20 October 2010 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 5 comments

Friends, we have a chance to create a new battlefield park at a place that’s near and dear to my heart, Monterey Pass, in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. From yesterday’s edition of The Waynesboro Record-Herald newspaper:

Monterey Pass Civil War battlefield in line for grant
Donations needed to match funds to create interpretive center

By Denise Bonura
The Record Herald
Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 01:13 PM

Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. —

The Monterey Pass Battlefield Association is one step closer to preserving the history of the Civil War battle, thanks to a grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

DCNR announced last week Washington Township will receive $41,900 of a matching grant if the remaining funds are raised to acquire nearly 1 acre of land near the Rolando Woods Park off of Charmian Road.

The battlefield association hopes to eventually create an interpretive center to tell the story of the Battle of Monterey Pass, the second largest conflict fought on Northern soil during the Civil War.

Collecting funds

Washington Township Manager Mike Christopher said the announcement is exciting news for the area. The township and the battlefield association began collecting donations earlier this year in hopes of receiving the grant. Christopher said more than $4,000 has been raised so far and donations have been sent from Louisiana, Florida, California, Michigan and Ohio, along with donations from township residents.

“We knew it was a matching grant and we felt we had a strong application, so we started collecting donations,” Christopher explained. “This is a wonderful opportunity to teach our young folks what happened in their own backyard. This piece of history took place right here in our hometown. I think that’s pretty exciting.”

“We have donations coming in from across the country,” John Miller, founder of the Monterey Pass Battlefield association, continued. “When you’re reaching across the country, that does say something. If the property is secured, it will be a great place for students to learn not only the importance of history, but the importance of natural resources.”

The battle

The Battle of Monterey Pass, fought July 4 and 5, 1863, began in Fountaindale as Confederate forces limped back to the South after the Battle of Gettysburg. It was the only battle fought on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

“Every soldier that wrote about the Battle of Monterey Pass said the roads were overflowing with water,” Miller said in June. “Their rubberized boots and gum blankets didn’t even protect them from the elements.”

Forces from both sides had to wait for the lightning to illuminate the battleground to position themselves strategically and fire their weapons as they fought in the dark, according to Miller.

The Battle of Monterey Pass, resulting from the Confederate retreat from the Battle of Gettysburg that ended the day before, also was unique for another reason, according to Miller. It was fought in four different counties — Adams and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania and Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland.

“The battle (was) much larger than people think,” said Miller.

Fundraiser

The next fundraiser for the project will be a presentation on the battle and the Civil War by Miller, renowned historian Ed Bearss and Ted Alexander, historian for the Antietam National Battlefield Association at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in the Blue Ridge Summit fire hall.

The cost is $35 and refreshments will be served.

Christopher said there are already 40 people registered for the event, hailing from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and Michigan.

Tax-deductible donations to help preserve the battlefield can be sent to the township office at 13013 Welty Road, Waynesboro, Pa. 17268. Checks should be made payable to Washington Township. Donations can also be sent via the Battlefield Association’s website.

On the Net

www.emmitsburg.net/montereypass

www.washtwp-franklin.org
Copyright 2010 Waynesboro Record Herald. Some rights reserved

I know that times are tough, but this is really a very worthy cause. John Miller has worked long and hard to bring this about, and his efforts are about to really pay off. If you can spare a few dollars, please do, and help launch this new battlefield park.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Wed 20th Oct 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I appreciate the kind words Eric, but as you know with any matching grant, we need to come up with the other half or else we lose it. We have less than a few months to raise the money. As your viewers are well aware, battlefields provide so much from history to natural resources and can be the best classroom where a student can learn about our history, especially the American Civil War. Thank you, Eric for posting this on your blog.

  2. David
    Thu 21st Oct 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Is there any way that groups like the Civil War Preservation Trust can assist in helping to raising the money? Or they are already involved?

  3. David
    Thu 21st Oct 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Does anyone have the address for the Blue Ridge Summit Fire Hall? What town/city is it in? I was trying to get an idea of how far it is from where I live, in order to determine whether or not I could make the fundraiser on Nov. 5.

  4. Thu 21st Oct 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hi David, I saw your post and here is the address: Blue Ridge Fire and Rescue Squad
    13063 Monterey Lane, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214.

  5. Thu 21st Oct 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Excellent effort. I was raised near this part of Maryland and the significance of this fighting retreat is often overlooked, because of the major battle that preceded it. Best of luck trying to reach the goal–this is much needed.

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