Middletown in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
— Early's 1864 Attack on Washington —
In June 1864, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sent Gen. Jubal A. Early’s corps from Richmond battlefields to the Shenandoah Valley to counter Union Gen. David Hunter’s army. After driving Hunter into West Virginia, Early invaded Maryland to attack Washington, D.C., draw Union troops from Richmond, and release Confederate prisoners held at Point Lookout. On July 9, Early ordered Gen. Bradley T. Johnson’s cavalry brigade eastward to free prisoners. The next day, Johnson sent Maj. Harry Gilmor’s regiment to raid the Baltimore area. Union Gen. Lew Wallace delayed Early at the battle of Monocacy on July 9. Federal reinforcements soon strengthened the capital’s defenses. Early attacked there near Fort Stevens on July 11-12 and then withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley with the Federals in pursuit. He stopped at Cool Spring on July 17-18. Despite failing to take Washington or free prisoners, Early succeeded in diverting Federal resources.
Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early's Army of the Valley entered Middletown from the west on the National Road on July 7, 1864. Confederate Maj. Harry Gilmor,
The next day, Confederate Gen. Robert Ransom, Jr., demanded that 8,000 rations be provided in two hours. This second requirement was met but depleted the town of most of its meat, sugar, and coffee.
The Confederates made a third and final "forced request" later that evening, when Early demanded a $5,000 ransom from the town's residents. Burgess William J. Ervin pleaded that the sum was too high for his small town to pay. Early modified the terms to require the payment of $1,500 by 7 A. M. on July 9, and for the remaining $3,500 to be paid with the help of residents from the surrounding area by 6 P.M. The town paid the first part of the ransom while most of Early's army began marching eastward across Catoctin Mountain into Frederick. Early left an infantry brigade in Middletown to collect the second part. As the deadline approached, however, Union Cavalry action in the brigade's rear (to the west) prompted the brigade to leave Middletown. The Confederates never did collect the last $3,500.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included Maryland Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1864.
Location. 39° 26.609′ N, 77° 32.733′ W. Marker is in Middletown, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Church Street (Maryland Route 17) and West Main Street (Alternate U.S. 40), on the right when traveling south. Marker is behind (west of) the Coblentz-Long Building at 4-6 West Main, Currently housing "Hello Gorgeous" and "Cherokee Fire Protection". Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4 West Main Street, Middletown MD 21769, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Coblentz-Long Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 8 West Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Clovinger House (within shouting distance of this marker); Main's Ice Cream Factory (within shouting distance of this marker); The Arnett Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Memorial Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); 13 West Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Valley Savings Bank (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middletown.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 636 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.