Annals of Oakland, page 6
of Virginia, and drive them over the Pike, chained two and two, and kept them moving at a lively gait by a blacksnake whip. One poor creature was so distressed at having been taken away from her baby that she committed suicide on the Pike.
It was along the Pike that General Garnett's defeated army marched after the death of that leader in the summer of 1861. General McClellan having dislodged him from Rich Mountain, West Virginia and cut off his escape by way of the Staunton-Beverly Pike, the only other route by which the Southern army could reach Virginia was the Northwestern Pike, and McClellan sent General Hill to intercept them at Aurora, the Federal troops coming as far as Oakland on the Railroad, and then forming in columns of eight, with bands playing and flags flying, they marched on to Aurora, unconscious that the enemy had already passed Red House, and left a formidable abatis on the crest of the hill, east of that place which impeded the progress of the forces. The Confederates marched leisurely along leaving an inextricable network of felled trees in their rear. The success of this masterful retreat was due to Col. Ramsey (now of Clarksburg, W. Va.) who took command when General Garnett fell at Corrick's Ford on Shaver's Fork of Cheat River. He had formerly practiced medicine in Garrett County, and knew every byway and bridle path, while Hill, the Federal officer, was utterly ignorant of the topography. April 16th, 1863 General Jones, and his Confederate Cavalry, burned the North Branch Bridge at what is now Gormania.
Eight times have I travelled the picturesque old Pike from Druid Hill (on Backbone Mountain east of Table Rock) to Grafton, and though the coaches were gone, the old stage houses crumbling into ruins, and the grass growing thickly where thousands of hurrying feet once stirred up the dust, yet I never cease to drink in with enraptured eyes the glorious panorama or to marvel at the magnitude of the undertaking which had carried to a successful completion the building of the Northwestern Turnpike so many years ago.
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Western Maryland, 1750-1963