Monterey Pass Battlefield News Briefs

On April 11, the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum opened for the 2015 tourism season. The hours of operations are every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., through November 21, 2015. The opening was met with a couple of programs for the Friend’s membership base. Members from as far away as Kansas came to participate in the museum’s opening and programs.
openingday 016This year the museum features a few new exhibits. The first is a display of mess equipment that soldiers during the Civil War would have used. The prime center piece for this exhibit is the English mess tin that was imported from Britain and issued mostly to Confederate soldiers. Soldiers may have chosen to use them, but often those bulky, unnecessary items were tossed or placed in storage. This exhibit also features a tin plate, cup, collapsible cup, flatware and an original piece of hardtack.

Another new exhibit is an artillery mounted services jacket that would have been worn by a Union artillery soldier. This jacket is a great example of the type of jacket that would have been issued mid-war. The case also showcases some smaller artillery items such as a shovel, and field glasses. Other exhibits are in the works and we hope to have everything in place by July 2015 for our 152nd Commemoration of the Monterey Pass Battle.

openingday_2015 027For the season opener, two main programs were given, that were offered solely to our membership base. For those of you who are not yet members, this is a great way to get the first opportunity to participate in programs that are not yet offered to the general public. The first program was the Maria Furnace Road During the Colonial Era. Most visitors to our park come to learn about the battle that was fought just one day after the close of the Battle of Gettysburg. But what many don’t realize is that this wasn’t the only major historical event that took place at Monterey Pass. The Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia went directly through Monterey Pass, then known as Nichols’ Gap. The lecture part of the tour also talked about the first settlements of the area. Several aspects of the French and Indian War were covered, including local Indian raids, which is an often overlooked piece of history to our area.

openingday_2015 039The second program was the Confederate Retreat from Gettysburg Overlooks Tour. This is a very unique program, in that from one of the overlooks, known as Virginia Rock, you can see the battlefield at Gettysburg. While from the overlook at High Rock, you can see the opposite side of the mountain, through the area that the Confederate Army retreated. Once both of these locations are viewed, it gives the participant a better understanding of the retreat, and how important Monterey Pass was to the Confederate Army and more importantly, the topography of the area.

Coming soon at the museum we will be offering books for sale on Monterey Pass, as well as other books on the Civil War in our area. We will also have paintings for sale that were done exclusively for the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc. as a fundraiser. Be sure to pick up your copy while you are there. We will also have more brochures on the battle, as well as the new and improved driving tour.

brubaker 090On April 18, the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc. held a special ceremony to re-dedicate the memorial to CPL Joseph Brubaker, who lost his life serving his country in the Vietnam War. His parents, who were locals to the area, constructed the original memorial on the property shortly after his death. Upon purchasing the property, one of the goals of the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc. was to give this memorial a permanent home on the front of the museum, for all to see.

Joseph Brubaker, Jr. was born and raised in Blue Ridge Summit. Shortly after graduating from Waynesboro Area Senior High School, Joe joined the United States Marines. He was transferred to Vietnam in December 1966, where he became a Crew Chief with the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362, 1st Marine Air Wing. He served two tours in Vietnam from December 1966 to February 1969, earning the rank of Corporal. CPL Brubaker received 31 Air Medals and participated in over 620 combat missions. His last assignment was flying in support of Marine forces involved in Operation Lynn River, Da Nang, Quang Nam Province. Corporal Joseph Brubaker, Jr. was killed in action on February 6, 1969.

brubaker 032The ceremony honoring Corporal Brubaker began at 12:00 p.m. with a Posting of Colors by Sgt. Richard Billig, 8th and I Marines, Marine Corps League, Gettysburg Detachment. The Re-Dedication of the memorial and wreath laying was done by Alicia Miller, Chairman of the Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc., James Funk, Jr., USMCR, Carlton Crenshaw, USMCR, Dennis Brubaker, who was Cpl. Brubaker’s cousin, and Philip H. Collins, Company B, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. The ceremony concluded with guest speakers Aubrey Yanzito for Senator Pat Toomey, Congressman Bill Schuster of the U.S. House of Representatives, David Keller, Chairman of the Franklin County Commissioners, Dennis Brubaker, James Funk, Jr., and Carlton Crenshaw. A special thanks goes out to Thomas Cantwell and John Gorman for planning this event.

The Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc. hopes that you will join them in the 2015 tourism season. New for this year, are the inclusion of campfire programs in the evening. These programs are a great way to learn more about local history, and the kids love these programs, so bring your whole family! They have many events planned that are open to the public, so please check their website often, Also, if you love history, and are interested in volunteering your time for the education of others, please let the Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc. know, they are always looking for volunteers and new ideas.

My New Book

bookMy new book is out and ready for purchase. The book is 44 pages, footnoted with maps and photographs of this under appreciated and forgotten area of Civil War history. If you ever had any questions about the Catoctin Mountain during the Civil War including Hamburg Pass, then this book is for you. The Emmitsburg News Journal published this book. Just like his New York State National Guard During the Pennsylvania Campaign book, John also did the design and layout for this publication. Price is set at $10.00 per copy.

I will be signing copies at the Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum on April 11, from 10-4 in between the membership tours. To order by mail make checks out to John Miller, 144 North Church St. Waynesboro, PA 17268 and add $3.00 for shipping.

War Comes to an End!

