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Allegany County
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Skirmish at South Branch, page 3

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and flooring. (7)Capture of this structure was necessary for the success of Colonel Johns' maneuver. The Virginia Militia also realized the importance of the bridge and had previously fortified the position. Lieutenant John Blue of Romney visited the fortification. He observed:

"To hold the bridge for any length of time, with the arms at hand (flintlocks, smooth bore muskets, shot guns, and home rifles), was an impossibility. The Colonel (Monroe) had placed his men in a position to hold, but a very bad one to let go . . . his men built a breastwork of stone on the upper (south) side of the bridge with a steep, rugged mountain immediately in the rear, up which his men would have to retreat at point blank range if driven from their position by a victorious enemy."(8) Indeed a perilous situation but one that demonstrates the determination of the Virginia Militia men.

Surprise and dismay overcame the Alleganians as they viewed the Confederate strong point. Halting they exchanged shots with their neighbors; no appreciable damage was done to either side. The delay could not long continue if the Second Regiment was to fulfill its part in General Kelley's plan. Therefore, in the early afternoon Colonel Johns determined to force a passage over the bridge.

7 - Also called the Chain Bridge.

8 - Hampshire Review 1898, Blue Memoirs, Ser. 1, Chap. VII.


Thomas Richards

The General Benjamin F. Kelley monument in Arlington Cemetery. Picture taken by Marguerite Klein of Chevy Chase, Maryland, a photographer of the National Speleological Society. Miss Klein was in the party that went on the first historical tour of the G C H S.


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

United States--History--Civil War

Maryland, West Virginia, 1862-1865

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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