Cumberland (HMBKC)

Location: Cumberland, MD 21502 Allegany County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 39.071', W 78° 45.991'

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In 1860, Cumberland was a small town of 7,302 residents, most of whom lived in the valley of Will's Creek. The town was an important stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. When the Civil War began in 1861, some residents supported the United States and others the Confederacy. Outright dissension ceased when Union forces garrisoned the town in June.

Cumberland soon became the administrative center for the defense of the western section of the railroad, the canal, and northern West Virginia. About 3,000 Union soldiers usually were stationed here, although the number increased periodically to as many as 8,000. Cumberland also served as a hospital and supply base, and when the war ended, it became a demobilization center. Military administrators occupied many buildings here during the war, while encampments sprang up on the outskirts of town and troops constructed fortifications on the surrounding hills to control approaches.

Confederate cavalry raiders frequently threatened to destroy area railroad facilities and bridges. The long-distance raids came from the east along the railroad or passed through West Virginia from the south, usually targeting less well-defended parts of the line. These hit-and-run raids created turmoil throughout the war. The Confederates attacked Cumberland itself only twice, most spectacularly on February 21, 1865, when Lt. Jesse McNeill and his Partisan Rangers (guerillas) captured Union Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley, who commanded the troops protecting the railroad, as well as Gen. George Crook.
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 5th, 2014 at 5:18pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 691625 N 4391427
Decimal Degrees39.65118333, -78.76651667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 39.071', W 78° 45.991'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 39' 4.26" N, 78° 45' 59.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-20 Prospect Square, Cumberland MD 21502, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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