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


Summit Hall Farm


—Gettysburg Campaign —

Gaithersburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 7, 2007
1. Gaithersburg Marker
Inscription. On Sunday, June 28, 1863, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and an estimated 5,000 cavalrymen arrived in Rockville en route to Gettysburg. Armed with a list of Union supporters, Stuart’s men planned to arrest John T. DeSellum as he left Presbyterian services, but shopkeeper Dora Higgins warned him in time to escape. Stuart’s cavalrymen seized new mounts and supplies around Rockville, including some of Summit Hall’s horses, forage, and foodstuffs. Though a slaveholder, John T. DeSellum was an outspoken Unionist and Federal enrollment officer. He wrote: “...Sister and myself rode to church at Rockville. Ominious looks and gestures prepared me for the comeing storm. And soon [Confederate Gen. JEB] Stewart’s cavaldry rode into Rockville, aresting offesnive Union men. And pursued a splendid train of mules, and wagons, capturing them.”

In the last Confederate invasion in 1864, Gen. Jubal A. Early’s army camped here the night before attacking Ft. Stevens on July 11-12. Early commandeered the house for his headquarters, and DeSellum lost his remaining livestock, crops, and fencing. When he protested, Early left him two barrels of corn. Soldiers searching the house for weapons missed $3,000 hurriedly concealed under his sister Sarah’s voluminous skirts. DeSellum, Sarah, and their parents are buried nearby.

Marker at the Edge of the Parking Lot image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 7, 2007
2. Marker at the Edge of the Parking Lot
In the background is one of several outbuildings of the Summit Hall Farm.
Confederate resources were limited. Cavalrymen provided their own horses and tack, receiving horseshoes, feed, a per diem of 40 cents per horse, and compensation if a mount was killed (none if injured or captured). Units became undermanned when troopers left to search for replacement mounts. As shortages increased, cavalrymen cut hooves from dead horses for horseshoes. Many men impoverished their families to stay in the prestigious cavalry.

Union quartermasters had more resources, deploying rations, horses, and equipment by rail or wagon. Still, Federals and Confederates stole livestock to supplement rations. While both sides issued reimbursement receipts for supplies requisitioned from civilians, Confederate money was soon shunned and gold demanded.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 7.997′ N, 77° 11.556′ W. Marker is in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from South Frederick Ave. Click for map. Inside the Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm. Marker is at or near this postal address: 506 S Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg MD 20877, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
Summit Hall Farm image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 7, 2007
3. Summit Hall Farm
of this marker. Summit Hall Farm Smokehouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Summit Hall Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); DeSellum Family Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); General Edward Braddock (approx. 0.4 miles away); History and Purpose of the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Meridian Mark Pier and Geodetic Survey Monuments (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Observatory (approx. 0.4 miles away); Night at the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Gaithersburg.
More about this marker. The marker has two pictures. On the left is a drawing depicting action during the war captioned, “Confederates route a small Union guard and capture a wagon train containing much-needed supplies.”

On the right is a photograph of Summit Hall, “Built circa 1813, Summit Hall was a plain, two-story structure in the Federal style with massive chimneys at the gable ends. It was substantially renovated in 1887 (shown above) and again changed appearances to the present look in 1937. At an elevation of 500 feet, it commands a panoramic view of the countryside. DeSellum ‘daily beheld the smoke, and hazy atmosphere—caused by battle, campfires, and conflagrations’ in the August 1862 Battle of Cedar
Grave Sites of Sarah and John T. DeSellum image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 7, 2007
4. Grave Sites of Sarah and John T. DeSellum
Mountain. ‘The reverberation of artillery was incessant’ during the Second Battle of Manassas, and he ‘heard firing’ in the 1864 Battle of Monocacy.”
Regarding Gaithersburg. The Summit Hall house does stand adjacent to the park grounds, but is not open to the public.
Additional comments.
1. Quotations from John T. DeSellum
It is rather intriguing the record of hearing battle related noises from these great distances. While the sound from the Battle of Monocacy is quite possible, it being only 20 miles away, the Second Manassas battlefield is nearly 40 miles distant across the Potomac. Cedar Mountain is further at nearly 80 miles away.
    — Submitted July 15, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

Categories. War, US Civil
Summit Hall Today image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 25, 2009
5. Summit Hall Today
Summit Hall image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, July 25, 2009
6. Summit Hall
View from Frederick Avenue (State Route 355).
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,622 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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