The Engagement of Iron Springs

On the morning of July 6, 1863, the Confederate army, having retreated from Gettysburg, took up their line of march on the Hagerstown Road. This road led directly to Fairfield, where it would transverse through Fairfield Gap and Monterey Pass on South Mountain. From Monterey Pass, the Confederate army would move into Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Taking the Leitersburg and Antietam Road, the Confederate army would move directly into Hagerstown and Williamsport, Maryland. 

Encamped on South Mountain since July 5, Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s Corps marched up Jacks Mountain Road to the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro Turnpike and took the lead during the retreat. Following behind them, was Lieutenant General A. P. Hill’s Corps. The night prior, Hill’s Corps had taken the Hagerstown Road from Fairfield to Monterey Pass, where the corps encamped. Located behind them, was Lieutenant General Richard Ewell’s Corps. They had encamped near South Mountain the night before. 

Early in the morning of July 6, the Confederate army began its movement to Waynesboro. Lieutenant General  Ewell had ordered Major General Robert Rodes to take his division and relieve Major General Jubal Early’s Division, who had skirmished with portions of the Union VI Corps at Fairfield. Major General Early was ordered to lead Ewell’s Corps for the duration of the day. 

While the Confederate army issued marching orders to march toward Waynesboro, Major General John Sedgwick and his VI Corps made plans to harass the rearguard of the Confederate army. Major General Sedgwick ordered Brigadier General Thomas Neill and his brigade of infantry to lead the attack. Brigadier General Neill’s brigade consisted of six companies of the 7th Maine Infantry, a detachment of the 33rd New York Infantry, 43rd New York Infantry, 77th New York Infantry, and the 61st Pennsylvania Infantry. 

The Reed Farm looking toward the Union position

Major General Rodes deployed his division with the brigades of Brigadier General George Doles to the right of the Hagerstown Road and Brigadier General Junins Daniel’s brigade on the left of the road, near the Reed farm as skirmishers. With Iverson’s brigade already ahead of the main army, Ramseur’s Brigade and O’Neal’s Brigade would not participate in the action.1

Close to the battle line

Brigadier General Neill deployed his brigade in skirmish formation and proceeded to move toward the Confederate line. Their line stretched out one to two miles long when the attack was launched.  With Brig. Gen. Daniel’s brigade occupying the Reed farm, some of the Union troops had entered the orchard behind the farm house and hit the 45th North Carolina with Captain J. A. Hopkins commanding. This regiment was on the extreme left, located in front of the Reed farm. Upon reaching the hill, Captain Hopkins was ordered to surrender. Captain Hopkins charged the enemy’s position and forced them from the hill. Casualties totaled nine men lost, 2 killed, 2 wounded, and 5 missing. Captain Hopkins and the rest of Daniel’s brigade occupied the hill leading into the entrance between jacks Mountain and South Mountain. A portion of Brig. Gen. Doles’s left flank repelled an attack with no casualties.2  

The engagement of Iron Springs was over as soon as it began. With a strong Confederate rearguard in their front, it was determined that they should now begin to fortify South Mountain at the entrance of Fairfield Gap. The Union troops pulled back to Fairfield and halted. The Hagerstown Road was now clear for about five miles behind the Confederate army. The last of the Confederate skirmishers began marching through Monterey Pass with no further annoyance by the Union troops. 

The VI Corps was ordered to Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Brigadier General Neill was detached to operate as a light division. Colonel John McIntosh’s brigade of cavalry was assigned to Neill’s command as well as two pieces of artillery from Lieutenant Martin’s battery. They were ordered to harass the Confederate rearguard, but not to fully engage them. By evening, the Confederate army was concentrated in and around Waynesboro and Leitersburg, Maryland. Neill’s brigade would encamp near Monterey Pass.3 


  1. Report of Maj. Gen. R. E. Rodes, O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
  2. Ibid, Report of Brig. Gen. Junins Daniel, O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]
  3. O.R.–SERIES I–VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43] — Gettysburg Campaign

The Man Who Once Owned Monterey Pass

The Citizens Fight of Monterey PassCharles H. Buhrman was born on June 1, 1837 at Mount Zion, Frederick County, Maryland. He was the oldest of three children. Just like his father Samuel, Charles engaged in farming at a young age. He was married to Ann Maria Green on February 16, 1858. They had six children together, two boys and four daughters, however, one the girls died at a young age. Charles and his wife Ann took up residence at the eastern base of South Mountain, near Monterey Pass along the Emmitsburg & Waynesboro Turnpike, where he worked his farm.1

In 1861, his father, Samuel died and Charles inherited the Monterey Inn. His father had purchased Ripple’s Tavern in 1843, and ran it as an inn. By 1849, a fire broke out and burnt the building to the ground. Rebuilding the tavern now known as the Monterey Inn, the Buhrman family built a brick building that was continuously remodeled to accommodate the fast growing nature of patrons staying in the area. Charles continued to live on the family farm and worked the land, while David Miller managed the Monterey Inn.2

