Monterey Pass: It Was A Night To Remember

During the evening of July 3, 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his command staff met to determine how they would withdraw from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Studying maps, General Lee determined that his Confederate army would retreat using the road leading from Gettysburg, over South Mountain at Monterey Pass, to Williamsport, Maryland. General Lee’s plan called for Lieutenant General A. P. Hill’s infantry corps to lead the army, followed by Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Corps. Bringing up the rear would be Lieutenant General Richard Ewell’s Corps. 1

But before the Confederate infantry could retreat from Gettysburg, General Lee had to allow his supply wagons to move out of Pennsylvania first. Parked near Gettysburg and Cashtown were the supply wagons of Lt. Gen. Hill and Longstreet’s Corps. Strung out in a line, these two wagon trains were about 40 miles in length. Also included were Major General J. E. B. Stuart’s Cavalry Division wagon train that was about 10 miles in length, and the wagon train of wounded soldiers that stretched out for about 17 miles in length. This created upwards of almost 70 miles worth of wagons that were parked near Cashtown and Gettysburg. General Lee ordered the supply wagons to be commanded by their respective quartermaster officers, who were to proceed to the Potomac River as soon as they could get moving. After midnight, General Lee met with Brigadier General John Imboden and ordered that his cavalry brigade escort and oversee the Cashtown operations of the retreat, especially the wagon train of wounded. 2

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A Standard Quartermaster Train

Major John Harman, whose reserve wagon train was estimated to be about 20-22 miles in length, was located close to Cashtown. Major Harman was ordered to relocate the reserve wagon train to Fairfield, where the wagons of Lt. Gen. Ewell’s Corps were ordered to follow behind.  Lt. Gen. Ewell’s wagon train was estimated to be about 17-20 miles in length and were strung out to the north and northwest of Gettysburg. Escorting these two wagon trains, under the direction of Major Harman, were Brigadier Generals William Jones and Beverly Robertson, both being instructed to lead the wagons back into the safety of Virginia through Monterey Pass.  Infantry would be assigned to guard the wagon trains of Lt. Gen. Ewell’s Corps, while some of Hill’s wagons would also take this route to relieve some of the congestion at Cashtown. Intermixed with these wagons were several thousand head of livestock and several freed blacks that were being sent back to the south, all via Monterey Pass. 3

Robert-E-Lee
Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Why did General Lee choose Monterey Pass for the majority of the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg? The road that led through Monterey Pass was an established Pennsylvania highway that led directly to Williamsport, Maryland. During the mid 1700’s, this was one of two wagon roads that led to the south, into Appalachia. On a map, the Hagerstown Road, locally known as the Fairfield Road, was the shortest and most direct route to the safety of the Potomac River. At Monterey Pass, several roads converge, forming a hub, this hub was anchored by the tollgate house. No other South Mountain gap had this characteristic. Whoever controlled Monterey Pass controlled the flow of traffic whether it was to the north, east, south or west, and Gen. Lee desperately needed to control this area if he wished for his army to reach the safety of Virginia. 4

Around 9:00 a.m., Union signal corps reported the movements of wagons moving westward along Fairfield Road. The information was reported to the Union command. Major General Alfred Pleasonton, commanding the Army of the Potomac Cavalry Corps ordered out Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick’s Third Cavalry Division to locate and harass the retreating wagons. Leaving Gettysburg at around 10:00 a.m., Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick and the brigades of Brigadier General George A. Custer and Colonel Nathaniel Richmond moved south to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where they would be reinforced by Colonel Pennock Huey’s brigade of cavalry. 5

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Union Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick

While Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick was on the move, Brig. Gen. Jones’ command began picketing the network of roads leading past Fairfield to Monterey Pass, to the western base of South Mountain, near modern day Rouzerville. His command consisted of Brig. Gen. Robertson’s Brigade of the 4th and 5th North Carolina Cavalry that picketed Fairfield Gap; the 36th Virginia Cavalry of Brigadier General Albert Jenkins Brigade picketed the western base of South Mountain at Waterloo. The 1st Maryland Cavalry, minus Company A, of Brigadier General Fitz Lee’s Brigade picketed several areas, leaving Company B at Monterey Pass under Captain George Emack. Brigadier General Jones had two regiments from his own command, the 6th and 11th Virginia Cavalry to use at his disposal. Chew’s Battery and Mooreman’s Battery were the artillery support, along with one cannon from Captain William Tanner’s Battery. 6

