Picket Post No. 1

Picket Post No. 1 (HM2KG2)

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N 39° 38.451', W 78° 47.595'

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McNeill's Raid to Steal Generals

In the predawn darkness of February 21, 1865, Confederate Lt. Jesse McNeill and his Partisan Rangers approached Cumberland from the west on this road. Unlike most guerrilla raiders, who targeted the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, McNeill had other targets in mind: Union Gens. Benjamin F. Kelley, who commanded the troops guarding the railroad, and George Crook. Jesse McNeill had taken command of the Rangers after his father John H. McNeill, was mortally wounded. The younger McNeill held a grudge against Kelley because of his relentless campaign against the Rangers and intended to settle the score with this raid.

At about 2:30 A.M., McNeill and his men encountered a Union picket here who demanded to know their identity. "Friends from New Creek," replied McNeill, who was then ordered to come forward and give the countersign. Instead, McNeill charged the guard and fired a shot at him that missed. The picket surrendered, and two of his comrades were captured a hundred yards down the road. The soldiers were German recruits in Co. B, 3rd Ohio Cavalry, who spoke heavily accented English and refused to give the countersign until the Rangers threatened to hang one of them. Finally, they uttered what sounded like "Bools Kap"—actually Bulls Gap. Armed with the countersign, the Rangers and McNeill rode on and surprised

and overwhelmed the other picket posts. In Cumberland, they kidnapped Kelley and Crook from their beds in the Barnum Hotel and the Revere House. The daring raid stunned Federal officials, who quickly arranged a prisoner exchange for the two generals.
HM NumberHM2KG2
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series
Placed ByMaryland Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 6th, 2019 at 8:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 689359 N 4390223
Decimal Degrees39.64085000, -78.79325000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 38.451', W 78° 47.595'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 38' 27.06" N, 78° 47' 35.7" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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