Civil War Along the Tom's Creek Region and Waynesboro Pike
The Struggle of
Six miles north of
the Mason and Dixon Line is a little town called Fountain Dale.
Fountain Dale is located between Jack’s Mountain, Beards Hill, and
is connected to two major mountain gaps along the old Waynesboro
locals tell me Fountain Dale received its name from an actual
fountain that belonged to a man named Dale. There is a old church
at Fountain Dale that bears the inscription of 1857 possibly the
founding year of the town. With a only a few houses and stone
fences there really isn't much to this small town.
Although being a
small town today, Fountain Dale has a very fascinating Civil War
Heritage. During the Gettysburg Campaign, both Union and
Confederate soldiers scouted and picketed the area of Fountain
Dale to observe the movements of troops that were coming from the
direction of Emmitsburg, Fairfield and Waynesboro.
27th, parts Pegrams Artillery Battalion had lost several horses by
the time they encamped at Fayetteville. Because of the concerned
state the horses were in, Lieutenant John Hampden Chamberlayne led
a small detail soldiers from Purcell, Crenshaw, and Lecture’s
Batteries and made their way through Franklin County toward
Private Thomas Goosey who traveled with
Chamberlayne's small detachment noted "We pushed on and soon
struck the village of Waynesboro, where United States flags were
displayed in great numbers, which, of course, we greeted
Waynesboro, Chamberlayne's men traveled up the mountain to
Fairfield in Adams County when they came across a small church at
Fountain Dale on June 28th. This small church was built in 1857
and is located on Old Waynesboro Pike. It was Sunday as church
services were underway; Ham Chamberlayne saw about 20 horses tied
to a post and decided that these horses were what his battery
opened the church door and then brushed into the church with his
pistol drawn and demanded that each person give up their horse and
that they would be paid in full by means of a treaty between the
Confederate States Government and the United States Government.
Chamberlayne then walked back outside and untied the horses.
Chamberlayne's men started for their camp, when a detachment of
General Buford's cavalry was spotted coming down Waynesboro Pike.
This was a small squad of Cole’s Cavalry Company “C” under the
command of Lt. William A. Horner.
Gettysburg Campaign Cole’s Cavalry separated and each company was
to act as an independent organization. With permission from
Captain Albert Hunter, Lt. Horner and his men went on scout.
Seeing rebel horsemen near the church Lt. Horner, order his squad
to intercept them.
It was at
this time that Ham Chamberlayne asked his men who had revolvers to
make a stand him, while the others made their escape. After hand
selecting only six men with revolvers loaded, Chamberlayne leading
his men then charged at Horner’s men. A clash then erupted between
these two forces. Private
the small detail fell back to its main party.
charge, Chamberlayne and his six men were taken prisoner. The
prisoners were Lieutenant John H. (Ham) Chamberlayne, Sergeant R.
H. Malloy, Sergeant Alpheus Newman, Sergeant Hugh Davis Smith, and
John Alexander Estes.
skirmish, Horner's Keystone Rangers retired with their prisoners
to Emmitsburg. The other 19 men of the detail made it safely back to
Fayetteville. Sometime after
the Skirmish, local residents were encouraged to take inventory of
their livestock and to report any missing animals to the local
Horner who was a Sergeant during the engagement of Fountain Dale
later recalled: “Fifteen of the Confederate Raiders were captured
and the horses were recovered". Sergeant Horner was later promoted
to Lieutenant for his actions during the battle of Fountain Dale.
After the battle of
Fountain Dale, while scouting near Monterey, members of the 14th
Virginia spotted a Federal patrol, believing they were militia.
The Confederates tormented the New Yorker’s by luring the Federal
body into a trap. However, the New Yorker’s did not pursue the
Confederates. During the evening of June 28th the Federal cavalry
under General John Buford came into Fountain Dale moving toward
Fairfield, investigating the rebel forces in the area.
By June 29, 1863,
General John Buford suspected a battle would soon erupt in
south-central Pennsylvania. There he stood at the opening of
Monterey Pass through South Mountain, and overlooking the
Cumberland Valley. There at Monterey, he saw the Confederate
troops in Greencastle. That evening General Buford counter-marched
back toward Fountain Dale, there on the highest point he looked
down the valley toward Fairfield, and saw the campfires of those
troops belonging to General Henry Heth's Division, who ordered a
detachment of North Carolinians and Mississippians to guard the
approaches from Emmitsburg by way of Fairfield.
Although being a
small town today, Fountain Dale just as many of these small towns
that are along Waynesboro Pike impacted the Civil War in it’s own
There still is a lot to be learned about the battle of Fountain
Dale. The battlefield itself still remains intact but is in
private ownership. The history of the Emmitsburg and Waynesboro
vicinity is only a footnote in history. When asked about these
events, visitors are surprised to see that not much information
are in the town’s records about the movements of troops and the
actions they fought so bravely in.
other articles by John Miller