As Captain Emack’s company of the 1st Maryland Cavalry picketed Monterey Pass, they quickly gathered up area citizens and housed them at the Monterey Inn. The Monterey Inn was established as an inn in 1820. The male civilians were allowed to move about, but had to check in every fifteen minutes with the Confederate cavalry, to ensure no escapes would be made. 7

The Confederate wagon trains moved along Maria Furnace Road, onto the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike at the tollgate house, and then moved westward to Waterloo (modern day Rouzerville), crossing the Mason Dixon Line near Ringgold, MD.  The road continued until Confederate wagons moved onto the Leitersburg and Hagerstown Turnpike at the small town of Leitersburg, MD. From there, it was a straight road to Williamsport, MD. 8

Brigadier General Kilpatrick’s cavalry division entered Emmitsburg, MD at noon. There, Colonel Huey joined Kilpatrick’s command, bringing his division up to about 5,000 mounted soldiers and sixteen pieces of rifled artillery. By 3:00 p.m., Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick moved out of Emmitsburg, heading westward along the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike toward South Mountain. 9

During the late afternoon, dark clouds came in from the west and the peaceful landscape became a violent scene, as a severe thunderstorm swept through. The rain poured over the landscape, causing the mountain clay roads to become a muddy mess for the wagons and those animals pulling them. Many Confederate accounts state that the road leading to Monterey Pass quickly became a quagmire. 10

At Monterey Pass, a message was sent through the Confederate guards and made it’s way to Charles Buhrman, a local farmer whose farm was once located at the eastern base of South Mountain, along the turnpike. Once he received the message, he mounted his horse, dashed through a small Confederate picket line, and rode for help. Nearing Fountaindale, about five miles east of Monterey Pass, he came in contact with the advance of Brig. Gen. Custer’s brigade. The information containing the Confederate’s position was reported to Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick. 11

At Fountaindale, Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick ordered Brig. Gen. Custer to send a detachment of the 5th Michigan Cavalry down Jacks Mountain Road to protect Kilpatrick’s right flank. Moving westward, Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick found himself skirmishing with a few Confederate pickets near Buhrman’s farm, and knew it was only a matter of time until he came in contact with Confederate cavalry. 12

Arriving at the Buhrman Farm, Kilpatrick met seventeen year old Hetty Zeilinger, who informed him that at the top of the mountain the Confederates had a cannon, commanding the road. Brushing the warning off, Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick continued to move up the narrow defile that led to Monterey Pass, finding himself surrounded by deep ravines on his left and a steep incline to his right. At about 9:00 p.m., with weather conditions worsening, Custer’s brigade led the advance to the top of the summit, when the Confederate cannon fired. 13

After the Confederate cannon fired, about two dozen Marylanders, under Captain Emack, charged the Union advance; Brigadier General Kilpatrick found what he was looking for. After a short skirmish, the Confederate cavalry fell back to the Monterey Inn, and waited for the Union cavalry to makes its next appearance. Brigadier General Kilpatrick will reorganize his force for the next attack, sending the majority of Custer’s brigade up the turnpike to hit the Confederate front and right flank. He will also order the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry to move along Furnace Road, and then head into the woods and hit the Confederate left flank. 14

By 10:00 p.m., the Union cavalry moved again. In between lightning strikes, Captain Emack sees the Union movements, and orders his company to fall back to Red Run, where reinforcements could easily be had. As Captain Tanner was withdrawing, the Pennsylvanians come out of the woods and captured the limber. The Confederate cannoneers managed to save the cannon and redeployed their gun to support the Confederate cavalry at Red Run. They would use ammunition from the wagon trains as they approached the Monterey tollgate house. 15

As Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick gained the eastern summit, he quickly studied the network of roads looking over a few area maps. He knew as the wagon train entered Monterey Pass, it would come off the mountain in the Cumberland Valley; therefore, he wanted to send a small force to get in front of it, preventing it from advancing any further. He also knew that the wagons were coming from the direction of Fairfield and would send a small detachment to block the gap and prevent their movements into Monterey Pass. Finally, he knew that if he sent a portion of his division to the actual pass of Monterey, he could cut the wagon train in half. After talking with locals, including Charles Buhrman, Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick began dividing his cavalry. 16

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Battle of Monterey Pass, Britt Isenger

Near midnight, Charles Buhrman guided the 1st Vermont Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Addison Preston, into the Cumberland Valley via Raven Rock. This mountain pass was located to the south of Monterey Pass, where the small town of Smithsburg is located. Arriving at Smithsburg, the 1st Vermont Cavalry moved to Leitersburg, where the main road led directly into Hagerstown and Williamsport. 17

