HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
            “Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
  Home  — My Markers  — Add A Marker  — Marker Series  — Links & Books  — Forum  — About Us
Stronghold in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Sugarloaf Mountain
A Signalman’s Lot

— Antietam Campaign 1862 —
 
Sugarloaf Mountain Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 28, 2007
1. Sugarloaf Mountain Marker
 
Inscription. You are at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, where on September 5-6, 1862, Union observers watched the Army of Northern Virginia cross the Potomac River to invade Maryland. A signal station had been established here in the summer of 1861, one in a chain of such stations. It communicated with a signal station and U.S. Signal Corps school southeast of Darnestown, from which messages were relayed to Washington, and with the Point of Rocks railhead of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to the northwest, where messages would be passed to Harpers Ferry. The signals were made by holding a flag in various positions, representing letters, and sometimes in code.

On September 5, 1862, only Lt. Brinkerhoff “Brink” Miner and his aide Pvt. A.H. Cook manned the signal station. After signaling the invasion of the Confederate army to Darnestown and Point of Rocks, they made a hasty retreat down the mountain but decided to return the next morning. They ran headfirst into the 1st North Carolina Cavalry and took advantage of mutual surprise to turn around and escape, capturing a Confederate courier who had ridden out ahead of the troopers.

Later, the Confederates caught up with the group four miles toward Urbana at the home of a young woman friend of Miner. As they were dragged outside and searched, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart rode up and told
 
Marker between Sugarloaf Mountain Road and the Park Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, July 7, 2007
2. Marker between Sugarloaf Mountain Road and the Park Entrance
 
the Federal prisoners, “Good morning, gentlemen. I am very happy to see you.” Miner replied, “Good morning, General, we are sorry we cannot return the compliment.”

(Sidebar) Quarters were probably located below the summit on the west side near where a small stone fort (constructed in the 1930s) is located today. The station itself was located below the stone fort where the road to the summit meets the loop road at a circle.
 
Erected by Maryland Civl War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 15.098′ N, 77° 23.602′ W. Marker is in Stronghold, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is at the intersection of Comus Road (Maryland Route 95) and Sugarloaf Mountain Road, on the right on Comus Road. Click for map. Adjacent to the entrance to Sugarloaf Mountain Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7901 Comus Road, Dickerson MD 20842, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sugar Loaf Mountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Barnesville (approx. 2.2 miles away); a different marker also named Barnesville (approx. 2.2 miles away); Mt. Ephraim Crossroads (approx. 2.3 miles away); 1862 Antietam Campaign (approx. 2.5 miles away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 2.5 miles away); Chesapeake and Ohio Aqueduct (approx. 2.6 miles away); Historic Site [ B&O RR station] (approx. 2.7 miles away).
 
From the Summit Looking East Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 28, 2007
3. From the Summit Looking East
Darnestown, Gaithersburg and Rockville lay in the distance. On a very clear day it is possible to see Washington, D.C. More than any other vista from the top, the view to the east demonstrates the commanding elevation of Sugarloaf.
 

 
More about this marker. The marker features a drawing of an encampment at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, along with portraits of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and Lt. Brink Miner. An Antietam campaign map details unit movements and other Civil War Trails sites.
 
Also see . . .
1. Sugarloaf Mountain Park. (Submitted on July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Signal Corps Resources. (Submitted on July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. Short History of Signal Corps Operations from the War. (Submitted on July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
4. Animated Signal Alphabet. (Submitted on July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Stronghold, Incorporated
The park is maintained by Stronghold, Incorporated, a non-profit organization formed in 1946 by Gordon Strong with the aim to preserve the mountain and Stronghold Mansion for public enjoyment.
    — Submitted July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

2. Might Have Been.....
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once had an eye to acquire the mountain as a presidential retreat, but was unable to secure an agreement. Instead he chose a location on South Mountain, near Thurmont, MD which he named Shangri-La, and has become popularly known as Camp David from the 1950s onward.
 
From the Summit Looking South Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 28, 2007
4. From the Summit Looking South
The smoke stack is a power plant very close to the historical White's Ford crossing site. Beyond which lies Leesburg, Virginia. The mountains on the horizon behind the smokestack are the Catoctins. On the far left are the northern most heights of the Bull Run Mountains. A large portion of the Civil War played out within view of Sugarloaf.
 
    — Submitted July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
From the Summit Looking West Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, January 28, 2007
5. From the Summit Looking West
Directly in the foreground is Furnace Mountain on the Virginia side of the Catoctin Range, where the Patomac passes Point of Rocks, MD. A signal tower at Point of Rocks relayed messages to Harpers Ferry.
 
 
James Ewell Brown Stuart & Brinkerhoff Miner Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, June 2, 2013
6. James Ewell Brown Stuart & Brinkerhoff Miner
Close-up of photos on marker
 
 
Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland, 1862 Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, June 2, 2013
7. Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland, 1862
Close-up of Ward drawing on marker
 
 
Civil War Map, 1862 Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, June 2, 2013
8. Civil War Map, 1862
Close-up of map on marker
 
 
You Are Here Photo, Click for full size
By Allen C. Browne, June 2, 2013
9. You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
 
 
Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland<br>September 1862 Photo, Click for full size
Library of Congress
10. Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland
September 1862
Alfred R. Ward
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,176 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on June 3, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
Recommend or Share This Page.  
Share on Tumblr


•••
More Search Options
 
Markers
Near You

 
Categories

 
States & Provinces

 
Counties
Click to List


 
Countries

Page composed
in 227 ms.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To search within this page, hold down the Ctrl key and press F.
On an Apple computer,
hold down the Apple key and press F.