Buford’s March to Fountaindale, Pennsylvania & the Bivouac There

As the day dawned on June 28th, 1863, General John Buford and his cavalry division had moved through Jefferson,Marylandand went into camp near Middletown. The troopers were to re-fit and re-shoe their mounts. This was done in preparations of following up the Confederate invasion that would eventually land Buford and the rest of the Army of thePotomacat Gettysburg. That same day, the Confederate command issued orders for their concentration at Gettysburg.

The next morning, Buford’s cavalry was ordered to screen the western base of South Mountain, while the First Corps and the Eleventh Corps marched northward to Emmitsburg. Buford was to march from Middletown to Cavetown, cross the Mason and Dixon Line, and recross South Mountainat Monterey Pass, and then encamp near Emmitsburg where General John Reynolds’s left wing would be located. The main assignment for Buford was to “cover and protect the front, and communicate all information rapidly and surely.”

Buford’s First Cavalry Division consisted of three brigades. The First Brigade, under the command of Colonel William, Gamble and the Second Brigade, under the command of Colonel Thomas Devin, were ordered northward following the western base of South Mountain to the Mason and Dixon Line. The Third brigade, known as the Reserve Brigade, under the command of General Wesley Merritt, was ordered to Mechanicstown, located seven miles south of Emmitsburg. Attached to Colonel William Gamble’s Brigade was Battery“A”, 2nd U.S. Artillery, under the command of Lieutenant John H. Calef.

The cavalrymen of Buford’s command wore a variety of the army regulation uniforms. They consisted of the preferred loose fitting fatigue blouse, and the mounted services jacket with yellow taping, which fitted much tighter on the body. Their headgear consisted of a forage cap, or slouch hat. While sky-blue kersey trousers were the norm, there are a few photographs taken before Gettysburg of the cavalrymen wearing dark-blue trousers. The blue uniforms, showing signs of wear, were caked with the same dust that choked the footman while he marched. Several accounts make mention that the dust was several inches thick.

The best description of a cavalryman during the Union advance toward Gettysburg was provided by Captain Charles F. Adams of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry in General Gregg’s Cavalry Division. “My blue trousers are ragged from contact with the saddle and so covered with grease and dust that they would fry well. From frequently washing my flannel shirts are so shrunk about the throat that they utterly refuse to button and, so perforce, I follow Freedom with bosom bare. I wear a loose government blouse, like my mens’, and my waistcoat, once dark blue, is now a dusty brown.” The artillery experienced the same harsh elements.

Buford’s command was well armed. Many of the cavalrymen carried the Sharps carbine, however, several others carried a variety of small arms such as the Burnside carbine, Merrill Carbine, Smith Carbine, and the Gallager Carbine. A combination of Colt and Remington Revolvers complete the troopers’ weapons, excluding the saber. Lieutenant Calef’s battery was armed and equipped with six 3-inch rifles.

At9:00 am, General Buford’s command left Middletown and crossed South Mountain at Turner’s Gap. From there, his men trotted into Boonsboro and took the road toward Cavetown. Captain Newel Cheney of the 9thNew York recalled that near Mount Pleasant, near Boonsboro, a huge National flag was displayed to show their patriotism. As the cavalrymen continued, many accounts of civilians greeting them along the way were recorded.

Opon entering into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, late in the afternoon, General Buford’s command recalled the enthusiasm and cheering from his troopers with regards to once again being on northern soil. Abner Frank recalled seeing a mounted trooper from the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, “who stood with a streaming guidon, on the boundary line of the state, indicating our exit from Maryland into loyal Pennsylvania.”  

Once in Pennsylvania, the troopers began ascending South Mountain to Monterey Pass. Monterey Pass was a vital transportation hub. In addition to the numerous smaller roads leading to the pass, there were several main roads leading to Chambersburg, Emmitsburg, Fairfield, Smithsburg, and Waynesboro that converged at Monterey Pass. Monterey Pass had already seen a skirmish on June 22nd,  when a detachment of the 14th Virginia Cavalry attacked a few mounted Federal cavalry units. On June 28th, a detachment of Cole’s Cavalry Company “C” had traveled through Monterey Pass and skirmished with a Confederate foraging party at Fountaindale.

