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

St. John's Cemetery

St. John's Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, April 2, 2022
1. St. John's Cemetery Marker
This property is one of the earliest developed sites in Hagerstown. St. John's Episcopal Church stood here from the 1780s until around 1830, when a new church was constructed on South Jonathan Street (Summit Avenue). When that church burned in the early 1870s, a third church was constructed on South Prospect Street which stands today. The earliest marked graves in this cemetery date to the 1780s. Civil War notables buried here include:

Isaac Nesbitt (1804-1866) - Nesbitt was the Clerk of the Washington County Circuit Court and a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. He was one of the local leaders who negotiated and dealt with General McCausland when the Confederates ransomed Hagerstown in July, 1864.

Captain Alexander H. Nesbitt (ca. 1834-1863) - The son of Isaac, Captain Nesbitt commanded Company 1, 1st Maryland Cavalry, USA. He died of natural causes in March, 1863, and his marker attests to his service in the Union army.

Jesse Barnes Wharton (ca. 1834-1862) - A former lieutenant in the U.S. Army who served in the Utah Campaign of 1858-59, Wharton
St. John's Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, April 2, 2022
2. St. John's Cemetery Marker
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was arrested by the Lincoln Administration as an alleged spy and confined in Old Capitol Prison in Washington. On April 20, 1862, he violated prison rules by standing at the window of his cell, at which time he taunted the guards by launching into a tirade against the Federal Government. After warnings to stop, he dared the guards to shoot him. Private Ambrose Baker obliged, shooting and killing Wharton.

Claggett Dorsey Fitzhugh (1834-1917) -Wharton's brother-in-law, Fitzhugh worked at a furnace at Mont Alto, Pennsylvania and has been described as a "slave catcher." In October 1859, he and another man captured John E. Cook (one of John Brown's raiders escaping from Harpers Ferry) near Mont Alto. This is ironic since Fitzhugh was a close relative of abolitionist Gerrit Smith; one of Brown's financial backers: Fitzhugh served in the Confederate cavalry and was captured at Sharpsburg. In 1864, he and 599 fellow Confederate officers were placed in front of Union artillery works at Charleston, SC as "human shields" to deter Confederate bombardment. In Civil War lore, the group became known as "The Immortal 600."

When the St. John's property appeared on a map of the City published in 1850, the church had already been demolished, and the area to the south was still used as a burying ground for the Lutheran and Methodist communities. The lands
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across Mulberry Street became the grounds of Kee Mar College two years later. City of Hagerstown

The graves of Jesse Wharton (left) and Claggett D. Fitzhugh (right) City of Hagerstown
Erected by Maryland Heritage Area.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionWar, US Civil.
Location. 39° 38.287′ N, 77° 43.078′ W. Marker is in Hagerstown, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on South Mulberry Street south of East Antietam Street, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located inside St.John's Cemetery near the northeast entrance which was locked at the time of the visit. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 137 South Mulberry Street, Hagerstown MD 21740, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St Johns Episcopal Churchyard. (a few steps from this marker); Hagerstown Female Seminary (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Kennedy (about 700 feet away); Thomas Kennedy Park (about 700 feet away); Hagerstown Charity School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Our Journey Transports Us Through Time (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elliott-Bester House
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(approx. Ό mile away); Retreat from Gettysburg (approx. Ό mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hagerstown.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 11, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 92 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 12, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 28, 2023