This small town could have witnessed a sequel to the Battle of Gettysburg, but the exhausted combatants had no stomach for another bloodbath.
The Battle of Funkstown was fought on July 10, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. John Buford and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in and around Funkstown, Maryland during the American Civil War. The battle, which followed the Army of Northern Virginia’s retreat from Gettysburg, was a minor Confederate victory and resulted in approximately 381 total casualties.
After three bloody days of fighting around Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee retreated southwest toward the Potomac River and Virginia. The main army settled into defensive works around Williamsport, Maryland, while a rearguard was stationed in Hagerstown and nearby Funkstown. Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was tasked with keeping the Union army at bay while Confederate forces found passage across the swollen river.
By July 10, the Union Army of the Potomac was located just west of Boonsboro, with Hagerstown and Funkstown on its right flank. The army could not advance with Confederate cavalry threatening its flank, so Brig. Gen. John Buford’s cavalry division rode north along the Old National Pike to attack J.E.B. Stuart’s crescent-shaped defensive line around Funkstown north of Antietam Creek. Buford hoped to drive them off, but Stuart’s troopers put up a spirited defense.