Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland

Green Mount Cemetery, at 1501 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland, was dedicated in 1839 and contains the remains of approximately 65,000 former residents. While not as large as other rural cemeteries, Green Mount’s Gothic Revival structures and funerary art and sculpture are a sight to behold. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Elijah Jefferson Bond (1847-1921)

Elijah Jefferson Bond (1847-1921) was a lawyer and inventor who patented a “spirit board”, or ouija board, in 1890. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was a co-founder of the Kennard Novelty Company, which produced ouija boards for the growing Spiritualist movement. Bond married a Maryland woman named Mary Peters, and the couple had one child. They were buried in an unmarked grave until 2007, when an admirer located it and raised funds for this unique headstone.

Lawrason Riggs (1814-1884)

The bronze figure of a woman wrapped in a thin, flowing gown mourns over the graves of Lawrason Riggs (1814-1884) and Mary Turpin Bright Riggs (1837-1919) and their family. Mary, the daughter of Sen. Jesse D. Bright, was Lawrason’s third wife. Their Art Nouveau-style sculpture, titled “Memory” and installed in 1911, was designed by Hans Schuler, a graduate of the Rinehart School of Sculpture.

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Fairfax Court House Battlefield in Fairfax, Virginia

Visit this antebellum courthouse and site of an early Civil War skirmish, fought weeks before the Battle of Bull Run.

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The First Battle of Fairfax Court House was fought on June 1, 1861 between Union forces commanded by Lt. Charles H. Tompkins and Confederate forces commanded by Capt. John Q. Marr at Fairfax Court House, Virginia during the American Civil War. This small and inconclusive battle was the first land engagement of the war with fatal casualties, resulting in 24 total dead, wounded, or captured.

On May 31, 1861, Union Brig. Gen. David Hunter ordered Lt. Charles Henry Tompkins of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment to recon Confederate forces around Fairfax Court House. Early the next morning, June 1, his 50 to 86-man force ran into approximately 210 untrained and ill-equipped Confederate militia in the village, some of whom didn’t even have weapons or ammunition. The militia scattered.

Nearby, Confederate Capt. John Q. Marr attempted to rally his men, but he was shot and killed in a field west of the Methodist church. Lt. Col. Richard S. Ewell, a future Confederate general, was wounded as he emerged from a hotel, but escaped, and 64-year-old William “Extra Billy” Smith, a politician and another future general, helped him take charge. Together, their rag-tag force repelled several more Union attempts to ride through town.

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Moores Creek National Battlefield in Pender County, North Carolina

This quick and stunning patriot victory turned back British hopes of holding onto North Carolina during the Revolutionary War.

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The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge was fought on February 27, 1776 between American patriot forces led by Col. James Moore and British loyalists led by Lt. Col. Donald MacLeod near Wilmington, North Carolina during the American Revolutionary War. The short battle was a resounding Patriot victory, which led to North Carolina voting in favor of independence.

In 1775, Royal Governor Josiah Martin fled North Carolina after his house was attacked by rebellious colonists, and the British Army sailed from Ireland and New England to stamp out the insurrection. Martin raised a force of approximately 1,500 Loyalists in North Carolina, principally consisting of Scotch Highlanders, to arm and join with the British regulars. The Patriots moved to prevent the two forces from joining.

Two units of Patriot militia, led by Col. James Moore and Richard Caswell, tried to intercept the Loyalists before they reached the coast. Caswell reached Widow Moore’s Creek Bridge first and threw up fortifications to block their approach. The Patriot troops were bolstered by a cannon and a swivel gun they called “old Mother Covington and her daughter.”

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Fox’s Gap Battlefield at South Mountain, Maryland

The deaths of two opposing generals underscore the fierce fighting that occurred in the shadow of southern Maryland’s idyllic mountain scenery.

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The battle for Fox’s Gap, part of the larger Battle of South Mountain, was fought on September 14, 1862 between Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Jesse L. Reno and Confederate forces commanded by Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill in Frederick and Washington counties, Maryland during the American Civil War. The battle was a Union victory, with Confederate forces abandoning the mountain pass and retreating toward Sharpsburg.

