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

St. Thomas Episcopal Church

Unintended Target

 
 
St. Thomas Episcopal Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
1. St. Thomas Episcopal Church Marker
Inscription. Before you, at the top of Church Street, stands St. Thomas Episcopal Church, which became an unintended target of Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s artillery on January 5-6, 1862. Jackson had led his force from Winchester, Virginia to destroy as much of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal as possible while driving Federal units before him to Hancock. He reached the Potomac River south of the town on January 5 and demanded that Gen. F. W. Lander and his Union command surrender, shelling them from Orrick’s Hill (named for the home of Confederate congressman Johnson Orrick). When Union reinforcements arrived, Jackson decided to withdraw and march to Romney (in present-day West Virginia) on January 7. Before he departed, however, he ordered Col. Harry Gilmore to plunder a supply train of rifles, ammunition, and other supplies.

With Jackson’s departure, the threat to Hancock ended. The U.S. troops here prevented a Confederate invasion of the North.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 41.897′ N, 78° 10.671′ W. Marker is in Hancock, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Church Street south of Main Street
Detail of Marker Showing Map of Hancock image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
2. Detail of Marker Showing Map of Hancock
The "You Are Here" star is in the wrong place. It should be a block south at the Western Maryland Rail Trail just east of Church Street.
(Maryland Route 144), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. There is plenty of metered parking in the town lot to the left of the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Hancock MD 21750, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gettysburg Campaign (here, next to this marker); The National Road (a few steps from this marker); Hancock (within shouting distance of this marker); Hancock Station (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Thomas Church (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Hancock.
 
More about this marker. Orrick’s Hill is across the Potomac River in (West) Virginia. Maryland is just two miles wide here at Hancock. West Virginia is just across the Potomac River to the south and Pennsylvania is across the Mason-Dixon Line to the north.
 
Also see . . .
1. Saint Thomas Episcopal Parish History. (Submitted on January 25, 2007.)
2. A Brief History of Hancock, Maryland – Part 2. (Submitted on January 25, 2007.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.War, US Civil
 
Church Street image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
3. Church Street
St. Thomas Church can be seen at the top of Church Street two blocks away. Main Street crosses Church Street at the stop sign. During the Civil War, Main Street carried the National Road that ran from Baltimore to Ohio and points west. Behind the photographer is the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, at the foot of Church street.
Bridge over the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
4. Bridge over the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
This bridge once carried Church Street over the C&O Canal. The Potomac River is just beyond the trees. The Western Maryland Railroad (now the Western Maryland Rail Trail) did not run through here during the Civil War, but the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks were (and continue to be) just across the river. Today the road bridge across the Potomac is a few blocks west.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
5. St. Thomas Episcopal Church
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,229 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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