A Natural Barrier
— Antietam Campaign 1862 —The Battle of South Mountain erupted on September 14, 1862, when elements of the Union army tried to drive the Confederate rear guard from Crampton's, Fox's, and Turner's Gaps and break through to the western side of the mountain to attack Confederates there. When Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia marched into Maryland earlier in the month, he was looking for supplies and recruits for a possible invasion of Pennsylvania. He hoped while resting men at Frederick that the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry would flee and leave his lines of communication and transportation unhindered. When the garrison stayed put, however, threatening his rear, Lee issued Special Orders No. 191 to divide his army and send Stonewall Jackson with about half of the army to capture Harpers Ferry. Lee marched over South Mountain, using it as a screen to help conceal the remainder of his troops and keep Gen. George B. McClellan's pursuing Army of the Potomac at bay. But then the Federals found a dropped copy of Special Orders No. 191, and it became especially critical for the outnumbered Confederates to hold South Mountain passes until Jackson completed his mission and rejoined them. The day-long battle, it turned out, gave the Confederates just time enough.
|Series||This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series|
|Placed By||Maryland Civil War Trails|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 8:19am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 274672 N 4373815|
|Decimal Degrees||39.48445000, -77.61996667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 29.067', W 77° 37.198'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 29' 4.02" N, 77° 37' 11.88" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 6132 Old National Pike, Boonsboro MD 21713, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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