As Buford’s column continued its ascent, Newel Cheney, an officer from the 9th New York Cavalry recalled “An old man stood beside the road near Monterey Springs, with his hat off and tears streaming down his face. As the column passed the men cheered him heartily. At Monterey, some of the officers called and got a well served supper of bread, butter, ham, apple-butter and coffee.”

Buford stood at the opening of MontereyPassand saw in the distance, toward Greencastle, the dust being kicked up by General James Longstreet’s Corps as they marched to Chambersburg. It was at this time that Buford came to realize that a large battle would soon erupt.  As Buford’s soldiers traveled the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike, they came to the small hamlet of Fountaindale at approximately 10:00 pm. There, Buford ordered the majority of his cavalrymen to rest. Lieutenant Calef described the days’ march as being “very long and fatiguing, adding horses very much used up.” The troopers were amazed with the rich agriculture and produce they had seen in the surrounding countryside upon reaching Fountaindale, Pennsylvania. For many Pennsylvanians this was their first trip back home since enlisting in the military. This was especially so for the soldiers of the 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, many of whom were from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, located seven miles from Fountaindale.

The days’ march was exhausting for Buford’s men. Many troopers tied the reins to their wrist during the march, so as to rest while in the saddle. Upon reaching Fountaindale, and being ordered to bivouac, several of the troopers fell to the ground and slept where they had landed. Between 2:00 am and 3:00 am, the troops were back in the saddle heading toward Fairfield. After a brief skirmish, Buford made his way to Emmitsburg, where he arrived during the mid morning hours on June 30th.

Prickerill, William N., History of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry, Vol. 3, Aetna Printing Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1906, pg. 80-81. Also Buford mentions the refitting and reshoeing in his official report.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Official Records: Series 1, vol 27, Part 2 (Gettysburg Campaign) Report of Brig. Gen. John Buford, U.S. Army, commanding First Division.
Large, George, The Official History by the Gettysburg National Military Park Commission, Burd Street Press, 1999, pg. 305-307 “The Order of Battle for Buford was fromGettysburg.”
Cheney, Newel, History of the 9th Regiment,New York Volunteer Cavalry, War of 1861-1865,Poland Center,New York, 1901, pg. 101-102
Revised Regulations for the Army of theUnitedState, published in 1862
Winey, Michael, Union Army Uniforms of Gettysburg, Thomas Publications,Fairfield,PA, page 10 
Records of the Office and the Chief of Ordnance, Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand in the Regular and Volunteer Army Organizations 1862-1867
Petruzzi, J. David, Six Weeks in the Saddle with Brig. Gen. John Buford. Originally published byAmerica’s Civil War magazine. Published Online:August 26, 2009

The Skirmish of Fountaindale

The skirmish site of Fountaindale located at the intersection of Jacks Mountain Rd and the Old Waynesboro Pike.

Six miles north of the Mason and Dixon Line is a little town called Fountaindale. Fountaindale is located between South Mountain, Beards Hill, and is connected to two major mountain gaps along the Old Waynesboro Pike. Many locals tell me Fountaindale received its name from an actual fountain that belonged to Mr. Frederick McIntire. After the founding of Emmitsburg in 1785, the Beard family, one of Emmitsburg’s founding fathers broght his family to what would become Fountaindale.  With a only a few houses and stone fences there really isn’t much to this small town, or is there?

Although being a small town today, Fountaindale has a very fascinating Civil War heritage. During the Pennsylvania Campaign, both Union and Confederate soldiers scouted and picketed the area of Fountaindale to observe the movements of troops that were coming from the direction of Emmitsburg, Fairfield and Waynesboro.

