George Alfred Townsend

George Alfred Townsend (HMLE)

Location: Jefferson, MD 21755 Frederick County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 24.353', W 77° 38.37'

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A Man and His Mountain

— Antietam Campaign 1862 —

None of the structures you see here in Crampton's Gap existed during the battle on September 14, 1862. George Alfred Townsend constructed all the stone buildings and walls, as well as the Correspondents' Arch, between 1884 and 1896. Townsend, perhaps the most widely published Civil War correspondent of his time and the author of 21 books, wrote under the pseudonym GATH, which was derived from his initials plus the letter H. His father, a Methodist minister, gave Townsend a strong religious upbringing. A biblical passage—"Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon" (II Samuel 1:20)—influenced Townsend's choice of his pen name, although he ignored its obvious admonitions against a journalism career. He visited the battlefield here in 1884 while researching one of his books, Katy of Catoctin, and became so enamored of the area that he bought 100 acres. He constructed at least 9 buildings on his estate, Gapland, although there may have been as many as 20 in all. Townsend summered here every year until 1904, when his wife Bessie died, and wrote voluminously for the newspapers, sometimes as many as 18,000 words a day. He also produced works of history, reminiscence, and poetry, lectured widely and entertained generously here. In 1906, he gave the Correspondents' Arch to the federal government with a half-acre of ground. Townsend died on April 15, 1914, aged 73.
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 12th, 2014 at 1:55pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 272736 N 4365143
Decimal Degrees39.40588333, -77.63950000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 24.353', W 77° 38.37'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 24' 21.18" N, 77° 38' 22.20" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1000-1036 Arnoldstown Rd, Jefferson MD 21755, US
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