The Battle for Stone (Jug) Bridge

Jug Bridge was originally built in 1808-1809. In 1944, after a section had collapsed two years prior, the bridge was replaced. In 1955, a second bridge was built to carry travelers east, while the 1944 bridge carried travelers west. The 1944 bridge was closed permanently in 1985. The Jug Monument dedicated to the bridge builders was removed and relocated to its current location along Maryland Route 144, east of Frederick in 1965.

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During the Confederate Raid on Washington, a battle had erupted at a place called Monocacy Junction on July 9, 1864. It was at this battle where less than 7,000 Union soldiers stubbornly held back a 15,000 man Confederate army under the command of Lieutenant General Jubal Early and saved Washington. It was along the river banks of the Monocacy River where Union soldiers, some veterans along with 100 days men bought the necessary time for the defenses of Washington to be reinforced.

As visitors today learn about this important Civil War battle, they don’t realize that the first or last shots of the battle occurred a few miles to the north at a place called Stone (Jug) Bridge. Jug Bridge was important for the Union defenders to hold, as the National (Baltimore) Road transverses there was going to be used in case of retreat. It was also the extreme right flank of the Union defenders at Monocacy. Major General Lew Wallace noted there were two areas of importance that needed to be held. One mile north of Jug Bridge was Hughes’ Ford and one mile to the south was Crum’s Ford. If the Confederates attempted to ford in either of these two places, they could turn the entire Union right flank. Situated between the two fords was Jug Bridge.

Although, troop positions are sketchy on this the Jug Bridge portion of the battle, this map shows the layout of the whole battle.

Although, troop positions are sketchy on this the Jug Bridge portion of the battle, this map shows the layout of the whole battle.

Holding the Baltimore Road since sunset of July 8, were seven companies of the 149th and three companies of the 144th Ohio National Guard, under the command of Colonel Allison Brown. He was deployed on the western side of the Monocacy River along Reich’s ridge. He also protected Hughes’ Ford, a mile to the north. The following morning, the 144th Ohio National Guard was ordered to Monocacy Junction. Captain Edward Lieb, commanding a detachment of the 159th Ohio Mounted Infantry would take its place.

Situated a mile to the south, at Crum’s Ford, between Jug Bridge and Monocacy Junction were companies B, G and H of the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade.  They were commanded by Captain Robert Bamford, and were positioned at the center of the Union battle line. Located behind the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade was a portion of the 3rd Maryland Potomac Home Brigade protecting the flanks of the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade. They had taken up two positions located on the high hills overlooking Crum’s Ford. Covering the right flank was companies C, D, and E and covering the left flank was companies A, B, and K. The remaining companies F, G, H, and I of Colonel Charles Gilpin’s 3rd Maryland Potomac Home Brigade was detached elsewhere. Positioned to their left was the 11th Maryland Infantry, commanded by Colonel William T. Landstreet. They had taken position on a high ridge that overlooked the Monocacy Junction.

On July 9, at 6:00 a.m., the Confederate army advanced into Frederick. Major General Stephen D. Ramseur’s division was the first to move through the city. Major General Ramseur ordered Brigadier General Robert Lilley’s Brigade to move through the city on the Baltimore Road and picket the area. About a mile from the city, Brig. Gen. Lilley deployed his skirmishers and began attacking Colonel Brown’s command.

Guarding Hughes’ Ford was one company of the 149th Ohio National Guard under the command of Captain Charles McGinnis. He had orders to hold that ford at all costs. If the Confederates attempted to forded there, the route of the Union retreat to Baltimore may be cut off or the Union right could collapse.

About a mile to the north of Hughes’ Ford, at Worman’s Mill (Route26), was where Brigadier General Bradley T. Johnson’s cavalry brigade had bivouacked for the night. He was ordered to raid Baltimore, and if practical, move to Point Lookout and free several thousand Confederate prisoners there. Upon hearing the sounds of battle committing the Union army at Monocacy, he was ordered to proceed with the plan.