During the Pennsylvania Campaign Cole’s Cavalry separated and each company was to act as an independent organization. On June 27th, Lieutenant William A. Horner asked permission to take a dozen men and go through the Confederate lines to see what was going on. After a some debate Captain Albert Hunter, commanding Company C of Cole’s Cavalry allowed a dozen of his troopers to go on scout. They came out at Boonsboro and traveled to Waynesboro then to Fountaindale.

Pegram’s Artillery reached Maryland late in the evening on June 25th, crossing the Potomac River at Boteler’s Ford. From there they traveled the roads that led into Hagerstown. Private John C. Goolsby who was a member of Crenshaw’s Artillery recorded “We had the pleasure of seeing numerous Confederate flags displayed, which the boys greeted with loud bursts of applause. After camping awhile near the town, we broke camp and soon struck the Little Antietam stream, crossed it, and were soon in the land of milk and applebutter–Pennsylvania. What a sight greeted our eyes! This is a beautiful country, and we reached it at a season of the year when the whole earth was wrapped in nature’s best attire–the velvet green. The roads were fine.”

The next day the artillerist would be in Pennsylvania. Private Goolsby continued: “We pushed on and soon struck the village of Waynesboro, where United States flags were displayed in great numbers, which, of course, we greeted pleasantly. Another day’s journey brought us to the foot of Cash Mountain, where we had several men captured. ”

By the time that parts of Pegram’s Artillery Battalion had encamped at Fayetteville they had lost several horses. Because of the concerned state the horses were in, Lieutenant John Hampden (Ham) Chamberlayne led a small detail soldiers from Purcell, Crenshaw, and Lecture’s Batteries and made their way through Franklin County into Adams County where they came to Fairfield.

From Fairfield, Chamberlayne’s men traveled toward Monterey when they came across a small church at Fountaindale on June 28th. A small Lutheran Church, located on Old Waynesboro Pike near present day Jacks Mountain Road is where the encounter of Fountaindale took place. It was Sunday and church services were underway. Ham Chamberlayne saw about 20 horses tied to a post and decided that these horses were are exactly what his battery needed.

Lieutenant Chamberlayne opened the door of the church and rushed in with his pistol drawn and demanded that each person give up their horse and that they would be paid in full by means of a treaty between the Confederate States Government and the United States Government. No dispute was made and Chamberlayne then walked back outside and untied the horses.

As Chamberlayne’s men started for their camp, a detachment of General Buford’s Cavalry was spotted coming down Waynesboro Pike. This was a small squad of horsemen under the command of Lt. William A. Horner. Seeing rebel horsemen near the church Lt. Horner, order his squad to halt near a brick school house near the Lutheran Church and try to intercept them.

It was at this time that Ham Chamberlayne hand-selected 6 men who had revolvers to turn and make a stand with him, while the others made their escape. Chamberlayne led his men directly toward Horner’s men and charged. A clash erupted between these two forces. Private Goolsby mentions the small detail fell back to it’s main party. After the charge, Chamberlayne and his six men were taken prisoner. The prisoners were Lieutenant John H. (Ham) Chamberlayne, Sergeant R. H. Malloy, Sergeant Alpheus Newman, Sergeant Hugh Davis Smith, and John Alexander Estes. Lieutenant Chamberlayne was later exchanged and rejoined his unit.

After the skirmish, Horner’s Keystone Rangers retired with their prisoners to Emmitsburg. The other 19 men of the detail made it safely back to Fayetteville. Sometime after the Skirmish, local residents were encouraged to take inventory of their livestock and to report any missing animals to the local sheriff. However according to the family history of the Turle family, an incident occurred not far from Fountaindale. Henry Turle who served as a private in Cole’s Cavalry was a resident of Fountaindale. After the skirmish, he and a few companions traveled after the retreating Confederates. At a small church near Fairfield, Henry Turle single handedly captured 10 unarmed Confederate Soldiers. These are soldiers were describe as being the same ones that had gotten away after the first shots were fired.

Oliver Horner who was a Sergeant during the engagement of Fountaindale later recalled: “The Confederate Raiders were captured and the horses were recovered”. Sergeant Horner was later promoted to Lieutenant for his actions during the skirmish of Fountaindale.