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

Richfield

“The Boy General of the Golden Lock”

 
 
Richfield Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
1. Richfield Marker
Inscription.  
It was here that George Armstrong Custer was first introduced as a general to the troops he would command. The first order signed by Gen. George G. Meade as the newly appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac on June 28, 1863 promoted three young captians, Custer, Elon J. Farnsworth and Wesley Merritt, to the rank of brigadier-general, at the request of Gen. Alfred Pleasonton Commander of the Union Cavalry Corps. Two of them, Custer, age 23 and Farnsworth, age 25, were notified of their promotions at the City Hotel in downtown Frederick. They were assigned to newly formed Third Division of cavalry camped here on June 28-29 as brigade commanders.

On June 29, Custer and Farnsworth arrrived here to take command of their respective brigades. Some of the troopers, upon seeing Custer for the first time, called him "the boy General of the Golden Lock."

From Richfield, Custer and Farnsworth rode north to Gettysburg. Farnsworth died in the battle on July 3, while Custer went on to be one of the Civil War's great cavalry generals. He died on June 25, 1876 at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Montana Territory.

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June 29, 1863, the I and XI Infantry Corps, Army of the Potomac, passed Richfield on their march to Gettysburg. Meade rode by while returning from Gettysburg on July 7.
 
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 month for this entry is June 1892.
 
Location. 39° 28.113′ N, 77° 24.096′ W. Marker is near Frederick, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Catoctin Mountain Highway (U.S. 15) and Willow Road, on the right when traveling north on Catoctin Mountain Highway. The marker is located at a pull off the divided highway which connects to a private entrance to the Richfield farm. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Frederick MD 21701, 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. George Washington (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Richfield (within shouting distance of this marker); The Land We Call Home (approx. ¾ mile away); Watercress Farming (approx. 1.8 miles away); Boiler House (approx. 1.8 miles away); Welcome to Fountain Rock Lime Kilns (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Quarry (approx. 1.9 miles away); Working the Kilns (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frederick.
 
More about
George Washington Marker and CW Trails Marker Alongside the Highway image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
2. George Washington Marker and CW Trails Marker Alongside the Highway
this marker.
The marker displays a picture of Richfield with the caption, “George Washington slept here twice. Richfield was the first Frederick County home of Maryland's first elected governor, Thomas Johnson, Brigadier General of Maryland troops in the American Revolution and Washington’s longtime friend.”

The marker also displays pictures of George Custer and Elon Farnworth. An area map highlights the important sites and movements of the Gettysburg campaign.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. George Armstrong Custer. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on March 2, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

2. Elon Farnsworth. Unknown website entry (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Admiral Schley. Spanish American War Centennial website entry (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional commentary.
1. Richfield
The House at Richfield is not the house George Washington slept in (twice). That house burned down on May 22, 1818. Nor is it the house that stood here when Custer and Farnsworth took their commands on the way to Gettysburg,
Richfield image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
3. Richfield
The manor stands on private property to the east of the marker.
the house in which Admiral Schley was born. That house was destroyed by a tornado in 1929 and substantially rebuilt in the same style. But this old house marks the place where all that history transpired. It reminds us of the man who proudly claimed to own George Washington's Ax. "of course I've had to replace the handle three times over the years and the head twice."
    — Submitted August 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

 
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
 
House at Richfield image. Click for full size.
Janet Davis - Maryland Historical Trust (Historic Sites Survey), December 1992
4. House at Richfield
Barn at Richfield image. Click for full size.
Janet Davis - Maryland Historical Trust (Historic Sites Survey), December 1992
5. Barn at Richfield
George Washington Slept Here<br>Twice image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, April 10, 2010
6. George Washington Slept Here
Twice
Richfield was the first Frederick County home of Maryland's first elected governor, Thomas Johnson, Brigadier General of Maryland troops in the American Revolution and Washington's longtime friend.
Close-up of photo on marker
Historical Society of Frederick County
Richfield image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, July 5, 2010
7. Richfield
As seen from the marker
Richfield image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, July 5, 2010
8. Richfield
Richfield image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, July 5, 2010
9. Richfield
Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, USN image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
10. Rear Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, USN
Richfield was also the birthplace of Admiral Schley, who played a prominent role in the battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War.
The Hero of Santiago image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Marken and Bielfield
11. The Hero of Santiago
This Marken and Bielfield postcard appears in their 1908 Souvenir of Historic Frederick. It identifies Richfield as the birthplace of Admiral Winfield Scott Schley. Insets show Admiral Schley and his flag Ship "Brooklyn".
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 2, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,206 times since then and 121 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on March 4, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on August 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   10. submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   11. submitted on August 28, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 21, 2024