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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.
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 Mchanicstown.

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 Mchanicstown.

Although this was a stressful time, most area residents kept up their courage. One of Stuart’s 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
Thurmont image. Click for full size.
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
she was not afraid but had a very painful toothache. Life would soon return to normal here.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
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. Touch for map. Located in Mechanicstown Square Park. Marker is in this post office area: Thurmont MD 21788, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 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); To the Unknown Dead (approx. ¼ mile away); Cunningham Falls (approx. 1.9 miles away); Making Whiskey (approx. 2 miles away); A Tradition of Conservation (approx. 2.2 miles away); A Fatal Shootout (approx. 2.2 miles 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
Mechanicsburg Town Square Park image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 1, 2007
3. Mechanicsburg Town Square Park
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. 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 History Page. (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Gen Merritt Biography. (Submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Additional keywords. Gettysburg Campaign
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Generals Buford, Merritt and Stuart image. Click for full size.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,744 times since then and 47 times this year. 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. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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