Civil War Heritage of Emmitsburg

To educate, to interpret and to preserve

"Our folks from Gettysburg, Emmitsburg, and Taneytown gave us a large box of good things for a Christmas dinner, and oh how good it was. Some of the boys were away on patrol duty and we felt a share for them. When that night a rascal of our company, but from New York, stole the good things." Captain Albert Hunter, Co. C, Cole's Cavalry


Photograph of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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The Soldier’s Experience

Emmitsburg is a small community in Northern Frederick County, Maryland that was founded on March 5, 1785 and was incorporated in 1825. Today, the greater Emmitsburg area history has stories of patriots joining General George Washington's Army for our independence to the birthplace of Francis Scott Key, who authored the "Star Spangled Banner", not far from Emmitsburg.

During the outbreak of the Civil War, many town residents mustered into the military fighting on both sides, as Emmitsburg had split loyalties for the Union. The men who fought for the “Southern Cause” served in various army commands in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Cole’s Cavalry Company C, a Union Cavalry command is remembered the most in the town's Civil War history. Their extensive knowledge of Western Maryland, and the topography of the Shenandoah Valley that runs from Pennsylvania deep into southern Virginia, served as a great asset to the Union cause.

The night before the battle of South Mountain on September 13th, 1862, a Union patrol came into Emmitsburg searching for Confederate forces. After the battle of Antietam on September 17th, 1862, the Daughters of Charity ministered many wounded soldiers being petitioned by Maryland State Authorities. A month later in October, after a successful raid on Chambersburg, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart's Cavalry came into Emmitsburg resting briefly before heading back into Virginia.

During the Pennsylvania Campaign of June and July of 1863, Emmitsburg witnessed several cavalry engagements, army encampments and played an important role of communication for the Union Army before, during and after the battle of Gettysburg. In July of 1864 during the battle of Monocacy, Emmitsburg was once again occupied by Union forces and again after the burning of Chambersburg, when Confederate Cavalry attacked a small detail of Union soldiers guarding the Emmitsburg area. Being overwhelmed, the Union soldiers fell back into Emmitsburg. To illustrate how divided Emmitsburg was, we compiled a list of Emmitsburg citizens that enlisted in the army and what unit they served with.

Confederate Soldiers

Union Soldiers

2nd Louisiana Infantry

  • Ernest Lagard

1st Maryland Cavalry

  • Edward Thomas McBride

  • Donald McNeil Shorb

  • Joseph Cosmas Shorb

  • Felix J. Wise

1st Maryland Infantry

  • William Pinkney Martin

  • James W. Rosensteel

  • John C. Smith

2nd Maryland Artillery (Baltimore Light Artillery)

  • Hugh C. Barry

2nd Maryland Infantry

  • Andrew L. Cretin

  • Hillary Cretin

  • John T. Cretin

  • Alexius V. Keepers

  • Joseph L. McAleer

  • Joseph T. Martin

  • Alfred Francis Riddlemoser

  • Joseph A. Riddlemoser

  • Joseph M. Riddlemoser (M.D.)

  • John H. Septer

 1st Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery

  • Alonzo L. Barry

1st Potomac Home Brigade/Cole's Cavalry Company C
  • John M. Annan
  • Andrew A. Annan
  • James Bush
  • George Cease
  • Thomas W. Duphorn
  • George T. Eyster
  • Thomas E. Fraley
  • William A. Frailey
  • George T. Gelwicks
  • Joseph T. Gelwicks
  • George L. Gillelan
  • Charles A. Gilson
  • Richard Newton Gilson
  • Michael Hoke
  • Major Oliver A. Horner
  • Noah Koontz
  • Samuel N. McNair
  • Samuel J. Maxell
  • Thaddeus A. Maxell
  • George Sponceler
  • John Sponceler
  • John Reifsnider
  • A. M. Walker
  • William H. Walker
  • Edward Wenschhof

Cole's Cavalry Company L

  • Frank B. Matthews
  • Albert A. Troxell
  • Levi Troxell

2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Company E

  • Jackson Fisher

1st Stuart's Horse Artillery

  • John Francis Key

3rd Virginia Cavalry

  • John A. Palmer

7th Virginia Cavalry

  • Joseph A. Cahill

  • William Henry Cahill

  • Jacob "Jake" Motter

10th Virginia Infantry

  • Samuel T. Walker

15th South Carolina Artillery

  • Charles Aloysious Donnelly


  • Samuel Annan

  • Samuel Raberg

Watson's Louisiana Battery/1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery

  • Daniel Beltzhoover

  • John G. Devereux