Leitersburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Retreat into Maryland
"Asleep and at the same time walking"
It was a miserable night, and an even more miserable journey. As 3 a.m. neared on July 5, 1863, the van of the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg arrived here at Leitersburg. The men had marched nonstop for nearly twelve hours, but heavy rain and thickening mud had slowed their race to Williamsport and the Potomac River - and safety.
Suddenly, the 1st Vermont Cavalry dashed onto the Leitersburg Pike and captured more than 100 men, as well as horses, mules, cattle, and wagons. The Federals then sped toward Hagerstown and Boonsboro in search of more Confederates, but they failed to strike the column again. Meanwhile the Leitersburg train, after its initial shock, continued unmolested toward the Potomac.
"Never had the men and horses been so jaded, and stove up. One of our men who dropped at the foot of a tree in a sort of hollow, went to sleep, and continued sleeping until the waster rose to his waist. ...Battery horses would drop down dead. So important was our movement that no halt for bivouac, though we marched scarcely two miles an hour, was made during the route from Gettysburg to Williamsport - a march of over 40 miles. ...The men and officers on horseback would go to sleep without knowing it, and at one time there was a halt occasioned by all the drivers ... being asleep in their saddles.
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 39° 41.788′ N, 77° 36.845′ W. Marker is in Leitersburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of Ringold Street and Ringold Pike (County Route 418), on the right when traveling south on Ringold Street. Touch for map. Located at a pull of inside the triangle of the intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Hagerstown MD 21742, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gettysburg Campaign (here, next to this marker); Erected in Honor of the Boys (approx. half a mile away); Leitersburg Bridge No. 2 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Old Forge Farm (approx. 2.8 miles away); Old Forge Bridge (approx. 2.9 miles away); a different marker also named Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 3.3 miles away); Mason and Dixon Line (approx. 3½ miles away); a different marker also named Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leitersburg.
More about this marker.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,234 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 14, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on July 31, 2011.