As Lilley’s Virginians skirmished, by 10:00 a.m., Colonel Brown saw Confederate cavalry closing in on Hughes’ Ford to the north. Colonel Brown quickly sent a dispatch to his brigade commander Brigadier General Erastus Tyler for additional troops. Colonel Brown then ordered Captain Thomas Jenkins’ company of the 149th Ohio National Guard to Hughes’ Ford to reinforce Captain McGinnis. Captain Lieb and his detachment of the 159th Ohio Mounted Infantry had been ordered from Monocacy Junction to Jug Bridge. From there, he quickly moved to Hughes’ Ford and helped to repel the Confederate attack. The Confederate cavalry fell back and remained in skirmish formation.

Major General Robert Rodes, CSA.

Major General Robert Rodes, CSA.

At around 11:00 a.m., Confederate Major General Robert Rodes’ Division marched into Frederick.  Rodes’ Division was ordered to relieve Brig. Gen. Lilley’s position so they could rejoin their division along the Georgetown Pike. Upon relieving, Brig. Gen. Lilley, Major General Rodes’ was ordered to keep pressure on Colonel Brown’s position at Jug Bridge to force Major General Lew Wallace at Monocacy Junction to send reinforcements away from the Union center.

Major General Rodes quickly orders his sharpshooters to deploy, freeing up those skirmishers from Brig. Gen. Lilley’s Brigade. The sharpshooters deployed about 500 yards from Colonel Brown’s main position along the crest of a hill. While under fire, Rodes’ will begin deploying his division. As the sharpshooters went to work, Union Lieutenant Edward Goldsborough recalled “So accurate was their fire that it was dangerous for our men to even show their heads above the hilltop.”

081782pvConfederate Brigadier General William Cox’s Brigade deployed on the left of the Baltimore Road, and Brigadier General Philip Cook’s Brigade deployed on the right of the road. The remaining brigades of Brigadier General Bryan Grimes and Brigadier General Cullen Battle’s Brigade, commanded by Colonel Charles Pickens, were kept in reserve.

At 11:30 a.m., Maj. Gen. Rodes launched his first attack, increasing the pressure on Colonel Brown’s line. Brigadier General Cook’s Brigade attacked the Union left, pushing them back to within 100 yards of Jug Bridge. Colonel Brown received the three companies of the 144th Ohio National Guard just in time. The Confederate sharpshooters who had taken position earlier in the morning in Simpson’s log house still pinned down the Ohioans.

At 12:00 p.m., the 149th Ohio National Guard, Company B was ordered to charge the Confederate skirmishers in an attempt to regain lost ground. The charge was repulsed. Colonel Brown, then ordered the three companies of the 144th Ohio National Guard to attack. This attack pushed Rodes’ skirmishers back, and the Ohioans managed to retake the ground that had previously been lost. Colonel Brown wrote “During this charge my loss was quite severe owing to the fact that the enemy was posted behind a fence, while my men were compelled to charge across an open field, up the hill in Fairview, and within short range of his guns.” Colonel Brown immediately began extending his line along Reich’s ridge.

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Between 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Maj. Gen. Wallace had ordered Colonel Brown to his position “to the last extremity.” The road that lay east of the Jug Bridge was to be used for the retreat of the Union defenders at Monocacy. Once Colonel Brown had bought enough time, he would then abandon his position on Reich’s Ridge. Shortly after being ordered to hold his position, Colonel Brown could hear the sounds of the battle dieing to the south.

At 6:00 p.m., Maj. Gen. Rodes launched his final attack on Jug Bridge, attacking the left flank. Soon, word came that Maj. Gen. Wallace had already made his escape and that Confederate infantry had already penetrated into the woods and were making their way toward the Baltimore Road. Reports of Maj. Gen. Ramseur’s division moving from the south, upstream to the rear of Colonel Brown’s position were also heard.

monocacy-hotchkiss-925Colonel Brown and his Ohioans were on the verge of being cut off from their retreat. As soon as Rodes’ artillery opened on the Ohioans, they quickly began to abandon their positions, and make a dash for the bridgehead. Shells came thundering down, and with rumors of the Confederate movement from the south, the soldiers began throwing down their weapons and loosing their accoutrements as they ran across the bridge.

