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“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)
 

Picket Post No. 1

McNeill's Raid to Steal Generals

 
 
Picket Post No. 1 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 1, 2019
1. Picket Post No. 1 Marker
Inscription.  In the predawn darkness of February 21, 1865, Confederate Lt. Jesse McNeill and his Partisan Rangers approached Cumberland from the west on this road. Unlike most guerrilla raiders, who targeted the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, McNeill had other targets in mind: Union Gens. Benjamin F. Kelley, who commanded the troops guarding the railroad, and George Crook. Jesse McNeill had taken command of the Rangers after his father John H. McNeill, was mortally wounded. The younger McNeill held a grudge against Kelley because of his relentless campaign against the Rangers and intended to settle the score with this raid.

At about 2:30 A.M., McNeill and his men encountered a Union picket here who demanded to know their identity. "Friends from New Creek," replied McNeill, who was then ordered to come forward and give the countersign. Instead, McNeill charged the guard and fired a shot at him that missed. The picket surrendered, and two of his comrades were captured a hundred yards down the road. The soldiers were German recruits in Co. B, 3rd Ohio Cavalry, who spoke heavily accented English and refused to give the countersign until
Picket Post No. 1 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 1, 2019
2. Picket Post No. 1 Marker
the Rangers threatened to hang one of them. Finally, they uttered what sounded like "Bools Kap"—actually Bulls Gap. Armed with the countersign, the Rangers and McNeill rode on and surprised and overwhelmed the other picket posts. In Cumberland, they kidnapped Kelley and Crook from their beds in the Barnum Hotel and the Revere House. The daring raid stunned Federal officials, who quickly arranged a prisoner exchange for the two generals.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 38.451′ N, 78° 47.595′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is on McMullen Highway Southwest (U.S. 220) 0.2 miles south of National Freeway (Interstate 68), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Braddock's Road" (approx. mile away); Combined Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.3 miles away in West Virginia); In Memory (approx. 1.3 miles away in West Virginia); Ridgeley Honor Roll (approx. 1.3 miles away in West Virginia); The National Road (approx. 1.4 miles away); Bane House
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(approx. 1.4 miles away); Shriver House (approx. 1.4 miles away); 301 Washington Street (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 

More. Search the internet for Picket Post No. 1.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 6, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 71 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 6, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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