“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)


Strategic Center

Cumberland Marker image. Click for full size.
November 28, 2008
1. Cumberland Marker
Inscription.  In 1860, Cumberland was a small town of 7,302 residents, most of whom lived in the valley of Will’s Creek. The town was an important stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. When the Civil War began in 1861, some residents supported the United States and others the Confederacy. Outright dissention ceased when Union forces garrisoned the town in June.

Cumberland soon became the administrative center for the defense of the western section of the railroad, the canal, and northern West Virginia. About 3,000 Union soldiers usually were stationed here, although the number increased periodically to as many as 8,000. Cumberland also served as a hospital and supply base, and when the war ended, it became a demobilization center. Military administrators occupied many buildings here during the war, while encampments sprang up on the outskirts of town and troops constructed fortifications on the surrounding hills to control approaches.

Confederate cavalry raiders frequently threatened to destroy area railroad facilities and bridges. The long-distance raids came from the east along the
Cumberland Civil War Trails Marker image. Click for full size.
November 28, 2008
2. Cumberland Civil War Trails Marker
At Cumberland's Constitution Park.
railroad or passed through West Virginia from the south, usually targeting less well-defended parts of the line. These hit-and-run raids created turmoil throughout the war. The Confederates attacked Cumberland itself only twice, most spectacularly on February 21, 1865, when Lt. Jesse McNeill and his Partisan Rangers (guerillas) captured Union Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley, who commanded the troops protecting the railroad, as well as Gen. George Crook.
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 Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal, and the Maryland Civil War Trails series lists.
Location. Marker has been reported damaged. 39° 38.978′ N, 78° 44.992′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker can be reached from Fort Avenue. This marker is located on the grounds of the City of Cumberland's Constitution Park. 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 walking distance of this location. Cumberland Surrenders (a few steps from this marker); Memorial Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); McNeill’s Raid (approx. half a mile away); Capture of Generals (approx. half a mile away); A Boom for Cumberland
Close-up of Sketch on Marker image. Click for full size.
November 28, 2008
3. Close-up of Sketch on Marker
(approx. half a mile away); Capture of Generals B.F. Kelly and George Crook (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); B’er Chayim (Well of Life) Congregation (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
More about this marker. On the left of the marker is sketch captioned, Harper's Weekly 1866 image of Cumberland. On the upper right of the marker is a portrait captioned, Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley was a operational commander of the western B&O defenses throughout the war.
Also see . . .
1. Cumberland, Maryland. National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places (Submitted on December 1, 2008.) 

2. McNeil's Raid. Richmond Times-Dispatch - January 6 , 1935 (Submitted on December 1, 2008.) 
View of Cumberland Maryland from Constitution Park image. Click for full size.
November 28, 2008
4. View of Cumberland Maryland from Constitution Park
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2008. This page has been viewed 1,763 times since then and 115 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 1, 2008. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 23, 2020