Colonel Brown was able to rally 300 men before the total collapse of his line. He was able to stall Rodes for a short time, but was forced to give up the bridge, as the Confederates overwhelmed the position. Colonel Brown retreated to New Market.

Captain Leib’s detachment of 159th Ohio Mounted Infantry tried to hold the bridgehead. But soon afterward realized that his position was being cut off, and he was forced to retreat northward along the western banks of the Monocacy River to Hughes’ Ford, where he forded the river. There, Captain Leib directed Captain McGinnis’ company of the 149th Ohio National Guard to the best route to use for the retreat. They took the Linganore Road to Mount Pleasant.

The ridge line has been developed, but the fields still exist. A golf driving range is located on one side, and the Maryland National Guard is located on the other side. It would be great to eventually see interpretive waysides explaining this portion of the Battle of Monocacy, or even having this portion of the battlefield preserved as part of the NPS unit or a regional park. 081780pv

Reference:
Bearss, Edwin C. Edited by Mark Spaulding. The Battle of Monocacy, A Documented Report. Civil War Enterprises, Vermont. 2003
Cooling, Benjamin Franklin, Jubal Early’s Raid on Washington, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1989.
Leepson, Marc, Desperate Engagement, St. Martun’s Press, New York, 2007.
Schilt, John W. Drums along the Monocacy, Antietam Publications, 1991.
Spaulding, Brett W. Last Chance of Victory, Jubal Early’s 1864 Maryland Campaign, Self published, 2010.
Vandiver, Frank E. Jubal’s Raid, General Early’s Famous Attack on Washington in 1864, University of Nebraska, 1988.
Wenger, Warren D., Monocacy, the Defeat that Saved Washington, Eugene Printing, Bridgeton, N.J., 1996
Worthington, Glenn H. Fighting for Time, The Battle of Monocacy, White Mane Publishing, Shippensburg, PA. 1994.
Official Records Series 1, vol 37, Part 1 (Monocacy)
Official Records Series 1, vol 37, Part 2 (Monocacy)

The Importance of Interpretive Programming

huston_cwrt 006Every park and museum that one can visit, most likely has some type of programming.  These programs could be tours, talks, demonstrations or some type of special events.  These programs are very important as it allows the public to visually see and understand the importance of the site.  This is where its important to have quality trained interpreters and staff.

The interpreter’s job, or function, is to connect the present with the past.  Again, as described in last month’s article, interpretation must have a main theme and sub-themes that bring it all together.  Although Civil War battlefields as an example, can have many themes, eventually the main theme is the battle itself.

Those sites that are geared more toward nature or the environment will most likely have a Naturalist.  Naturalists have similar duties to those of interpreters.  Their duty is directed more toward highlighting historical, ecological or scientific features of outdoor surroundings.  But the outline of the programming is the same, themes and sub-themes.

Just like any historical park, Monterey Pass Battlefield Park has many characteristics that make it both a historical and natural resource, but it also has many cultural aspects too.  It is important to utilize each resource for program development and create programs on the audience you are attracting.

Our park, for example, has several main themes, from the Civil War battle, to troop movements.  We also have several natural themes from South Mountain itself, to Happel’s Meadow, which is a wetland preserve.  There are several species of animals, vegetation and trees that one could see from the wetlands to the forest.  Many of the springs that flow from or near our park helps to form the Antietam Creek, Tom’s Creek and Red Run. Culturally, one of the early gateways to southern Appalachia came through Monterey.  The Mason-Dixon Line, generally viewed as a line that divided slave states from free states, or north and south, is one mile away.

When you add the historical, natural and cultural resources together, many ideas can form about what types of programs to offer.  Expanding on this, you also open your site to a larger audience.  Let’s be truthful, not everyone likes history.  At the same time, we want programming that is both educational and fun for all, especially for our youth.

