Battle of Boonsboro

Battle of Boonsboro (HME6)

Location: Boonsboro, MD 21713 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 31.585', W 77° 39.832'

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— Gettysburg Campaign —

Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart faced a difficult assignment: to locate the Union cavalry and prevent it from severing Gen. Robert E. Lee's avenue of retreat to Williamsport and the Potomac River after the Battle of Gettysburg. The result was the biggest and most sustained cavalry battle in Maryland during the campaign. The Battle of Boonsboro occurred here along the National Road on Wednesday, July 8, 1863.

Stuart, with five brigades advancing from the direction of Funkstown and Williamsport, first encountered Federal resistance at Bever Creek Bridge, 4½ miles north of Boonsboro. By 11 a.m., the Confederate cavalry had pushed to these mud-soaked fields, where fighting on horseback was nearly impossible, forcing Stuart's troopers and Gens. H. Judson Kilpatrick's and John Buford's Union cavalry divisions to dismount and slug it out like infantry.

By mid-afternoon, the Union left under Kilpatrick crumbled as the Federals ran low on ammunition under increasing Confederate pressure. Stuart's advanced ended about 7 p.m., however, when Union infantry arrived—the first to engage on a Maryland battlefield since Gettysburg. Stuart withdrew north to Funkstown, but he had gained another day for Lee's retreating army.

"The Seven-Shooter Spencer"

Some Union cavalry used Spencer rifles with their seven-cartridge magazines, versus traditional single-shot muzzleloaders. The new weapon also proved deadly accurate. Capt. James Kidd, 6th Michigan Cavalry, later recalled a Confederate officer here waving his men forward from atop a stone fence: "A shot from a Spencer brought him headlong to the ground, and after that no one had the temerity to expose himself in that way."
HM NumberHME6
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 26th, 2014 at 10:35pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 271034 N 4378585
Decimal Degrees39.52641667, -77.66386667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 31.585', W 77° 39.832'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 31' 35.10" N, 77° 39' 49.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7648 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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