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

Purnell Legion Infantry

 
 
Purnell Legion Monument image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 29, 2008
1. Purnell Legion Monument
Inscription.
Purnell Legion Infantry
Maryland

Third Brigade.
2nd Greene's Division.
12th Mansfield's Corps.
Occupied a line
running north from
this marker. Loss 3
killed. 23 wounded.
The monument to the
Maryland troops is
near the Dunkard
Church.

 
Erected 1900 by State of Maryland.
 
Location. 39° 28.514′ N, 77° 44.883′ W. Marker is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Smoketown Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 125th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Walker's Division, Longstreet's Command (a few steps from this marker); 125th Penna (a few steps from this marker); 34th New York Infantry (a few steps from this marker); Longstreet's Command (a few steps from this marker); Jackson's Command (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Beacon of Peace (about 400 feet away); Destroy the Rebel Army (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. Purnell Legion Infantry Monument
Purnell Legion and 125th Pennsylvania Monuments image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 29, 2008
2. Purnell Legion and 125th Pennsylvania Monuments
On the opposite side of the Smoketown Road is Kershaw's Brigade Tablet (Number 361). In the far distance the 13th New Jersey's Third Monument here at Antietam stands on the right side of the road. The Legion advanced through the West Woods to a point near the monument during Greene's assault of the Dunker Church area around mid-day. Note that the 125th Pennsylvania Monument and Kershaw's Brigade Tablet recount the action around 9:30 a.m. in the West Woods. The Purnell Legion and 13th New Jersey Monuments are for actions after 10:30 a.m. Indicating two distinct phases of the battle.
. National Park Service page detailing the monument. (Submitted on April 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Purnell Legion Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, XII Corps. The Legion was actually composed of nine infantry companies operating as a regiment under the command of Lt. Col. Benjamin L. Simpson. (Submitted on April 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Purnell Legion Position image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 29, 2008
3. Purnell Legion Position
From the New York State Monument, looking north. As the lone part of Goodrich's Brigade in this sector, the Legion was posted along the high ground on the north side of Smoketown Road, opposite the location now occupied by the Maryland State Monument. According to the Battlefield Board maps, the unit was aligned approximately where the tree line on the north side of the road stands. However, the tree line does not appear on the maps of the time, and probably is post-war growth.
Purnell Legion's Attack into the West Woods image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain
4. Purnell Legion's Attack into the West Woods
Looking at the intersection of Dunker Church Road (Old Hagerstown Pike) and Smoketown Road. The old Hagerstown Pike ran on the left side of the photo to the north. At around 10:30 a.m. Purnell's Legion advanced down the north side of the Smoketown Road and into the woods north of the Dunker Church, in support of Tyndale's Brigade. Greene's Division was terribly exposed at that point and retired following another round of bloody fighting.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 812 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on March 17, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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