
 
More about this marker.
 
Close-up of Sketch on Marker Photo, Click for full size
November 28, 2008
3. Close-up of Sketch on Marker
 
On the left of the marker is sketch captioned, Harper's Weekly 1866 image of Cumberland. On the upper right of the marker is a portrait captioned, Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley was a operational commander of the western B&O defenses throughout the war.
 
Also see . . .
1. Cumberland, Maryland. National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places (Submitted on December 1, 2008.) 

2. McNeil's Raid. Richmond Times-Dispatch - January 6 , 1935 (Submitted on December 1, 2008.) 
 
View of Cumberland Maryland from Constitution Park Photo, Click for full size
November 28, 2008
4. View of Cumberland Maryland from Constitution Park
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on December 1, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,029 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 1, 2008. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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