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Middletown in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Middletown

Ransom Demands

 

—Early's 1864 Attack on Washington —

 
Middletown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2014
1. Middletown Marker
Inscription.
(preface)
In June 1864, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sent Gen. Jubal A. Early’s corps from Richmond battlefields to the Shenandoah Valley to counter Union Gen. David Hunter’s army. After driving Hunter into West Virginia, Early invaded Maryland to attack Washington, D.C., draw Union troops from Richmond, and release Confederate prisoners held at Point Lookout. On July 9, Early ordered Gen. Bradley T. Johnson’s cavalry brigade eastward to free prisoners. The next day, Johnson sent Maj. Harry Gilmor’s regiment to raid the Baltimore area. Union Gen. Lew Wallace delayed Early at the battle of Monocacy on July 9. Federal reinforcements soon strengthened the capital’s defenses. Early attacked there near Fort Stevens on July 11-12 and then withdrew to the Shenandoah Valley with the Federals in pursuit. He stopped at Cool Spring on July 17-18. Despite failing to take Washington or free prisoners, Early succeeded in diverting Federal resources.

(main text)
Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early's Army of the Valley entered Middletown from the west on the National Road on July 7, 1864. Confederate Maj. Harry Gilmor, 2nd Maryland Cavalry Battalion, demanded that each family in town provide a loaf of bread and a piece of meat to his soldiers.

The next day, Confederate Gen. Robert Ransom, Jr., demanded
Middletown Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2014
2. Middletown Marker
that 8,000 rations be provided in two hours. This second requirement was met but depleted the town of most of its meat, sugar, and coffee.

The Confederates made a third and final "forced request" later that evening, when Early demanded a $5,000 ransom from the town's residents. Burgess William J. Ervin pleaded that the sum was too high for his small town to pay. Early modified the terms to require the payment of $1,500 by 7 A. M. on July 9, and for the remaining $3,500 to be paid with the help of residents from the surrounding area by 6 P.M. The town paid the first part of the ransom while most of Early's army began marching eastward across Catoctin Mountain into Frederick. Early left an infantry brigade in Middletown to collect the second part. As the deadline approached, however, Union Cavalry action in the brigade's rear (to the west) prompted the brigade to leave Middletown. The Confederates never did collect the last $3,500.
 
Erected by Maryland Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 26.609′ N, 77° 32.733′ W. Marker is in Middletown, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Church Street (Maryland
General Robert Ransom Jr. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2014
3. General Robert Ransom Jr.
Close-up of LOC photo on marker
Route 17) and West Main Street (Alternate U.S. 40), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is behind (west of) the Coblentz-Long Building at 4-6 West Main, Currently housing "Hello Gorgeous" and "Cherokee Fire Protection". Marker is at or near this postal address: 4 West Main Street, Middletown MD 21769, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Coblentz-Long Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 8 West Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Clovinger House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Arnett Building (within shouting distance of this marker); 13 West Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); 31 West Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); 29 West Main Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Commemoration (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middletown.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Maj. Harry Gilmor image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2014
4. Maj. Harry Gilmor
Close-up of LOC photo on marker
Ransom document<br> signed by Lt. Col. Alexander "Sandie" Pendleton image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 28, 2014
5. Ransom document
signed by Lt. Col. Alexander "Sandie" Pendleton
       Head Quarters Valley Dept July 8, 1864

The contribution of five Thousand dollars ($5,000) levied upon the town of Middletown commuted to ($1500) fifteen hundred dollars to be paid by the town authorities by 7 O clock tomorrow morning. The remainder of the amount ($3500) thirty five hundred dollars must be paid by the township or election district of Middletown by six o clock tomorrow afternoon.

       By order of
       Lt. Gen Early

       A. S. Pendleton
       Lt. Col. & Adj.
Close-up of photo on marker
middletown Historical Society
Alexander "Sandie" Pendleton image. Click for full size.
Wikipedia
6. Alexander "Sandie" Pendleton
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 444 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 30, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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