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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.
Photographed 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.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, September 1, 2019
2. Picket Post No. 1 Marker
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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.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 21, 1865.
 
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. Ύ mile away); 632 Washington Street (approx. 1.1 miles away); American Revolutionary War (approx. 1.1 miles away); 617 Washington Street (approx. 1.2 miles away); 615 Washington Street (approx.
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1.2 miles away); 610 Washington Street (approx. 1.2 miles away); 611 Washington Street (approx. 1.2 miles away); 606 Washington Street (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 6, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 218 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 6, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 19, 2022