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

Battle of Boonsboro

Buying Time


—Gettysburg Campaign —

Battle of Boonsboro Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 3, 2007
1. Battle of Boonsboro Marker
Inscription. Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart faced a difficult assignment: to locate the Union cavalry and prevent it from severing Gen. Robert E. Lee’s avenue of retreat to Williamsport and the Potomac River after the Battle of Gettysburg. The result was the biggest and most sustained cavalry battle in Maryland during the campaign. The Battle of Boonsboro occurred here along the National Road on Wednesday, July 8, 1863.

Stuart, with five brigades advancing from the direction of Funkstown and Williamsport, first encountered Federal resistance at Bever Creek Bridge, 4½ miles north of Boonsboro. By 11 a.m., the Confederate cavalry had pushed to these mud-soaked fields, where fighting on horseback was nearly impossible, forcing Stuart’s troopers and Gens. H. Judson Kilpatrick’s and John Buford’s Union cavalry divisions to dismount and slug it out like infantry.

By mid-afternoon, the Union left under Kilpatrick crumbled as the Federals ran low on ammunition under increasing Confederate pressure. Stuart’s advanced ended about 7 p.m., however, when Union infantry arrived—the first to engage on a Maryland battlefield since Gettysburg. Stuart withdrew north to Funkstown, but he had gained another day for Lee’s retreating army.

“The Seven-Shooter Spencer”

Some Union cavalry used Spencer
Close Up View of the Battle Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 3, 2007
2. Close Up View of the Battle Map
rifles with their seven-cartridge magazines, versus traditional single-shot muzzleloaders. The new weapon also proved deadly accurate. Capt. James Kidd, 6th Michigan Cavalry, later recalled a Confederate officer here waving his men forward from atop a stone fence: “A shot from a Spencer brought him headlong to the ground, and after that no one had the temerity to expose himself in that way.”
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 31.585′ N, 77° 39.832′ W. Marker is near Boonsboro, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Old National Road (Alternate U.S. 40), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located in the parking lot of an antique market, just off the highway. Marker is in this post office area: Boonsboro MD 21713, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stonewall Jackson's Way (approx. half a mile away); Town of Boonsboro (approx. 0.9 miles away); Washington Monument (approx. 0.9 miles away); Boonsboro
Roadside Location of the Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
3. Roadside Location of the Marker
(approx. 1.3 miles away); The National Road (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 1.3 miles away); Cannon of Revolutionary War (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Boys from Boonsboro District (approx. 1.5 miles away); The Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg (approx. 2.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Boonsboro.
More about this marker. The marker displays a drawing of the battle with the caption, “C.E.H. Bonwill’s sketch of Kilpatrick repulsing J.E.B. Stuart at Boonsboro.” The side bar features a drawing of the Spencer rifle. A map details the tactical action during the battle.
Also see . . .
1. Battle of Boonsboro Summary. (Submitted on July 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Essay on Gen. Buford's Cavalry Division in the Pursuit from Gettysburg. (Submitted on July 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
Categories. War, US Civil
East Side of the Battlefield Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
4. East Side of the Battlefield
Federals in Gamble's Brigade fought with Confederates from Jones' Brigade across the field and high grounds on the opposite side of the highway from the marker. residential development has altered the western side of the battlefield.
The National Road Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 16, 2008
5. The National Road
The road bisected the battlefield, with cavalry of both sides skirmishing to the left and the right of the road. This photo was taken about a tenth of a mile north of the marker location along the road, thus looking from the Confederate skirmish line back toward the Federal lines.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,498 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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