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

The Stage is Set

The Stage is Set Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, August 19, 2007
1. The Stage is Set Marker
On the evening of September 13, 1862, Confederate cavalry under Brigadier General Wade Hampton and Colonel Thomas Munford occupied the Crampton’s Gap/Burkittsville vicinity. Early on the 14th, Major General J.E.B. Stuart, en route to Harpers Ferry, met with Munford and Hampton. Stuart took Hampton’s cavalry with him, leaving Munford’s 2nd and 12th Virginia Cavalry regiments behind. Late that morning Munford, who had fewer than 300 troopers, spotted a large Federal force approaching his position from the east. A mile south of Munford’s position, at Brownsville Pass, Brigadier General Paul Semmes also watched the long blue columns moving closer. To bolster Munford’s line, he sent Colonel William A. Parham’s brigade, the 6th, 12th, and 16th Virginia Infantry regiments and the Portsmouth Light Artillery, as well as the 10th Georgia Infantry from his own brigade.

Across the valley, the Federal VI Corps, numbering 12,800 men and commanded by Major General William Franklin, slowly made its way toward South Mountain. General George B. McClellan, in a lengthy dispatch, ordered Franklin to drive through Crampton’s Gap, fall on McLaw’s rear
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at Maryland Heights, and relieve the Harpers Ferry garrison. At noon the 96th Pennsylvania Infantry, at the head of Franklin’s column, turned left into Distillery Lane about a quarter of a mile east of Burkittsville. Sending skirmishers forward, the 96th crossed a fence line into a field behind the town. Within minutes Confederate artillery fire from Brownsville Pass force the Federals back. Confederate skirmishers advanced into the village, but were forced back by Union skirmishers. By the time the rest of the VI Corps arrived, the Confederates had retreated. The Federals stopped and cooked their rations while Franklin pondered his next move.

Order of Battle

Confederate States of America
Maj. Gen. James E.B. Stuart
Col. Munford
2nd 2nd Va. Cav., 12th Va. Cav., Chew’s Battery

Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson
Col. William A. Parham
6th Va., 12th Va., 16th Va., Portsmouth Light Arty.

Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws
Brig. Gen. Howell Cobb
16th Ga., 24th Ga., Cobb’s Legion, 15th N.C., Troup Light Art.

Brig. Gen. Paul J. Semmes
10th Ga., 53rd Ga.(nc), 15th Va. (nc), 32nd Va (nc), 1st N.C. Art., Richmond (Va.) Fayette Art., Magruder (Va.) Light Arty.

United States of America

Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin, VI Corps
Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum
Close Up View of the Map image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, August 13, 2007
2. Close Up View of the Map
1st N.J., 2nd N.J., 3rd N.J., 4th N.J.

Col. Bartlett
5th Me., 16th N.Y., 27th N.Y., 121st N.Y.(nc), 96th Pa.

Brig. Gen. Newton
18th N.Y., 31st N.Y., 32nd N.Y., 95th Pa.

Capt. Upton
Md. Light Arty, Battery A
Mass. Light Arty., 1st Battery (A)
N.J. Light Art., 1st Battery (A)(nc)
2nd U.S. Arty, Battery D (nc)

Maj. Gen. William F. (Baldy) Smith
Brig. Gen. Hancock (nc)
6th Me., 43rd N.Y., 49th Pa., 137th Pa., 5th Wisc.

Brig. Gen. Brooks
2nd Vt., 3rd Vt. (nc), 4th Vt., 5th Vt. (nc), 6th Vt (nc)

Col. Irwin
7th Me., 20th N.Y., 33rd N.Y., 49th N.Y., 77th N.Y.

Capt. Ayres
Md. Light Arty, Battery B
5th U.S. Arty, Battery F
N.Y. Light Arty, 1st Independent Battery

Maj. Gen. Darius N. Couch (nc), 1st Division, IV Corps (arrived after 10 P.M.)

Brig. Gen. Devens
7th Mass., 10th Mass., 36th N.Y., 2nd R.I.

Brig. Gen. Howe
62nd N.Y., 93rd Pa., 98th Pa., 102nd Pa., 139th Pa.

Brig. Gen. Cochrane
65th N.Y., 67th N.Y., 122nd N.Y., 23rd Pa., 61st Pa., 82nd Pa.

(nc) noncombatants

Presented to the people of the United States by Gene and Sharon Dennis of San Diego, California.
Erected by Blue & Gray Educational Society / State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Topics. This historical
Close Up View of the Order of Battle image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, August 13, 2007
3. Close Up View of the Order of Battle
Of all the markers on Crampton's Gap, this offers the most complete order of battle.
marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is September 13, 1902.
Location. 39° 24.312′ N, 77° 38.364′ W. Marker is near Burkittsville, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is on Gapland Raod near Arnoldstown Road, on the left when traveling west. Across the road from the War Correspondent’s Memorial Arch, in Gathland State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Burkittsville MD 21718, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Troup Light Artillery (here, next to this marker); Padgett’s Field: Confederate Last Stand (here, next to this marker); Burial: A Most Disagreeable Task (here, next to this marker); Bartlett Leads the Way (here, next to this marker); Medal of Honor Recipients (here, next to this marker); Journalists Who Gave Their Lives (within shouting distance of this marker); GATH: The Man and His Mountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Gath's Empty Tomb (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burkittsville.
More about this marker. The marker displays portraits of Colonel Thomas Munford and Major General William Franklin. A map details the tactical maneuvers described in the text.
Also see . . .
Six Blue and Gray Markers at Crampton's Gap image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 21, 2007
4. Six Blue and Gray Markers at Crampton's Gap
The "Stage is Set" marker is fourth from the left.
 Crampton’s Gap: Key Point of the Whole Situation. Antietam on the Web entry (Submitted on August 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Start of the Battle image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, August 5, 2007
5. Start of the Battle
Distillery Road runs through the tree line in the ravine in the foreground. From the farmland on South Mountain in the background, artillery of Semmes' command fired upon the 96th Pennsylvania.
Union Cemetery in Burkettsville image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, August 19, 2007
6. Union Cemetery in Burkettsville
Federal troops, including Hancock's brigade were mostly spectators to the battle while they waited and ate while positioned around the cemetery's knoll.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,593 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 23, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 11, 2023