Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some Interesting Views of the Fox's Gap Battlefield. . .

Dave Maher, a good friend of mine, recently came across two interesting sketches of the Fox's Gap battlefield while perusing through some old books. He was kind enough to scan 'em in and send 'em along to me. . .

These sketches come from Volume 2 of Benjamin Lossing's 1868 Pictorial History of the Civil War in the United States of America. The first one is that of the Wise cabin looking south from the wood road, which connected Fox's and Turner's Gaps, and which is today a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Of course, a parking lot is located where the Wise cabin once stood.

The second sketch is a little more interesting, for it shows a small marker placed on the spot where Major General Jesse Reno fell, just east of the Wise cabin and south of the Old Sharpsburg Road, which cuts across South Mountain at Fox's Gap. Check the scars of battle still visible on the tree. . . .

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Of course, this monument to Reno, dedicated in 1889, would later be placed near the spot where he fell.

Sketches such as those in Lossing's multi-volume history as well as these postcard are incredibly instrumental in helping us envision the battlefields of the Civil War and in watching how they changed over the years. This one below is particularly revealing for it shows not only the Wise cabin (right) and Reno monument (left), but it also reveals the stone walls that once stood along the Old Sharpsburg Road and a small section of the wood road, which ran south along the summit of the mountain, behind which General Garland's North Carolinians positioned themselves to contend with Jacob Cox and the Ohioans of his Kanawha Division.




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