Vital Crossroads

Vital Crossroads (HM1554)

Location: Clear Spring, MD 21722 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 39.414', W 77° 56.136'

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Clear Springs in the Civil War

This was a lively Unionist community on the important National Road during the war. In nearby Four Locks on January 31, 1861, local residents raised a 113-foot-high "Union Pole" with a streamer proclaiming the "Union Forever."

Many local men enlisted in the Federal 1st Potomac Home Brigade Cavalry and Co. B, Cole's Cavalry, but several joined the Confederate units. A Federal detachment occupied Clear Spring and maintained a signal station on nearby Fairview Mountain. On May 23, the Clear Spring Guard drove off Confederates attempting to capture the boat at McCoy's Ferry on the Potomac River, south of here. Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's troops attacked the nearby Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in December.

After the Confederate retreat to western Virginia after the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, Gen Robert E. Lee sent Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and more than 1,000 cavalrymen on a raid around the Union army. Stuart's force crossed at McCoy's Ferry on October 10 and rode through the Clear Spring community to Mercersburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, seizing prisoners, horses, and supplies before escaping through Maryland.

During the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg in 1863, on July 10 a large cavalry rearguard action began in Clear Spring and continued toward Williamsport. More than 1,500 cavalrymen were involved.

In 1864, Confederate cavalry Gens. John McCausland and Bradley Johnson crossed into Maryland at McCoy's Ferry on July 29. After driving a 400-man Union force from Clear Spring. McCausland rode to Chambersburg and burned it the next day.
HM NumberHM1554
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker Condition
10 out of 10 (1 reports)
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 2:55am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 248147 N 4393797
Decimal Degrees39.65690000, -77.93560000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 39.414', W 77° 56.136'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 39' 24.84" N, 77° 56' 8.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12624 Broadfording Rd, Clear Spring MD 21722, US
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I Saw The Marker

Apr 17, 2020 at 9:54am PDT by don77ames

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