Finding Lincolnton's General S.D. Ramseur, CSA mark while I lived in Frederick, MD.
July, 1864 – the Battle of Monocacy Junction
Stephen D. Ramseur, Lincoln County’s gallant and CSA’s youngest Brigadier General, leader of the N.C 49th, is given the charge to cross the Monocacy River, about a mile from where we lived in Urbana, Frederick County, Md.
Previously, Jubal Early’s raid on Washington, DC had swept up CSA forces across the Potomac River and into Frederick County, MD, in an attempt to capture the Federal capital. Frederick County National Bank, which merged into BB&T in 2001, was the survivor of three banks that met the demand of $200,000 US$ by Early so as to provision his troops and in return for not burning Frederick, MD. ( I held in my hand the last of the bonds tendered in1933 as these bank funds were turned into public debt after the war).
On the morning of July 9th, Ramseur found a strong Union force under the command of Lew Wallace (later to author of “Ben-Hur”) at Monocacy Junction at the Georgetown Road bridge (Hwy 355 today) and the B&O Railroad bridge over the Monocacy River. Once Ramseur crosses the Monocacy, it is a straight march through Silver Spring, MD where they can see the majestic US Capitol dome in the horizon.
Ramseur hits Wallace three times that day, and only after 4:30 in the afternoon, does he punch though at a cost of 700 CSA and 1300 Federal casualties. While Wallace ultimately lost his position, he was able to slow down the rebel assault, giving the Federal City time to move troops back into the defense of its perimeter. By the next day Early concludes that an assault on a now fortified Washington would be ruinous and retreats.
Had Ramseur been successful earlier in the day, and Early’s Second Corps of Stonewall and the Army of the Valley District reached Washington before its reinforcements, there is a high probability that the US would have sued for peace. The history of a defeated United States of America and its sister nation the Confederate States of America, would have produced a further splintering of nation-states, not unlike Europe.
Ramseur was killed at Cedar Creek, VA , October of 1864. His wifehad given birth to a daughter, whom he never met. His body reached Lincolnton, on November 8th. His wife Ellen Richmond Ramseur and his daughter Mary Dodson, unable to reach Lincolnton from their home in Virginia, sent flowers to be laid on the casket. Mary Dodson unveiled a granite monument to her father on Cedar Creek battlefield, near Belle Grove, in 1920.
In our childhood, my brother Carlos and I would often visited the grave of Stephen Ramseur at the Episcopal Church graveyard off Pine St., near our home, in Lincolnton, N.C. Many times we noticed the grave decorated with Confederate battle flags, and apparently sometimes visited by the klan.
Our home at Urbana in Frederick County, MD was just off Lew Wallace Road. Arlington, once the home of Robert E. Lee, sized by the US, became the national cemetery for the nation’s fallen, Lee never to return. Every major equestrian monument on the squares of DC, with the exception of George Washington, are of U.S. Civil War generals and admirals, including the magnificent reflecting pool at the front of the Capitol of U.S. Grant.
This is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, 30 miles north of Frederick, MD.
Jubal Early's Raid on Washington by Cooling
S.D. Ramseur by Gallagher (bought at North State's Books in Lincolnton some years back).
In the final analysis, your attitude determines your effectiveness in everything, every time! LGL www.LuisLobo.Biz