Over the years we have conducted several education programs for our youth.  Programs ranging from “Understanding the Civil War Soldier,” to “Cannoneers Post!” where youth learn the role of artillery, and train on the cannon.  Afterward, a worksheet helps to gauge the distance and what type of projectile to use.  This program teaches math, science, and best of all, teamwork.

This year we decided to overhaul our programs and create some new ones.  One of the newest programs we have is “Union Soldiers Dressed In Gray.”  This program is a visual and hands on program that will break down the New York National Guard in Pennsylvania and Maryland during the summer of 1863. Their story is overlooked by that of the Union soldier who fought at Gettysburg. These men, who were more or less from upper society of New York life, were in no way professional soldiers. But yet during the Pennsylvania Campaign, many of these men marched over two hundred and fifty miles from Harrisburg, PA to Frederick, MD.

Another program, which is in the works, will educate youth on the weather.  Since there was a severe thunderstorm during the battle, we want youth to learn about how storms are formed.  They will also learn how the storm impacted the battle.  Small experiments using ice and water will show how air masses flow and how storms are formed. To end the program we want to stress safety and what to do when a storm comes.

A new history program is being developed that will help youth understand colonial America, and how South Mountain was the dividing line between settlements and the western frontier, as it was in 1750. It will also break down the forest and how settlements depended upon its rich natural resources.

Some of the special park events we are doing this year for the general public are in the final planning stages.  Some of the programs such as the annual battlefield tour will now be directed to certain aspects of the battle. To make up for the general overview, we will do a special program at the museum using maps to show troop movements and the layout of the battlefield itself.

One battlefield tour this year will follow in the footsteps of Brigadier General George Custer’s brigade, as it was ordered to cut the Confederate wagon train in half. As we move along Charmian Road, first hand accounts of the battle will be told by those from Custer’s brigade. Another tour will be the 1st West Virginia Cavalry as they broke through the Confederate lines and began storming the long lines of wagons. Over on the Maria Furnace Road, we will conduct a tour from the Confederate point of view, which will cover North Carolina’s role in the battle from the cavalry to the infantry.

Since our battle took place at night, we will be conducting a series of evening programs by campfire. We want to give the visitor to Gettysburg, who is looking for something else to do besides touring the battlefield there after dinner, a chance to do just that. We want people to know that Monterey Pass Battlefield is Pennsylvania’s other major Civil War battlefield. No trip to Gettysburg should be complete without visiting Monterey Pass Battlefield.

For those looking for more information about the Monterey Pass Battlefield, you should log onto montereypassbattlefield.org. Our website has the calendar of events, and media connections such as Facebook and our blogs. Everything you need to keep in touch and up to date with regard to our battlefield park is on our website. If you are looking for ways to volunteer at a park such as Gettysburg, you should look us up first. Although, we have a smaller visitor center and museum, we are always looking for individuals who share the love of history, and are looking for way to share that passion with the general public.

Monterey Pass Battlefield News

This year, for 2015, I wanted to do something different. As my readers recall, during the 150th cycle, I have written much about the Civil War and the campaigns that occurred in the area. I also did a piece on the War of 1812 with the 200th Anniversary of the Burning of Washington and the Battle of Baltimore. I finished the 2014 year with the 100th Anniversary of the Christmas Truce, which occurred during World War One. Now, I am changing things up.

october 052As many of you may or may not know, I am the Washington Township Historian, appointed by the Washington Township Board of Supervisors in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. I am also the Museum Director of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum, both positions are volunteer positions. I have also served as the historian for South Mountain State Battlefield, as well as a historical adviser for many organizations in the Tri-State region, and have been featured in several documentaries over the course of my fifteen year career.

Over the last year and a half the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc., has been working on building a museum and preserving the Civil War battlefield of Monterey Pass. With the October 18 grand opening behind us, and with preservation plans moving forward and taking shape, I wanted to share with you what its like to be part of a new Civil War battlefield.

october 042Over the course of the last three years, many have heard about the Maria Furnace Road, which runs though our battlefield and is a vital part of our preservation efforts. Three years ago, 116 acres of battlefield land came up for sale. After taking inventory of the land, and writing up a summary of events that occurred on the land, we decided that it needed to be preserved. After talking with a few preservation organizations, we decided to go after the land on our own. With the help of Washington Township, we applied for two grants.  We were just awarded 100,000.00 for the first grant and the second grant was just submitted in December. If all goes well, we’ll close on the purchase this coming March. We are also looking into purchasing another four acres of land for access to the battlefield property.

