The Battle of Monterey Pass was fought along a mountain ridge, in a blinding thunderstorm, during the middle of the night on July 4, just one day after the close of the battle of Gettysburg.
Because Pennsylvania only had a few battles, this battle is also commemorated as Pennsylvania's second largest.
Unlike the more famous Antietam and Gettysburg, this battle wasn't fought on fairly level farm fields, with opposing sides confronting each other from strategically placed battle lines. This battle was fought by weary, battle-exhausted troops strung out over narrow roads through rugged countryside in mountain passes. Ravines on one side and cliffs on the other often limited their movement., and played a part of the battle.
Following the devastating defeat at Gettysburg, Confederate Major General Robert E. Lee ordered the retreat of the Confederate troops from Gettysburg in the early hours of July 4, 1863.
|The Hawley Memorial Church now stands where the battle began, in what is now Blue Ridge Summit.|
The 5th Michigan was the first of Kilpatrick's cavalry division to climb the mountain.toward Monterey Pass. They'd learned of the Confederate presence there when a local resident, Charles H. Buhrman, learned of the Confederate retreat at Monterey Pass as well as the capture of several local citizens. He had ridden toward Emmitsburg until he encountered one of Custer's scouts.
|At Pen-Mar Park, I spotted a lovely male nuthatch, who paused a moment to stare at my intrusion into the closed park.|
|The driving tour takes you up to Pen-Mar Park, which offers an impressive panoramic view of the Cumberland Valley, below. The Appalachian Trail passes through Pen-Mar Park.|
Eventually Custer and his troops prevailed, and began storming through the long line of wagons, overturning many wagons and setting fire to others. However, Kilpatrick had divided his brigades, and eventually withdrew from Monterey Pass, so Custer's successes were for naught.
|Normally not a fan of vandalism, it seems that colorful graffiti is a tradition at High Rock. The spraypainted colors echo the exuberant colors and hues in the Cumberland Valley, below.|
|Taken from Harbaugh Church, where Union troops burned captured Confederate wagons, looking up to the South Mountain Ridge.|
Know Before You Go: Following the driving tour directions can be difficult without a navigator. Don't go alone!
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