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

Vital Crossroads

Clear Springs in the Civil War

 
 
Vital Crossroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 19, 2012
1. Vital Crossroads Marker
Inscription. This was a lively Unionist community on the important National Road during the war. In nearby Four Locks on January 31, 1861, local residents raised a 113-foot-high “Union Pole” with a streamer proclaiming the “Union Forever.”

Many local men enlisted in the Federal 1st Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry and Co. B, Cole’s Cavalry, but several joined the Confederate units. A Federal detachment occupied Clear Spring and maintained a signal station on nearby Fairview Mountain. On May 23, the Clear Spring Guard drove off Confederates attempting to capture the boat at McCoy’s Ferry on the Potomac River, south of here. Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops attacked the nearby Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in December.

After the Confederate retreat to western Virginia after the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, Gen Robert E. Lee sent Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and more than 1,000 cavalrymen on a raid around the Union army. Stuart’s force crossed at McCoy’s Ferry on October 10 and rode through the Clear Spring community to Mercersburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, seizing prisoners, horses, and supplies before escaping through Maryland.

During the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg in 1863, on July 10 a large cavalry rearguard action began in Clear Spring and continued
Vital Crossroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 19, 2012
2. Vital Crossroads Marker
toward Williamsport. More than 1,500 cavalrymen were involved.

In 1864, Confederate cavalry Gens. John McCausland and Bradley Johnson crossed into Maryland at McCoy’s Ferry on July 29. After driving a 400-man Union force from Clear Spring. McCausland rode to Chambersburg and burned it the next day.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 39.414′ N, 77° 56.136′ W. Marker is in Clear Spring, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Broadfording Road. Touch for map. The marker is in front of the Synder Library. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12624 Broadfording Road, Clear Spring MD 21722, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Frederick (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clear Spring (approx. ¼ mile away); Clear Spring Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Road Nurtures A Vision (approx. 0.4 miles away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 0.4 miles away); Capt. Samuel G. Prather (approx.
Vital Crossroads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 19, 2012
3. Vital Crossroads Marker
one mile away); The Federal Signal Station (approx. 1.9 miles away); Gen. J. E. B. Stuart’s Cavalry (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clear Spring.
 
Also see . . .
1. The alarm goes out in Clear Spring, 150 years ago today. Regarding some reactions by citizens of Clear Spring on the events of September 10, 1862. (Submitted on December 14, 2012, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.) 

2. Understanding Unionism in the Maryland “borderland”. As the title suggests, and details of the Union meeting held in Clear Spring, January 16, 1861. (Submitted on December 14, 2012, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 524 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 26, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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