Coming out of the winter of 1864-1865, hopes for the Confederacy were dim. In the South, Major General William T. Sherman conducted his march to the sea through Georgia. After capturing Savannah, Georgia, plans for the Carolina Campaign were underway. Major General Sherman formulated a campaign, to which Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant agreed, consisting of Sherman moving northward through the Carolinas. Originally, Grant wanted Sherman’s men to board ships and move for Virginia.

By mid January of 1865, Sherman’s army was moving toward South Carolina. This move would try to finish off the Confederate army. General Robert E. Lee knew that since Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley was defeated, Grant would receive even more troops from Major General Philip Sheridan. The last major battle with Lt. Gen. Early was in March of 1865 at Waynesboro, VA.

In Virginia, around Petersburg, Lt. Gen. Grant’s Union armies were bogged down in trench warfare. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee, had their backs against a wall. They had been besieged since June of 1864. Now, several months later, it was only a matter of time before the Confederacy crumbled and fell. Once Sherman was moving from Georgia into South Carolina, the last port that was a lifeline to Lee and the Confederate army was lost. This was the day that Wilmington, North Carolina fell.

General Lee asked Brigadier General Joseph Johnston, who was in retirement, to take command of the Army of Tennessee. Johnston took command in March. He was tasked with the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, the Army of the Tennessee, and the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia. After several major battles in North Carolina in March, Johnston was forced to move back to Raleigh, North Carolina.

By late March, Lee attempted to break out of Petersburg, but the attack was a major blow to the Confederate army. By April 1, the Battle of Five Forks turned out to be another Confederate disaster, and the following day portions of the Union army broke through the Confederate line. This forced Petersburg and Richmond to fall on April 3. Forced to flee, Lee decided to head west and try to link up with Brig. Gen. Johnston in North Carolina. But instead, this led to several hard battles, and eventually the surrender of Lee’s army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

On April 9, after reading and sending several dispatches to Lt. Gen. Grant, General Lee decided to meet with Grant. Lee made this decision after looking at all options, and hearing from several of his top commanders.The Confederate army was almost completely surrounded. After sending a dispatch to Grant, Grant replied to Lee agreeing that the two will meet at a place of Lee’s choosing. After looking over the area, Appomattox Court House was picked. Lee and his staff rode out to meet with Lt. Gen. Grant.

General Lee arrived at the McLean House and waited for Grant. Once Grant arrived and met with Lee, the two talked about their days during the war with Mexico. But eventually, Lee reminded Grant for the reason that the two were there, and that was to talk about the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The terms were simple:
From U.S. Grant To R.E. Lee
Appomattox Court-House, Virginia April 9, 1865.
General: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.
U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. General R. E. Lee.

After Grant had wrote this, the document was taken from Grant’s table and delivered to Lee’s table where Lee read over the document. Lee the then wrote his response.

From R.E. Lee To U.S. Grant
Head-Quarters, Army of Northern Virginia April 9, 1865.
General: I received your letter of this date containing the terms of the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.

R. E. Lee, General. Lieutenant-General U.S. Grant.

On April 9, 1865, at 3:00 p.m., Lee surrendered his army accepting the terms. The war for the Army of Northern Virginia was over.

After being reelected for his second term of office, President Abraham Lincoln was grateful to see that General Lee and his Confederate army had surrendered. Peace was being achieved. However, the peace that Lincoln dreamed of, he would never see, as he was assassinated at Ford’s Theater on April 15, 1865.

Two days after Lincoln’s death, at the Bennett house in North Carolina, Confederate Brigadier General Johnston met with Major General Sherman. During the first conversation, Sherman was handed a telegram and after he read it, he gave it to Johnston to read; this was how they both learned of the assassination of President Lincoln.

The next day, Johnston and Sherman again met and terms of surrender were signed, but rejected by the Presidential cabinet. Lieutenant General Grant arrived on April 24, and explained to Sherman that the terms had exceeded those that he had given Lee. On April 26, Sherman and Johnston met again. This time the terms were again discussed and Johnston agreed, surrendering over 89,000 soldiers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Terms of a Military Convention, entered into this 26th day of April, 1865, at Bennitt’s House read: All acts of war on the part of the troops under General Johnston’s command to cease from this date.

All arms and public property to be deposited at Greensboro, and delivered to an ordnance-officer of the United States Army. Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate; one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by General Sherman. Each officer and man to give individual obligation in writing not to take up arms against the Government of the United States, until properly released from this obligation. The side-arms of officers, and their private horses and baggage, to be retained by them. This being done, all the officers and men will be permitted to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities, so long as they observe their obligation and the laws in force where they may reside.

W. T. Sherman, Major-General
Commanding United States Forces in North Carolina
J. E. Johnston, General
Commanding Confederate States Forces in North Carolina
Approved: U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General

On May 4, 1865, Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor surrendered 12,000 troops within the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana to Major General E.R.S. Canby at Citronelle, Alabama. Under the terms, officers retained their sidearms, mounted men their horses. All property was turned over to the Federal army, and the men were paroled. Lieutenant General Taylor retained control of the railways and river steamers to transport the troops as near as possible to their homes.

On May 26, more Confederate soldiers, who were under the command of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, surrendered. The last major surrender of Confederate soldiers came on June 23, 1865, in Indian Territory with Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie. Now that the Civil War was over, Reconstruction would officially begin.