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Near Bolivar in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Battle at South Mountain
A Natural Barrier

— Antietam Campaign 1862 —
 
Battle at South Mountain – A Natural Barrier Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
1. Battle at South Mountain – A Natural Barrier Marker
 
Inscription. The Battle of South Mountain erupted on September 14, 1862, when elements of the Union army tried to drive the Confederate rear guard from Crampton’s, Fox’s, and Turner’s Gaps and break through to the western side of the mountain to attack Confederates there. When Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia marched into Maryland earlier in the month, he was looking for supplies and recruits for a possible invasion of Pennsylvania. He hoped while resting men at Frederick that the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry would flee and leave his lines of communication and transportation unhindered. When the garrison stayed put, however, threatening his rear, Lee issued Special Orders No. 191 to divide his army and send Stonewall Jackson with about half of the army to capture Harpers Ferry. Lee marched over South Mountain, using it as a screen to help conceal the remainder of his troops and keep Gen. George B. McClellan’s pursuing Army of the Potomac at bay. But then the Federals found a dropped copy of Special Orders No. 191, and it became especially critical for the outnumbered Confederates to hold South Mountain passes until Jackson completed his mission and rejoined them. The day-long battle, it turned out, gave the Confederates just time enough.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails
 
Three Maryland Civil War Trails Markers in the Inn's Parking Lot Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
2. Three Maryland Civil War Trails Markers in the Inn's Parking Lot
 
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Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 29.067′ N, 77° 37.198′ W. Marker is near Bolivar, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Old National Road (Alternate U.S. 40) and Washington Monument Road, on the right when traveling east on Old National Road. Click for map. Located in the parking lot for the Old South Mountain Inn. Very close to the Frederick and Washington County line. The Appalachian Trail passes a few feet from the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Middletown MD 21769, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 19th Century Backpacker (here, next to this marker); 1862 Antietam Campaign (here, next to this marker); Turner's Pass Tablet T. P. 1 (within shouting distance of this marker); Turner's Pass Tablet T. P. 3 (within shouting distance of this marker); Turner's Pass Tablet T. P. 4 (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Bolivar.
 
More about this marker. The marker has a detailed map of South Mountain highlighting important battle sites.

A newspaper drawing of the battle carries the caption, Union forces advance to the pass. View from the National Road.
 
Close Up of the South Mountain Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
3. Close Up of the South Mountain Map
 

 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Lost Special Orders 191 markers
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle of South Mountain. From the State Park website. (Submitted on July 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Official Reports of the Battle. (Submitted on July 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Additional keywords. Antietam Campaign 1862
 
The Crest of South Mountain Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
4. The Crest of South Mountain
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,523 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 2, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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