Williamsport (HM2C)

Location: Williamsport, MD 21795 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 36.045', W 77° 49.626'

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The Beginning and the End

— Gettysburg Campaign —

On June 15, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's second invasion of the North began here as 2,000 of Gen. Albert G. Jenkins's infantrymen splashed across the Potomac River. For the next eleven days, almost 50,000 soldiers under Gens. James Longstreet and A.P. Hill entered Maryland here at Williamsport. Hungry Confederates temporarily occupied the town, and many residents welcomed them with tables in the streets loaded with milk, bread, and meat.

Less than a month later, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, reeling from the defeat at Gettysburg, returned. The first of the wounded arrived on July 5, the day after the battle ended, but were trapped here by the rain-swollen river. Williamsport became a "great hospital for the thousands of wounded," according to Confederate Gen. John B. Imboden, who ordered every family in town to cook for the casualties.

Ferryboats soon began transporting the army across the river as Union signal corpsmen watched, and by July 14, most of the soldiers had left Maryland behind. Even after the water subsided, however, the current remained swift. The tallest men formed two lines from shore to shore with their guns interlocked to mark a strong and stable line. Despite their efforts, ammunition was soaked and Gen. Richard S. Ewell's corps lost 8,000 pairs of shoes to the rushing waters.

"May the Lord prosper this expedition and bring an early peace out of it. I feel that we are taking a very important step, but see no reason why we should not be successful. We have a large army that is in splendid condition and spirit and the best Generals in the South. ? Hope and pray for the best. This is a momentous time." —Gen. W. Dorsey Pender, mortally wounded at Gettysburg, to his wife.

"And so we turned our backs on Maryland. ? What a change in one month! Could not refrain from some bitter tears as I stood on the Virginia shore and looked back to our beloved State. ? Last night the band played ?Sweet Home' - what a mockery to us [Marylanders]!" —Lt. McHenry Howard, Confederate Staff Officer.
HM NumberHM2C
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 4:52am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 257261 N 4387264
Decimal Degrees39.60075000, -77.82710000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 36.045', W 77° 49.626'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 36' 2.70" N, 77° 49' 37.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 205 W Potomac St, Williamsport MD 21795, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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