"SOUTH MOUNTAIN" Top 5 Page for this destination Maryland Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Maryland Things to Do: 121 reviews and 239 photos
Following the 2nd Battle of Manassas, Robert Lee turned his army north into Maryland. He was having his way, even confidently splitting his divisions into isolated units in order to both capture the 12000 Federal garrison stuck in Harper's Ferry, but also to get ready for further moves north into Pennsylvania. Normally, in the face of the enemy, one does not split up one's army for fear of having the isolated units picked off. But Lee's opinion of his Union counterpart, George McClellan, was such that he thought he could get away with it. He was being proven correct until a set of his orders detailing the movements that his different divisions were to take was found by Union soldiers. Luckily for Lee, McClellan still managed to hesitate before finally making an uncharacteristic purposeful push towards the passes of South Mountain, in order to get at Lee's separated army. The initial hesitation and Confederate delaying actions at the three separate South Mountain passes - Crampton's, Fox's and Turner's Gaps - gave Lee just enough time to assemble his scattered army nearby to the west at a town called Sharpsburg.
The battlefields at each if the Gaps are still there, wild except for a few monuments and battlefield tablets to explain the actions of almost 150 years ago. See Burkittsville for more about these fields and other tips along South Mountain.
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