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

The Wagoners’ Fight

Teamsters Help Save the Army

 
 
The Wagoners' Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
1. The Wagoners' Fight Marker
Inscription. More bad news arrived for the Confederates retreating from Gettysburg on July 6, 1863—Union cavalry was in hot pursuit. With the flooded Potomac River preventing Gen. John D. Imboden’s escape at Williamsport, and lacking Gen. Robert E. Lee’s main infantry column (still miles away) and significant Confederate cavalry support, Imboden had to make a stand along.

Improvising reinforcements, Imboden organized about 700 of his wagoners into infantry companies under wounded officers, and commissaries and quartermasters. He positioned these makeshift soldiers on his right and left flanks and then bolstered the center of his line with 2,100 dismounted cavalrymen and 24 cannons, establishing a three-mile perimeter on a crescent-shaped ridge a half-mile west of Williamsport.

Meanwhile, two Union cavalry divisions almost 7,000 strong, galloped toward Williamsport to destroy the wagon train and cut off the Confederate escape route. Gen. John Buford’s division arrived first and attacked along this road at 4 p.m. For the next five hours, Buford probed Imboden’s line with carbine and artillery fire but failed to dislodge it. As darkness neared, word passed that Confederate cavalry reinforcements were arriving, and the Federals then retreated. The “Wagoners’ Fight” had prevented the capture of 4,000 Confederate
The Wagoners’ Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, June 29, 2016
2. The Wagoners’ Fight Marker
Condition of the marker in 2016.
wagons and 10,000 animals and had kept open the Army of Northern Virginia’s path of retreat.

“As we could not retreat further, it was at once made known to the troops, that unless we should repel the threatened attack we should all become prisoners, and that the loss of his whole transportation would probably ruin General Lee” —Gen. John D. Imboden
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 34.764′ N, 77° 48.492′ W. Marker is in Williamsport, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Lappans Road (Maryland Route 68), on the left. Click for map. At the entrance to the Williamsport Redmens Club, approximately 750 feet from the road. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16129 Lappans Road, Williamsport MD 21795, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rose Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); A Canal Home (approx. 1.4 miles away); Lock 44 (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Bowie List (approx. 1.5 miles away); Murder of Dewitt Clinton Rench (Rentch) (approx. 1.5 miles away); Williamsport
Close Up of the Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
3. Close Up of the Battle Map
(approx. 1.6 miles away); River View Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Williamsport (approx. 1.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Williamsport.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays portraits of Gens. Buford and Imboden, and a map of the tactical operations conducted during the battle.
 
Also see . . .
1. Imboden's Report of the Campaign. (Submitted on August 6, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. An Essay of Buford's Cavalry in the Pursuit from Gettysburg. With a section on the action at Williamsport (Submitted on August 6, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Battleground Today
Although not entirely erased, the ground contested on July 6, 1863 has changed considerably since the 19th Century. Interstate 81 runs just behind the Confederate positions and an industrial park now dominates the main part of the lines. The historical roadbeds are only traces, as the modern highways have taken paths better suited for motor traffic flow.
    — Submitted August 6, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg,
Marker at the Entrance Way to the Redmen's Club image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
4. Marker at the Entrance Way to the Redmen's Club
Virginia.

 
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,898 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 9, 2016.
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