Strategic Center - Cumberland, Maryland
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 39° 39.070 W 078° 45.993
17S E 691622 N 4391425
Quick Description: Civil Wars trail marker giving information about the role Cumberland, Maryland played during the Civil War.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 11/5/2013 9:00:21 PM
Waymark Code: WMJDYF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Sneakin Deacon
Views: 1

Long Description:

Text of marker:

Strategic Center 

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.  Whe the Civil Wr 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 building here during the war, while encampments sprang up on the outskirts of town and troops constructed fortifications on the surrounding hills to control the 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 the less well-defended parts of the line.  The 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 McNeil and his Partisan Rangers (guerrilla) captured Union Gen.  Benjamin F. Kelly, who commanded the troops protecting the railroad, as well as Gen. George Crook.


Type of site: Other

Washington Street
Cumberland, Maryland

Admission Charged: No Charge

Phone Number: Not listed

Website: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

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