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

McNeill’s Raid

Capture of Crook and Kelly

McNeill's Raid Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 13, 2006
1. McNeill's Raid Marker
Inscription. In the predawn darkness of February 21, 1865, Confederate Lt. Jesse McNeill and his partisan (guerrilla) rangers rode into Cumberland from the west on this road. Unlike most raiders who targeted the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for attack, McNeill had other targets in mind: Union Gens. Benjamin F. Kelley, who commanded the troops guarding the railroad, and George Crook.

McNeill's men overpowered two guard units and deceived others who challenged them by claiming, to be scouts from New Creek, west of town. One group rode to the Barnum Hotel and rushed upstairs to Kelley's door, where they "persuaded" his adjutant to admit them. Once inside, they rudely awakened Kelley, ordered him to dress, and marched him and the adjutant down stairs. Other rangers occupied the Revere House and knocked on Crook's locked door. When Crook invited them inside, ranger Joseph Vandiver entered with a light in one hand and a pistol in the other. He identified himself to Crook as Confederate Gen. Thomas L. Rosser, perhaps to make surrender more palatable, and told Crook, "You are in my power, and you have two minutes in which to dress. There are your clothes; either put them on or go without."

Leaving town, McNeill's rangers and their prisoners rode west on Baltimore Street, then turned left on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath. At
New and Old Markers, Side By Side image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 13, 2006
2. New and Old Markers, Side By Side
The location of the old Revere House is now the parking lot of a bank, out of frame on the left. The Barnum House was on this same side of the street, one block away on the left.
Wiley's Ford, they crossed the Potomac River into West Virginia. McNeill's daring raid stunned Federal officials, who quickly arranged a prisoner exchange for the two generals.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 39.133′ N, 78° 45.546′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is at the intersection of Baltimore Street and Queen City Drive, on the left when traveling east on Baltimore Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Capture of Generals (here, next to this marker); A Boom for Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); Capture of Generals B.F. Kelly and George Crook (within shouting distance of this marker); Christ's (St. Paul's) Lutheran Church (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First National Bank and Trust Company of Western Maryland (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Cumberland.
Also see . . .
1. Daring Invasion of McNeill's Rangers, and Capture of Generals Crook and Kelly. From the 1923 book History of Allegany County Maryland, by James
Sprigg Singleton Lynn 1844 - 1898 image. Click for more information.
circa 1868
3. Sprigg Singleton Lynn 1844 - 1898
Sprigg Lynn served with Jesse McNeill's Virginia Cavalry Battalion as an irregular in the Cumberland, Maryland area and participated in the kidnapping of Generals Crook and Kelly from their hotel rooms in Cumberland. Private Sprigg Lynn was captured and escaped five times until his unit was disbanded.
Click for more information.
W Thomas and Judge T J C Williams. (Submitted on November 25, 2006.) 

2. A Century of Change - Baltimore Street Near George Street. Photos and commentary of this location, showing the buildings discussed in on this marker. (Submitted on November 25, 2006.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,154 times since then and 208 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by 'Capt' South T. Lynn of Darnestown, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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