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Hagerstown in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Second Battle of Hagerstown

Custer Captures the Town

 

—Gettysburg Campaign —

 
Second Battle of Hagerstown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, March 23, 2008
1. Second Battle of Hagerstown Marker
Inscription. Six days had passed since the Federals had failed in their first attempt to seize Hagerstown as they pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate army retreating to Virginia after the Battle of Gettysburg. On Sunday morning, July 12, 1863, a decisive event occurred - the Union army determined to secure its northern flank. The mission to capture Hagerstown was assigned to Gen. George Armstrong Custer and his Michigan cavalry brigade.

Custer's Wolverines rode into town from the east, scattering and capturing stunned Confederates, seizing almost 100 prisoners, and setting free nearly 40 Federal soldiers, missing after the fighting of July 6. Local citizens sympathetic to the Union cause has been sheltering these men.

After the victorious Custer led his column through town, doffing his hat to handkerchief-waving ladies, XI Corps commander Gen. Oliver O. Howard climbed into a church steeple and for the first time viewed the extensive Confederate fortifications located west and south of town. Difficult days remained ahead.

"[Hagerstown was] a hornet's nest of sharpshooters armed with telescopic rifles, who could pick a man's ear off half a mile away. The bullets from their guns had a peculiar sound, something like the buzz of a bumble bee, and the troopers' horses would stop, prick up their ears and gaze in the direction
The "Wing" Map on the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 5, 2009
2. The "Wing" Map on the Marker
The map indicates locations of other related Civil War Trails markers.
whence the hum of those invisible messengers could be heard."

- Capt. James Kidd, Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade.

Tuesday, July 14: "Sunday (July 12) was a day of intense anxiety. The Yankees came and took possession of the town. The Rebels had all gone. Yesterday all the streets were crowded with horse and no one could go near the door as the street was used as a stable. ... It is reported that the Rebels have crossed the river but we know nothing. Oh this dreadful suspense. ... I fear we've seen the very last of the Rebels." Louise Kealhofer diary
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 38.565′ N, 77° 43.19′ W. Marker is in Hagerstown, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on North Potomac Street (Maryland Route 65), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hagerstown MD 21740, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Battle of Hagerstown (here, next to this marker); Treatment of the Wounded (a few steps from this marker); Hagerstown (within shouting distance
First and Second Battles of Hagerstown Markers image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck
3. First and Second Battles of Hagerstown Markers
of this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Ransom of Hagerstown (within shouting distance of this marker); A City Divided (within shouting distance of this marker); Hagerstown Ransomed (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Occupation (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hagerstown.
 
More about this marker. The marker includes photographs of Gen. George A. Custer and Gen. Oliver O. Howard.
 
Also see . . .  The Gettysburg Campaign. Civil War Traveler page detailing other sites on the Virginia-Maryland-Pennsylvania Gettysburg Campaign Civil War Trails system. (Submitted on July 12, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Location of marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck
4. Location of marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,922 times since then and 95 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   2. submitted on July 12, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on March 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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