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Hagerstown in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A City Divided

 
 
A City Divided Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
1. A City Divided Marker
Inscription.  The Hagerstown Mail offices were located on the second floor of this building during the Civil War. Due to the newspaper's pro-Southern columns, the Mail's editor and co-owner, Daniel Dechert, was arrested in 1862 and sent to Old Capitol Prison in Washington DC, and held until he took the "Oath of Allegiance". Following the defeat of Federal Maryland troops by Maryland Confederates in the Battle of Front Royal, Virginia, Dechert's newspaper was sacked and burned by a Unionist mob.

John Wagoner's barber shop was located in this corner of Public Square during the Civil War. Wagoner, a free black, operated a popular establishment, catering mostly to white customers. In November 1861, the ship was looted by a mob of Union soldiers. Grocery stores and other businesses, owned by men whose sons joined the Confederacy, also were targets from time to time.

The Ransom of Hagerstown
On July 6, 1864, General John McCausland's Confederate cavalry demanded a ransom of $20,000 under penalty of destruction by fire. It was within this building that General McCausland first met City Councilman Matthew Barber to make his ransom demands.
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Erected by Maryland Heritage Area.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1539.
 
Location. 39° 38.533′ N, 77° 43.215′ W. Marker is in Hagerstown, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of North Potomac Street (State Highway 65) and West Washington Street (U.S. 40), on the right when traveling south on North Potomac Street. Located on the Public Square in the center of Hagerstown. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. Hagerstown Ransomed (a few steps from this marker); Hagerstown Commercial Core Historic District (a few steps from this marker); Hagerstown (within shouting distance of this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Treatment of the Wounded (within shouting distance of this marker); First Battle of Hagerstown (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Battle of Hagerstown (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ransom of Hagerstown (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hagerstown.
 
More about this marker. In the upper right is a photo of the Public
A City Divided Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
2. A City Divided Marker
Square shortly after the Civil War looking westward along Washington Street.
In the center right is a portrait of City Councilman Matthew Barber. At the lower left are two copies of the Hagerstown Mail mastheads.
 
Store Front off the Public Square image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
3. Store Front off the Public Square
The marker indicates the Hagerstown Mail's offices were on the second floor.
National Register of Historic Places Plaque image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
4. National Register of Historic Places Plaque
Located on the Washington Street side of the building.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,471 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 13, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on July 14, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Mar. 1, 2024