Arriving at Leitersburg at 5:00 a.m., the 1st Vermont Cavalry immediately began attacking a portion of the wagon train. The scene was wild as cattle, soldiers, horses, and wagons crowded the road. As soon as the revolvers and carbines cracked, several mules began running away with their wagons still attached. Most of these wagons contained wounded Confederate soldiers. One Union trooper recalled hearing the screams of those who were in pain. Several of the wagon drivers were shot by the Vermonters. 18

Realizing that the head of the wagon train was still moving toward Hagerstown, Lt. Col. Preston divided his regiment. He led the majority of his men toward Hagerstown to cut off the head of the opposing force before it got there. With Buhrman as their escort, the other detachment was ordered to meet back up with Kilpatrick at Ringgold, MD. The 1st Vermont Cavalry captured 100 Confederate soldiers, three miles of wagons, and a large herd of cattle. The Vermonters inventoried the wagons, removed all wounded men from inside, and either burned the wagons or busted the wooden spokes of the wheels in order to render them useless. 19

Meanwhile back at Monterey Pass, Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick ordered a squadron of the 1st Michigan Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Peter Stagg, to Fairfield Gap in order to block the wagons entering Monterey Pass and possibly turn the Confederate right flank. This small gap is located one mile to the northeast of Monterey Pass. Using Hetty Zeilinger as their guide, they will proceed down Furnace Road, passing her farm house. As the wagons moved through Fairfield Gap, they traveled about one mile until Monterey Pass was reached, and the road turns onto the turnpike by the Monterey tollgate house. Brigadier General Kilpatrick ordered Brig. Gen. Custer to move his brigade forward to Monterey Pass in order to cut the wagon train in half. 20

Shortly after midnight, Lt. Col. Stagg comes into contact with Mooreman’s Battery and two companies of the 11th Virginia Cavalry, who were supported by the 5th North Carolina Cavalry. The Fairfield Gap attack is a failure, and within a few hours the remnants of the 1st Michigan squadron fell back to the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike. 21

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Union Brigadier General George A. Custer

Brigadier General Custer’s brigade was deployed mostly on the right of the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike. As they moved through the thick woods toward Red Run, fighting became fierce. With darkness and heavy rain, one had to be guided by sound and senses rather than sight. Both Union and Confederate cavalrymen who were dismounted in the woods literally had seconds to distinguish objects in their front after a flash of lightning or small arms fire illuminated the landscape. 22

By 3:30 a.m., after several hours of hard fighting, Colonel Russell Alger of the 5th Michigan cavalry, supported by artillery, led a charge across the bridge spanning Red Run. He quickly deploys, forming a makeshift battle line. The Confederate cavalry, now reinforced by additional units, began deploying at the Monterey tollgate house. Confederate reinforcements are arriving from Fairfield Gap, as well as from Waterloo. 23

Brigadier General Custer, after pleading for additional reinforcements, receives the 1st West Virginia Cavalry and Company A of the 1st Ohio Cavalry. Orders were soon given to charge the Confederate positions, and the two reinforcing units charged across the bridge and began taking on prisoners and seizing wagons. The people of Waynesboro saw the fires of the wagons stretching all of down the mountain moving into Maryland; it was a fourth of July spectacle they would never witness the likes of again. Confederate cavalry deploying on both sides of the turnpike tried to stop the charging Union cavalry with no success. 24

Brigadier General Kilpatrick’s cavalry reserves began moving up and deployed near the tollgate house.  They were supported by artillery. The Confederate provost guard deployed on Maria Furnace Road and began moving forward to retake the tollgate house. Not long afterward, Brigadier General Alfred Iverson’s North Carolina brigade reached Monterey Pass and deployed. Chew’s Battery also came up from Fairfield and deployed. A short distance behind was Brigadier General Ambrose Wright’s Georgia Brigade. Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick realized that even though he once outnumbered the Confederates, he, himself, is now outnumbered.  With his command scattered all along the Mason Dixon Line, Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick orders the remainder of his cavalry westward to Maryland. By dawn of July 5, the Union cavalry reaches Ringgold and halts. 25

In the wake of the Battle of Monterey Pass, about nine miles worth of wagons had been captured or destroyed. Upwards of 1,300 Confederate prisoners were taken, and several dozen were wounded and killed. For the Union cavalry, upwards of100 men were captured, wounded, or killed. 26

