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Thurmont in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Thurmont

Formerly Mechanicstown

 

— Gettysburg Campaign —

 
Thurmont - Formerly Mechanicstown Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
1. Thurmont - Formerly Mechanicstown Marker
Inscription.  
On June 29, 1863, Mechanicstown was full of the noise of an army on the move as Union Gen. John F. Reynolds marched I Corps to Emmitsburg. Until then, residents had only heard rumors of the advancing Confederates as nervous farmers hurried horses and personal belongings through town. Now they new the rumors were true. To guard the Federal rear, Gen. John Buford posted his reserve brigade, the First Cavalry Division, under the command of Gen. Wesley Merritt, here in Mechanicstown.

After the Battle of Gettysburg, Federals passed through the town again while pursuing the Army of Northern Virginia. On July 5, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart rested his cavalrymen for an hour outside of Mechanicstown near Graceham to feed and water their tired horses at a grain mill. Learning of Union cavalry here to guard the pass over the mountain to Cavetown (on present-day Rte. 77), he rode around Mechanicstown on paths through Harbaugh Valley. In the confusion of troop movements, stories spread that the Confederates had actually occupied Mechanicstown.

Although this was a stressful time, most area residents kept up their courage. One of Stuart’s
Thurmont image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2013
2. Thurmont
The current name of Thurmont reflects the town's location as "the gateway to the mountains." Known as Mechanicstown during the Civil War, the proximity to the Catoctin Mountains was a cause for concern to area residents when they knew enemy troops were on the other side of the ridge.
Close-up of photo on marker
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cavalrymen noticed that a little girl helping water the horses was crying. Assuming she was terrified, he assured her that she could stop crying because she was in no danger. The girl replied that she was not afraid but had a very painful toothache. Life would soon return to normal here.
 
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° 37.425′ N, 77° 24.698′ W. Marker is in Thurmont, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Maryland Route 77) and Water Street / North Church Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Located in Mechanicstown Square Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Thurmont MD 21788, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Thurmont (here, next to this marker); Creeger House (within shouting distance of this marker); Thurmont Memorial Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thurmont Rail History — The End of an Era (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thurmont Attractions (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic Buildings—Past and Present (approx. 0.2 miles away); To the Unknown Dead (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thurmont.
 
More about this marker. The marker features a small picture of Thurmont from the early part of the 20th Century, captioned: The current name of Thurmont reflects the town’s location as “the gateway to the mountains.” Known as Mechanicstown during the Civil War, the proximity to the Catoctin Mountains was a cause for concern to area residents when they knew enemy troops were on the other side of the ridge.

Another photo is a 19th century view of Thurmont from the moutains (from the Thurmont Historical Society). Portraits of Gens. John Buford, Wesley Merritt, and J.E.B. Stuart are on the top center of the marker. And a map describing the Gettysburg campaign’s important landmarks and maneuvers is on the lower right corner.
 
Related markers.
Mechanicsburg Town Square Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
3. Mechanicsburg Town Square Park
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. Thurmont Scrapbook. Emmitsburg Area Historical Society website entry (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Wesley Merritt. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on February 26, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
 
Generals Buford, Merritt and Stuart image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2013
4. Generals Buford, Merritt and Stuart
Close-up of photos on marker
Map -- June 29, 1863 (midday) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2013
5. Map -- June 29, 1863 (midday)
Position of the Union Army of the Potomac June 29, 1863 (midday). New Union Commander General George G. Meade orders his army north with two objectives: Engage the Confederate army under the best possible conditions while protecting Washington, D. C.

Learning that the Union army was closer, Confederate General Robert E. Lee orders his army to consolidate somewhere near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.
Close-up of map on marker
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2013
6. You Are Here
Close-up of map on marker
Mechanicsville Square Park<br> Dedicated April 28, 2001 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2013
7. Mechanicsville Square Park
Dedicated April 28, 2001
Time Capsule<br>in Mechanicstown Square Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, June 21, 2013
8. Time Capsule
in Mechanicstown Square Park
In Celebration of
Thurmont's
250th Anniversary
A Time Capsule has been placed
Here and is to be opened in
2101
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,070 times since then and 70 times this year. Last updated on August 2, 2022, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on June 22, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3. submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on June 23, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on June 22, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 7, 2022