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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Richfield

“The Boy General of the Golden Lock”

 
 
Richfield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
1. Richfield Marker
Inscription. It was here that George Armstrong Custer was first introduced as a general to the troops he would command. The first order signed by Gen. George G. Meade as the newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863 promoted three young captians, Custer, Elon J. Farnsworth and Wesley Merritt, to the rank of brigadier-general, at the request of Gen. Alfred Pleasonton Commander of the Union Cavalry Corps. Two of them, Custer, age 23 and Farnsworth, age 25, were notified of their promotions at the City Hotel in downtown Frederick. They were assigned to newly formed Third Division of cavalry camped here on June 28-29 as brigade commanders.

On June 29, Custer and Farnsworth arrrived here to take command of their respective brigades. Some of the troopers, upon seeing Custer for the first time, called him "the boy General of the Golden Lock."

From Richfield, Custer and Farnsworth rode north to Gettysburg. Farnsworth died in the battle on July 3, while Custer went on to be one of the Civil War's great cavalry generals. He died on June 25, 1876 at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Montana Territory.

Also on June 29, 1863, the I and XI Infantry Corps, Army of the Potomac, passed Richfield on their march to Gettysburg. Meade rode by while returning from Gettysburg on July 7.
 
Marker series.
George Washington Marker and CW Trails Marker Alongside the Highway image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
2. George Washington Marker and CW Trails Marker Alongside the Highway
This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 28.113′ N, 77° 24.096′ W. Marker is near Frederick, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Catoctin Mountain Highway (U.S. 15) and Willow Road, on the right when traveling north on Catoctin Mountain Highway. Click for map. The marker is located at a pull off the divided highway which connects to a private entrance to the Richfield farm. Marker is in this post office area: Frederick MD 21701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. George Washington (a few steps from this marker); Rose Hill Manor (approx. 2.3 miles away); Laboring Sons Memorial Ground (approx. 3.3 miles away); Roger Brooke Taney (approx. 3.5 miles away); Former Site of Tory Gaol (approx. 3.6 miles away); William Tyler Page (approx. 3.6 miles away); Ramsey House (approx. 3.7 miles away); North Market Street (approx. 3.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Frederick.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays a picture of Richfield with the caption, “George Washington slept here twice. Richfield was the first Frederick County home of Maryland's first elected governor, Thomas Johnson, Brigadier General of Maryland troops in the
Richfield image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
3. Richfield
The manor stands on private property to the east of the marker.
American Revolution and Washington’s longtime friend.”


The marker also displays pictures of George Custer and Elon Farnworth. An area map highlights the important sites and movements of the Gettysburg campaign.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Biographical Sketch of George Custer. (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Elon Farnsworth biography. (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. Admiral Schley Biography. (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
4. Richfield. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. (MDIHP). "Despite the site's association with significant persons, the current building on the site is minimally significant for its architecture and is not directly associated with these illustrious persons. The building in which Thomas Johnson lived is no longer standing and that in which Schley was born has been significantly altered. Furthermore, Schley lived at Richfield as a child, long before his achievement of fame and importance as a Naval officer, further diluting the significance of the standing structure. The property is thus not eligible for listing under Criterion A, B or C." (Submitted on August 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
House at Richfield image. Click for full size.
Janet Davis - Maryland Historical Trust (Historic Sites Survey), December 1992
4. House at Richfield
 
 
Additional comments.
1. Richfield
The House at Richfield is not the house George Washington slept in (twice). That house burned down on May 22, 1818. Nor is it the house that stood here when Custer and Farnsworth took their commands on the way to Gettysburg, the house in which Admiral Schley was born. That house was destroyed by a tornado in 1929 and substantially rebuilt in the same style. But this old house marks the place where all that history transpired. It reminds us of the man who proudly claimed to own George Washington's Ax. "of course I've had to replace the handle three times over the years and the head twice."
    — Submitted August 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

 
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Barn at Richfield image. Click for full size.
Janet Davis - Maryland Historical Trust (Historic Sites Survey), December 1992
5. Barn at Richfield
George Washington Slept Here<br>Twice image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 10, 2010
6. George Washington Slept Here
Twice
Richfield was the first Frederick County home of Maryland's first elected governor, Thomas Johnson, Brigadier General of Maryland troops in the American Revolution and Washington's longtime friend.
Close-up of photo on marker
Historical Society of Frederick County
Richfield image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 5, 2010
7. Richfield
As seen from the marker
Richfield image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 5, 2010
8. Richfield
Richfield image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 5, 2010
9. Richfield
Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, USN image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
10. Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, USN
Richfield was also the birthplace of Admiral Schley, who played a prominent role in the battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War.
The Hero of Santiago image. Click for full size.
By Marken and Bielfield
11. The Hero of Santiago
This Marken and Bielfield postcard appears in their 1908 Souvenir of Historic Frederick. It identifies Richfield as the birthplace of Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. Insets show Admiral Schley and his flag Ship "Brooklyn".
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,162 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   10. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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