With the withdrawal of Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick’s cavalry, Monterey Pass is still in possession of the Confederate army. During that evening, the infantry corps of Lt. Gen. Hill and Longstreet bivouacs at Monterey Pass. The next morning, the Confederate army continues to march to Hagerstown, and Williamsport. Bringing up the rear was Lt. Gen. Ewell’s Corps, with the last Confederate soldier marching through Monterey Pass during the afternoon of July 6.  For the next several days, the Cumberland Valley will become one vast battlefield. Fighting occurred everyday up to July 14, when the Confederate army, after waiting for the waters of the Potomac River to recede, began making their way into West Virginia, and to the safety of Virginia. 27

Notes and Citations:

  1. Long, A. L. Memoirs of Robert E. Lee. Edison, NJ: Blue and Grey Press, 1983. 294-296., Longstreet, James. From Manassas to Appomattox. New York, NY: Mallard Press, 1991. 426-427.
  2. Large, George. Battle of Gettysburg, the Official History by the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission. Shippensburg, PA: Burd Street Press, 1999. 282-283., Imboden, John. “The Retreat from Gettysburg.” Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Vol. 3. New York: Centaury, 1884. 420. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, vol. 27, part I, II and III (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1889). Cited OR
  3. Brown, Kent Masterson. Retreat from Gettysburg. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005. 93, 95-97, 103.
  4. The old Wagon Road today would make up the following modern day roads. From Gettysburg, it was the Fairfield Road (Route 116) to Iron Springs Road, west of Fairfield into South Mountain to Gum Springs Road, through Fairfield Gap, onto Maria Furnace Road, and would have connected to Old Waynesboro Road. From there, it ran west of the mountain, sidestepping Waynesboro, continuing to Hagerstown, and ended at Williamsport. Many historians state that Iron Springs Road was used during the Confederate retreat, however, no road past the current intersection of modern day Gum Springs Road exists on any Civil War period maps. Iron Springs Road from Gum Springs Road that leads to Old Waynesboro Road today, was established in the late 1860’s when copper was discovered in the mountain. The earliest map that shows the Monterey Pass area and the Great Wagon Road was first surveyed in 1751 by Colonel Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson and was known as Nicholson Gap.
  5. Brown, Kent Masterson. Retreat from Gettysburg. 123-124
  6. This information is based off of the official Order of Battle from the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum archives.
  7. The Baer family recorded the actions of July 4, 1863. The manuscript states that all of the male civilians living on and near Monterey Pass were gathered up as prisoners and housed at the Monterey Hotel which was an inn during the battle. Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum archives.
  8. Stoner, Jacob. Historical Papers of Franklin County and the Cumberland Valley. Chambersburg, PA: The Craft Press, 1947. 456-457.
  9. Urwin, Gregory J. W. Custer Victorious. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska, 1983. 87.
  10. Hopkins, Luther. From Bull Run to Appomattox: A Boy’s View. Baltimore, MD: Fleet-McGinley, 1908. 104. Kidd, James Harvey. Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman with Custer’s Michigan Cavalry. Ionia, MI: Sentinel, Printing 1908. 166-168.
  11. Bates, Samuel. Fraise, Richard. History of Franklin County. Chicago IL: Warner, Beers & Co., 1975. 379.
  12. Ibid
  13. Ibid. Many other first hand accounts published in 1880-1900 by members of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry and 5th Michigan Cavalry mention the narrow road leading up to Monterey Pass. On their left was a steep ravine which is still visible today on Old Waynesboro Road, and to their right, a high mountain peak known as Monterey Peak.
  14. Rodenbough, Theophilus Francis, Grier Thomas J. History of the Eighteenth regiment of cavalry, Pennsylvania volunteers. New York, NY: 1909. 84.
  15. Manuscript, letter from Captain George Emack. Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum archives.
  16. Buhrman during the Battle of Monterey Pass. Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum Archives.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Bates, Samuel. Fraise, Richard. History of Franklin County. Chicago IL: Warner, Beers & Co., 1975. 379.
  20. Manuscript of letters from members of the 1st Michigan Cavalry to Hetty Zeilinger talk in detail about the movements to Fairfield Gap. Fairfield Gap is a misunderstood portion of the Battle of Monterey Pass and is often separated out from the Battle of Monterey Pass. Many historians claim that Fairfield Gap is located on Jacks Mountain. The problem is that many of those who fought at Monterey Pass also called it the Battle of Jacks Mountain or South Mountain. Other historians claimed that Fairfield Gap is on Iron Springs Road. Fairfield Gap is located on Furnace Road and it is where Maria Furnace Road forks from Furnace Road.
  21. OR. Series I, vol. 27, part 2. 763-764. Official report of Colonel L. L. Lomax, 11th Virginia Cavalry. O.R. Series I., Vol. 27, Part 3, Page 741. Official report of General George Custer.
  22. Kidd, James Harvey. Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman with Custer’s Michigan Cavalry. 168-171.
  23. Manuscript of Russell Alger during the Battle of Monterey Pass. Monterey Pass Battlefield Park and Museum archives.
  24. Lesage, Joseph A. “NARROW ESCAPES.” Ironton Register 22 Dec. 1887, Manuscript ed., Interesting War Experiences NO. 58 sec. Print.
  25. OR. Series I, vol. 27, part I. 581. General Iverson’s account of his actions during the early dawn hours of July 5, as his brigade helps to push Kilpatrick’s cavalry out of Monterey Pass. Ibid. 625. General Ambrose Wright’s official account on July 4, 1863.
  26. At Monterey Pass, there is a state marker that states the Confederate casualties, including wounded, killed, or captured. It also states that nine miles of wagons were captured. Going through all of the Union regimental histories for those engaged at Monterey Pass, the names of almost 100 men have surfaced. Kilpatrick in his own O.R. stated his losses were about two dozen.
  27. Long, A. L. Memoirs of Robert E. Lee. Edison, NJ: Blue and Grey Press, 1983. 294-296., Longstreet, James. From Manassas to Appomattox. New York, NY: Mallard Press, 1991. 426-427.