So what happens to the land after it transfers to the battlefield? Six years ago, I went before the Washington Township Board of Supervisors with Management, Interpretation and Conceptual Plans with regard to the battlefield, and what needs to be done step by step. The supervisors approved the plans, and since then those plans have been applied to the battlefield, and the end result is that it has been growing, and more importantly, being preserved.

So, what about the road and why is it important?  The Maria Furnace Road is a unique piece of land. The road bed itself dates back to 1747, as part of the Great Wagon Road that led to the south via modern day Williamsport, and allowed for the settlements of what would become Appalachia. During the French and Indian War, travel along this road was decreased due to the threat of Indian attacks. After the Revolutionary War, farms were being built in the area. By 1820, the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike was completed, connecting to the Maria Furnace Road. Over the course of the early 1800’s, Monterey Pass became an important transportation hub, where five roads connected to the toll house and several side roads ran parallel to the main turnpike.

The property itself shows signs of newly forested trees due to the industry of the area from charcoal that was being used to fuel to copper smelters and furnaces. Many of the trees are less than one hundred years old. The land does border private property, as well as Pennsylvania State property. Given that, the Maria Furnace Road property does appear to look much as it did during the Civil War battle.

When I conducted a study of the land, it was determined that Monterey Peak was included in the property. It has been said that during the Resort era (1870-1940), many visitors would venture to the overlook, and on a clear day one could see all the way to Baltimore. Although, one would not see Baltimore due to Parr’s Ridge in the east, it does provide a beautiful overlook. Many overlooks on South Mountain near Monterey Pass do overlook the Gettysburg Battlefield, as well as the Cumberland Valley. This is why I created a new program that I launched this year called the Retreat from Gettysburg Overlooks Tour.

After the purchase of the road is complete, my plans call for several things. The first is marking out the boundary. The second will be repairing the roadway itself. Erosion has taken a toll on the road. After years of heavy rains, many areas have washed out the road creating ruts, and in other areas, large trees have fallen over the road. But other than that, the road is accessible by one who is physically fit. Stone dust or mulch will cover the mile long roadway for public safety. In those areas where erosion is a concern, we will use the same methods as Antietam used for the beach gravel roadway by the Antietam Creek near the Burnside Bridge. This will help to keep the road from being washed out during major storms.

The third item on my list is the establishment of interpretive waysides, and at least two kiosks blocking visitors from entering onto private property along the actual road. The main theme is going to be the Battle of Monterey Pass and the Confederate Retreat. However, some sub themes will be written for a few of the waysides to reflect the Great Wagon Road and the industry of the area prior to the American Civil War. And finally will be the creation of walking trails to Monterey Peak.

Funding is going to be needed to help with this project. For the interpretive panels and metal dry-coated frames we are looking at a cost of over $10,000.00. To keep the cost down, I will once again, write and design the panels, like those you see along the driving tour route. This helps simply because there is no third party involved.

The interpretive panels will be tan on blue with the main theme at the top. The sub theme will be listed under the main theme. For example, a main them could be “The Battle of Monterey Pass” with a sub theme of “The North Carolina Sharpshooters Deploy.” Followed by text to help the viewer understand the historical event in the area they are viewing.

P1040658Before I close, the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum is looking for a few good interns or volunteers to help run the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park’s museum during the 2015 tourism season. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email me at jamiller@montereypassbattlefield.org. Docent and Interpreter positions are unpaid. Duties will include working with the public, preparation of interpretive programs, and provide assistance to visitors at the park information table. If you like to talk about history and you are looking to make a difference, we are looking for you! http://www.montereypassbattlefield.org