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Maryland National Guard report, 3.1936, page 3

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


From Dr. Tabler and Mr. Resley, of the State Road Commission and the Mayor of Hancock it was learned that there were approximately twenty feet of water over the bridge at west end of Hancock. It was found that there were a number of row boats available for crossing, but as there was no light and large objects were floating as well as wires under the water, it was decided that such a crossing at night would entail too much risk in view of the instructions from Gen. Reckord. Capt McCleary then called Gen. Reckord, advised him of the situation and informed him that the company would remain in Hancock over night, cross the water in the morning, secure trucks and proceed to Cumberland. General Reckord approved this plan. About 11.30 p.m. it was found that the water had receded sufficiently to permit the buses to enter Hancock by a back street. After their arrival arrangements were made to supply sandwiches and coffee. During the remainder of the night the members of the company slept as best they could in the buses. Shortly after midnight it was learned from an official of the Western Maryland Ry. Co. that their tracks were almost completely out of water and that by morning it would be possible to walk the tracks to the high ground west of Hancock thence to Route 40. This plan was immediately adopted and bus drivers asked to arrange for two buses then at Town Hill to meet the Company at Sideling Hill creek bridge about ten miles west of Hancock.

In the morning March 19th. through Private Cohill of Hancock, who had been unable to report at the Armory account flooded roads, Mr. R. S. Dillon was contacted and very gladly consented to furnish three small trucks to transport the Company from Hancock to Sideling Hill Creek bridge, which was closed to trucks account approaches undermined. After breakfast of sandwiches and coffee, the Company removed their equipment from the buses and at 7.15 A.M. crossed the flooded area on the railroad track and loaded into Mr. Dillon's trucks.

At 7.45 A.M. we arrived at Sideling Hill Creek Bridge and found no buses there. Private Cohill, in his car, continued into Town Hill where he found only one bus, which was dispatched to the bridge, and made arrangements for another to come from Cumberland at once. While waiting the Company quickly consumed a box of apples furnished by Private Cohill.

At 9.15 A.M. the first bus arrived and Lieut. McKee with 29 men immediately left for Cumberland. The remainder of the Company under Captain McCleary, tiring of waiting, started to walk and met the second bus 2.05 miles west of the bridge. They immediately loaded and proceeded to Cumberland. The first bus arrived at Cumberland at 10.00 A.M. and the second one at 10.27 A.M. They were warmly welcomed by the members of Company "G" who had been on duty practically continuously since called out on the 17th.

The Company was immediately fed-sandwiches and coffee again and Captain McCleary, Lieut. McKee, Sergts. Conrad and Schlotterbeck made a tour of the posts with Major Flock and at noon Company "B" took over all posts, relieving all Members of Company "G" until 8.00 P.M. The water was gone from the city but the destruction and mud was left behind— Store fronts were open, all glass having been smashed by large articles like pianos, radios, electric refrigerators, etc which were whirled away by the high waters.

During the afternoon at a conference of the Officers, it was decided to establish reliefs, the Lieutenants being in command of each, Captains Millholland and McCleary to divide day as Officer of the day, and Col, Henderson and Major Flook to take care of the administrative duties. It was found impossible to form three reliefs as there were not sufficient men available. Tours of duty were therefore arranged by roster, it took practically an hour to make a complete relief and as the men had to eat during their time off, not much time was available for sleep.

On Friday, March 20th. Captain McCleary was ordered to return to Hancock and make a survey of the situation there as request had been received for troops at that place. With Sgt. Rogers he made a survey and that evening the thirteen men shown in the roster returned with Captain McCleary to Hancock and established guards at that place.

From that date, the remainder of the Company under Lieut. McKee and Lieut. Schlotterbeck continued the guard duty with Company "G", maintaining posts and patrols through the business section of Cumberland until 6.00 A.M. Monday Morning, March 23rd. when they were relieved from duty and ordered to return to Hagerstown. At 8.20, after eating breakfast, this detachment left Cumberland in four National Guard trucks, stopping at Hancock for change of personnel of detachment at that point; arriving at Hagerstown at 10:00 A.M. and were dismissed.

At Hancock, Captain McCleary housed his detachment in the City Fire Hall, and on authority of the Mayor of Hancock took entire charge of policing the flooded area. Two reliefs, of assigned posts wore established and two patrols in cars covered the outlaying district. As a result of request from Mayor of Hancock to General Reckord this detachment was retained at Hancock until


Maryland National Guard, Co. B.


Collection Location:

Floods, Maryland, Cumberland, History; Cumberland (Md.),History.

Western Maryland, 1936

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

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