When the Civil War came to South Mountain on the night on July 4-5, 1863, in what is known as the Battle of Monterey Pass, Charles helped to guide the Union cavalry under the command of Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick, while a major battle took place on his property. He helped to guide the 1st Vermont Cavalry to Smithsburg and Leitersburg during the midnight hours of July 5. At dawn, he witnessed the destruction of several Confederate wagons. As he approached Ringgold, Charles became separated from the Vermonters and was captured. He was escorted to Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick’s headquarters, where several Union officers recognized the farmer, and ordered his release.3

As Charles was returning home, he came across a Confederate picket line and was nearly captured, near modern day Blue Ridge Summit. Returning home long enough to kiss his wife, Charles was forced to hide out in the mountain until the last Confederate soldier marched through Monterey Pass during the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 6. 4

In 1866, after living on his farm since 1861, Charles left the trade to enter into the mercantile business, in what would become the future town of Rouzerville. On October 22, 1868, Charles petitioned the commonwealth for $500 in theft his farm suffered during the Confederate Retreat. While he was waiting on the commonwealth for aide hid property suffered during the Civil War, he rented out his farm and ran a very successful mercantile business until 1869, when his business caught fire. He returned to his farm and lived there for two years, but eventually he became bored with farming, and moved back to Rouzerville. After petitioning Pennsylvania for a second time, on November 22, 1871, Charles received some good news and was awarded $495.00 for his claim to the commonwealth.5

On June 26, 1873, Charles became Postmaster of the Rouzerville Post Office. In 1874, Charles built a new home in Rouzerville and continued to engage in the mercantile business. In 1877, Charles Buhrman sold the Monterey Inn to V.E. Holmes, cutting his last ties to Monterey Pass. As his children got older, Charles, now a wealthy man provided one furnished home and horse along with a buggy to each of his four children that lived to adulthood one the day of their weddings. Charles came in contact with many wealthy men and apparently helped George Frick to start his new company as the chief financial backer.6

Ann Buhrman passed away in 1879. With his second wife Eliza J. Brown Buhrman (1851 – 1899) by his side, he operated and owned a general store in Rouzerville. Shank’s Mill near Waynesboro, PA was built in 1857. In 1888, Charles Buhrman purchased the mill through a sheriff’s sale. He did this because of the proximity of the mill, his general store and the railroad head being a mile from the business. On July 4, 1899, Eliza passed away and Charles married Mollie J. Flanagan (1859 – 1944).7

In 1900, Charles purchased property along main street in Waynesboro, PA. The property contained the oldest house in Waynesboro that was built around the year 1760. Charles, after demolishing the old house, built a brick house for his new residence in it’s place. In 1905, Charles sold off the 15 acre Shank’s Mill to Edward and Emma Shockey.8

Charles died on September 9, 1912. He was buried at Burn’s Hill Cemetery in a family plot where two of his previous wives are buried. HIs widow Mollie continued to live at the Buhrman residence until here death in 1944. She too, was buried in the family plot. Charles also rests with two of his daughters, Dean F. (1877-1894) and Fanny (1861-1863).9

1.I. H. M’Cauley. Historical Sketch of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Chambersburg, PA, 1878, pg. 309-310


3.Miller, John. The Citizens Fight At Monterey Pass, Monterey Pass Battlefield Publication, 2013


5.Historical Sketch of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, pg. 309, Methodist Layman. Charles H. Buhrman (1837-1912). Also, Adams County Collections of Civil War claims. Some of the information is wrong in this article. For example, makes it seem as if Charles Still owned the Monterey Inn when Bessie Wallis Warfield was born in the cottage in 1896, although, Mr. Holmes had purchased the Inn in 1877.

6.Historical Sketch of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, pg. 309, Warner-Beers.History of Franklin County Pennsylvania, Chicago, IL, 1887,

7. Official History by the Shanks Mill preservation group.

8.Waynesboro Village Record, August 9. 1900. Oldest house In Waynesboro Torn Down For C.H. Buhrman Residence. Antietam Historical Society.

9.The grave site of Charles Buhrman is located at Burn’s Hill Cemetery. A large monument stone is the place where Buhrman and all of his wives rest beside him. Two of his children are also buried there.


Roads of Monterey Pass

Recently, on Penn Pilot, a website of aerial photographs of Pennsylvania, I am able to help explain visually what Monterey Pass looked like at least during the 1930’s as Route 16 or Sunshine Trail was being cut in. The roads that were used during the Civil War are still visible and still in use as this new highway was being cut in.

This map is a early 1900’s map of Monterey Pass. The map shows the layout of all of the roads in the area. 
Here is a 1937 aerial view of the Monterey Pass. You can still see all of the roads and the construction of Route 16. See the next photograph for the labeled roads.
This is a fairly good aerial view of Monterey Pass. You can still see all of the network of roads. The toll house is located on Waynesboro Road where Pennersville Road connects between the triangle.  
Here is a 1957 aerial view of Monterey Pass after Route 16 has been completed. 
A modern day view of Monterey Pass. Notice how many of the roads are no longer visible from the air. Where you see the word Monterey, this is where the golf course is located.