Hager Mill

Hager Mill (HM20LQ)

Location: Hagerstown, MD 21740 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 38.002', W 77° 42.957'

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Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area

Hager Mill was constructed in 1790 by Daniel Stull and Colonel Nathaniel Rochester and the nearby miller's house has a date stone inscribed 1791. Prior to the Civil War, it was owned by the Hager Family. During the war, Andrew Hager operated this mill and a store on Public Square. Hager was a slave owner loyal to the Union. In 1864, his mill was raided by Confederate soldiers who provided receipts for all supplies taken, which he entered into his ledger "to be paid when the devil dies" knowing full well he would never receive payment from the Confederate government.

The City purchased the mill in 1917 and unsuccessfully attempted to run it. The mill was sold to John A. Forsythe in 1928, but 5 acres were retained by the City for a public park.

Fascinating Fact

After the Battle of Hagerstown on July 6, 1861, exhausted troopers from Company D, 11th Virginia Cavalry approached a mill on the southeast edge of Hagerstown (believed to be this mill). They found a teenage girl in the doorway wearing an apron in the configuration of a Confederate flag. The girl and her apron were robustly cheered by the men, looking for any sign of hospitality after their campaign in Pennsylvania. Captain Edward McDonald asked the teenager for a piece of the apron, to which she responded that he could have all
of it. She presented the apron to the Captain and Private Henry. Madison Watkins moved forward and asked to carry it as a flag. The captain agreed and the apron was tied to a staff Private Watkins carried it for the rest of the day until he wounded by artillery fire near Jones Crossroads, south of the city. Found on the field, he had hidden the apron in his uniform to prevent its capture: Watkins was taken back to Hagerstown where his leg was amputated, but he soon died and was buried in the almshouse graveyard. The "young color bearer" likely lies in an unknown grave in Washington Confederate Cemetery. In the post-war years, Captain McDonald displayed "the apron flag" at Confederate veterans' bazaars, and a popular poem about it gained some notoriety. Around that time, Col. Henry Kyd Douglas, a local Confederate Veteran, attempted to track down the young girl who donated the apron, but her identity was never discovered.
HM NumberHM20LQ
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 266915 N 4390591
Decimal Degrees39.63336667, -77.71595000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 38.002', W 77° 42.957'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 38' 0.12000000000015" N, 77° 42' 57.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)240, 301
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 288-298 Mill St, Hagerstown MD 21740, US
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