Perryville in Cecil County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Perryville Mule School
Soon after the Civil War erupted in April 1861, Perryville became an important Union staging area. Adjacent to Fort Dare here, a riverside plantation was confiscated from Confederate sympathizers and immediately transformed into a special camp and school. The "recruits" marched down Broad Street but were forbidden from mingling with the curious citizenry, excluded from mess tents, and issued no uniforms, weapons or tents. They were mules, and they outnumbered men at the camp.
About 11,000 mules, 3,500 horses, 3,000 wagons, and 3,200 teamsters converged on Perryville for military training. The mules arrived unbroken and tended to stampede. They presented great challenges to those hired to train them and protested getting the U.S. brands on their shoulders. But by the time they left for war, they were harnessed four to a wagon in teams, obeyed commands, and hauled highly valuable military supplies. The mules' service was critically important to the Federal logistics and supply system, and the training academy at Perry Point took credit for the good behavior of the beasts. During the war, about 1.5 million horses and mules were wounded or killed.
Once the government decided to close the training camp in 1862, a unique auction ensued. Offered for sale were 23 mules, 12 horses,
(lower left photo)
The U.S. Army confiscated the Stump family plantation at Perry Point to create a mule school. The Stumps, Confederate sympathizers, fled to Harford County. Photo ca. 1890s. - Courtesy of Historical Society of Cecil County
(upper right photo)
U.S. Army officers and soldiers encamped in a Cecil County War camp.
(lower right photo)
The mule, offspring of a female horse and male donkey, is renowned for having a mind of its own. Imagine the small citizenry of the Town of Perryville, when 11,000 converged on them and marched through the streets on their way to school.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 32.984′ N, 76° 3.195′ W. Marker is in Perryville, Maryland, in Cecil County. Marker is on Marion Tapp Parkway, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Revered Son (approx. 1.4 miles away); Count de Rochambeauís Troops (approx. 1.4 miles away); Perryville (approx. 1.4 miles away); Rodgers Tavern (approx. 1.4 miles away); Old Post Road: Lower Susquehanna Ferry (approx. 1.4 miles away); John O'Neill (approx. 1.8 miles away); British Landing (approx. 1.8 miles away); Susquehanna River/Chesapeake Bay (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perryville.
Also see . . . Mule School Key Depot - Fredericksburg.com. (Submitted on February 26, 2017, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Categories. • Animals • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 25, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Port Deposit, Maryland. This page has been viewed 180 times since then. Last updated on February 26, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Port Deposit, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 25, 2017, by Pete Skillman of Port Deposit, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.