After General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia destroyed the Union Army of Virginia at the Second Battle of Manassas, Lee saw an opportunity to invade Maryland, threaten Washington, DC, and possibly influence European powers to recognize Confederate independence. Lee divided his army and sent one wing to capture Harper’s Ferry, Virginia and the other into Maryland. A copy of his orders fell into enemy hands, however, and for once Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan acted swiftly to catch Lee off guard.

McClellan sent elements of his reconstituted Army of the Potomac to capture three strategic gaps in South Mountain, hoping to sever Lee’s army and destroy it in detail. The mountain passes were known as Turner’s Gap, Fox’s Gap, and Crampton’s Gap. Because of the distance between them, the Battle of South Mountain was actually three separate engagements, though they all took place in a single day.

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Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum in Dayton, Ohio

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, at 118 Woodland Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, opened as a Victorian rural cemetery in 1841 and today is the final resting place for over 107,000 former residents. There are over 3,000 trees scattered across its 200 acres, leading to its designation as an arboretum. Woodland’s Romanesque gateway, chapel, and office were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and feature beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows.

Johnny Morehouse (1885-1860)

One of Woodland’s most visited graves is that of a young boy named Johnny Morehouse (1885-1860). His parents, John and Barbara, owned a shoe repair shop. According to legend, Johnny was out playing with his faithful dog when he fell into the Miami & Erie Canal and drowned. Griefstricken, his dog refused to leave his graveside. Today, both are memorialized by this statue, around which visitors often leave toys and other tokens of their affection.

Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) Wright

Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) Wright were pioneers of aviation who invented and flew the world’s first functional airplane. The brothers were born in Dayton and spent their entire lives there, but made their first successful flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Unfortunately, just as their business began to take off, Wilbur died of typhoid fever in 1912. Devastated, Orville sold their business and devoted the rest of his life to promoting aviation.

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Philippi: First Organized ‘Battle’ of the Civil War

A historic covered bridge, used as a barracks for Union troops, still stands at the scene of an early Civil War skirmish.

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The Battle of Philippi was fought on June 3, 1861 between Union forces commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris and Confederate forces commanded by Col. George A. Porterfield in Philippi, West Virginia during the American Civil War. The skirmish, which was the first in Virginia, was a Union victory that encouraged Western Virginians to secede and form their own pro-Union state. It resulted in 30 total casualties.

By the time Virginia voters ratified the decision of its secession convention on May 23, 1861, Richmond had already been proclaimed the Confederate capital and militia units were mobilizing. As commander of the Department of the Ohio, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan invaded western Virginia under the pretext of protecting unionists there. Western counties would later vote to secede from Virginia and form the state of West Virginia.

McClellan sent 3,000 volunteer troops into western Virginia under the overall command of Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Morris. Opposing them were approximately 800 poorly trained and equipped militia commanded by Col. George A. Porterfield gathered at the town of Grafton. Porterfield retreated to Philippi as the Union army advanced. Morris divided his force into two columns, which converged on Philippi and the Confederates camped there.

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Heritage Park and the Battle of Rhode Island

A mixed-unit of African Americans, American Indians, and white colonists fended off wave after wave of British infantry in this little-known Revolutionary War battle.

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The Battle of Rhode Island was fought on August 29, 1778 between American and French forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene and Brig. Gen. John Glover, and British and Hessian forces commanded by Sir Robert Pigot, Maj. Gen. Francis Smith, and Friedrich Wilhelm von Lossberg on Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island during the American Revolutionary War. The battle was a tactical draw, but ultimately ended in British victory when the Americans withdrew, failing to retake the island

In the winter of 1776, British troops seized control of the strategic town of Newport, Rhode Island and fortified Aquidneck Island. In the spring of 1778, as France entered the war on the American side, Maj. Gen. John Sullivan was appointed overall command of American troops in Rhode Island. He hatched a plan for a joint Franco-American land and sea invasion to retake Newport.

While American militia were mustering and organizing for the fight, Sir Robert Pigot withdrew his men from their fort on Butts Hill into the island’s interior. As the Americans moved into position, French commander Comte d’Estaing informed them his fleet would be unable to assist due to damage from storms and skirmishing. Without French support, hundreds of American militiamen went home. The remaining units arrayed themselves across the island to block the British from retaking the high ground.

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