The Route of the Confederate Wagon Train Through Monterey Pass

Looking from south of Fairfield headed on modern day Iron Springs Road, the wagon train of General Richard Ewell's corps made its way through the South Mountain range.
Looking from south of Fairfield headed on modern day Iron Springs Road, the wagon train of General Richard Ewell’s corps made its way through the South Mountain range.
This is Gum Springs Road and it is the same roadway that the Confederate army used during the retreat.
This is Gum Springs Road and it is the same roadway that the Confederate army used during the retreat.
This is the approch to Fairfield Gap. This is where modern day Maria Furnace, Gum Springs and Furnace Road come together. The Confederate wagon train would have turned right onto Maria Furnace Road. This is also the area where portions of the 1st Michigan cavalry attacked portions of the 11th Virginia and 5th North Carolina cavalry. During the retreat, this is the same area where General Jubal Early's Division was fired on upon Union artillery.
This is the approch to Fairfield Gap. This is where modern day Maria Furnace, Gum Springs and Furnace Road come together. The Confederate wagon train would have turned right onto Maria Furnace Road. This is also the area where portions of the 1st Michigan cavalry attacked portions of the 11th Virginia and 5th North Carolina cavalry.
During the retreat, this is the same area where General Jubal Early’s Division was fired on upon Union artillery.
This is another photo showing where the Maria Furnace Road entered Fairfield Gap. Today this is a private driveway.
This is another photo showing where the Maria Furnace Road entered Fairfield Gap. Today this is a private driveway.
A portion of the Maria Furnace Road. This road connected Fairfield Gap to Monterey Pass and is about a mile and a half to two miles long. Many Confederate soldiers wrote about their experiences here during the retreat.
A portion of the Maria Furnace Road. This road connected Fairfield Gap to Monterey Pass and is about a mile and a half to two miles long. Many Confederate soldiers wrote about their experiences here during the retreat.
The brick building in the center of the photo is the toll house. The Confederate wagon trains entered the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike at this point. The Maria Furnace Road connected to the turnpike in front of the toll house. Mentzers Gap Road connect behind. This photo was taken from Pendersville Road which also was here during the battle. Over five roads connected to Monterey Pass during the battle.
The brick building in the center of the photo is the toll house. The Confederate wagon trains entered the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike at this point. The Maria Furnace Road connected to the turnpike in front of the toll house. Mentzers Gap Road connect behind. This photo was taken from Pendersville Road which also was here during the battle. Over five roads connected to Monterey Pass during the battle.
Just another photo showing the roadway as it ran along the mountain toward Rouzerville which was known as Pikesville during the battle. Buena Visita Road would be the marking point to the bottom of the mountain for many wagons that were overturned.
Just another photo showing the roadway as it ran along the mountain toward Rouzerville which was known as Pikesville during the battle. Buena Visita Road would be the marking point to the bottom of the mountain for many wagons that were overturned.
This is Pikesville or Rouzerville as it is called today. Waterloo is not far from here.
This is Pikesville or Rouzerville as it is called today. Waterloo is not far from here.
This is Waterloo along Waterloo Road. After coming off the mountain, the Confederate wagon train continued onward toward Maryland using Waterloo Road to what is now called Harbaugh Church Road.
This is Waterloo along Waterloo Road. After coming off the mountain, the Confederate wagon train continued onward toward Maryland using Waterloo Road to what is now called Harbaugh Church Road.
This is the Harbaugh Farm. Along this roadway, laid the ruins of wagons destroyed by the battle of Monterey Pass.
This is the Harbaugh Farm. Along this roadway, laid the ruins of wagons destroyed by the battle of Monterey Pass.
From Harbuagh Church Road, the Confederate wagon train turned onto modern day Midvale Road as it made its way into Maryland. Ringgold is less than two miles away.
From Harbuagh Church Road, the Confederate wagon train turned onto modern day Midvale Road as it made its way into Maryland. Ringgold is less than two miles away.
Looking from the square of Ringgold, hundreds of wagons would have been seen from this point. The mountain area in the distance is Monterey Pass.
Looking from the square of Ringgold, hundreds of wagons would have been seen from this point. The mountain area in the distance is Monterey Pass.
Looking toward Ringgold from near Leitersburg.
Looking toward Ringgold from near Leitersburg.
This is the sqaure of Leitersburg. It was here that the 1st Vermont Cavalry coming in from Smithsburg attacked. From here the wagon train continued onward toward Williamsport via Hagerstown.
This is the sqaure of Leitersburg. It was here that the 1st Vermont Cavalry coming in from Smithsburg attacked. From here the wagon train continued onward toward Williamsport via Hagerstown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round about directions:

Starting out in Fairfield, turn right onto Iron Springs Road and follow to Gum Springs Road.

Turn right onto Gum Springs Road and continue up the mountain. In Franklin County, Gum Springs Road turns into Furnace Road.

Follow Furnace Road until you get to Old Waynesboro/Charmian Road.

Verring right onto Charmian Road, continue until you get to Route 16.

Proceed straight onto Old Waynesboro Road and follow down the mountain.

The last curve veer left onto Waterloo Road. Follow Waterloo Road to the intersection of Harbaugh Road and Penmar Road. Proceed straight onto Harbaugh Church Road.

Follow Harbaugh Church to Midvale Road.

Turn left and cross into Maryland and follow to four way stop.

Proceed straight and turn follow Maryland Civil War trails sign to your left into Leitersburg.

 

The Maria Furnace Road Virtual Tour

This is the Maria Furnace Road. This road witnessed fighting, wagons moving along and infantry marching upon it. Please remember that the Maria Furnace Road is located on private property. But the road is still intact and is manageable to preserve. Currently the Friends of the Monterey Pass Battlefield, Inc. are raising funds to purchase 113 acres of this road at a total cost of $200,000.00.

Looking at Google Earth, you can see a bird’s eye view of this talked about road.
Looking at Google Earth, you can see a bird’s eye view of this talked about road.

 

Starting at Rolando Woods Lions Club Park, you quickly see the roadway as it cuts through the woods.
Starting at Rolando Woods Lions Club Park, you quickly see the roadway as it cuts through the woods.

 

About 200 yards in you'll come to an area of dirt mounds. This was due to the 1980's when the road was bulldozed. Once you get past this point, the original bed reveals itself.
About 200 yards in you’ll come to an area of dirt mounds. This was due to the 1980’s when the road was bulldozed. Once you get past this point, the original bed reveals itself.
This is about 400 yards from Rolando Woods Lions Club Park. It is here that the roadbed becomes more manageable with regards to easy access.
This is about 400 yards from Rolando Woods Lions Club Park. It is here that the roadbed becomes more manageable with regards to easy access.

 

This is where the Maria Furnace Road bends. It is also the same area where the 1st North Carolina Sharpshooters ordered the wagon train to stop. From there they deployed and began moving toward Monterey Pass.
This is where the Maria Furnace Road bends. It is also the same area where the 1st North Carolina Sharpshooters ordered the wagon train to stop. From there they deployed and began moving toward Monterey Pass.

 

 

Another view of the road between the bend and Fairfield Gap.
Another view of the road between the bend and Fairfield Gap.
This area is about 400 yards southwest of Fairfield Gap and is the end of the property that is currently for sale.
This area is about 400 yards southwest of Fairfield Gap and is the end of the property that is currently for sale.