Often described as a time capsule of the 19th century, the agricultural village of Burkittsville became the focus of a pivotal battle of the War Between the States in the late summer of 1862. Hidden away in its remote corner of the Catoctin Valley, it can be said that the town´s role in this engagement largely placed it on the map, an obscure site made famous by the event of national upheaval.

Nearly 30,000 Union and Confederate troops passed through town during the 1862 Maryland Campaign and another 100,000 during the campaigns of 1863 and 1864, marching to and from Crampton´s Gap in South Mountain. During the Battle for CramptonÁs Gap, its houses were shelled, used for cover, and were finally converted to field hospitals by surgeons of the victorious Union Sixth Army Corps. Most of its wartime homes are still standing.

Structures listed are well-documented examples of the battle´s impact, each a tale of endurance under extreme adversity. All are situated along Main Street.These structures appear much today as they did in 1862, offering a virtually untouched wartime townscape and adjoining farm fields.

Main Street was used as a battle conduit by the entire Second Division, SixthCorps brigades of W.T.H. Brooks, W.S. Hancock and W.H. Irwin.

Please respect each homeowner's privacy. Copies of the complete Civil War Walking Tour brochure are available at the town bulletin board "The Bugle," on East Main Street, directly across from the U.S. Post Office.










David Arnold House & Farm

David Arnold´s ″Gaver´s Recovery″ farm dominates the west entrance to town. The original portion of the house was built in 1798. A substantial two-story addition was built in 1873. Arnold´s property was used to deploy Gen. William T.H. Brook´s Vermont Brigade. They charged the Confederate battle line through the field beyond. At the same time Arnold´s northern fields were the scene of a charge by the First New Jersey Brigade of Col. Alfred T.A. Torbert.

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Resurrection German Reformed Church (1829-30)

It served as Sixth Corps Hospital "D" until January 1863. Mostly Union wounded were treated here filling the church to capacity. Confederate wounded were laid out overnight in the front yard, many of whom were moved the next day to homes of local Southern sympathizers.

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German Reformed Parsonage

This three-story frame building of unknown date most likely served as Hospital“C”, taking the patient overflow from the Reformed Church, though records do not exist. It may have furnished more private quarters for treatment of wounded officers. The parsonage was torn down in the 1960s to make way for the parking lot situated between the churches.

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St. Paul´s Evangelical Lutheran Church (1859)

Saint Paul´s steeple was a town landmark mentioned by soldiers after the battle. This church too was given over to the treatment of Federal wounded, probably as Hosptial “B”. Adjacent to the church on its east side stands the Burkittsville School, now Saint Paul´s dining hall.

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Union Cemetery

Henry Burkitt, the town namesake, donated the land for this burial ground in 1831. The name derives from joint use by Reformed and Lutheran congregations. Confederate patients treated in the two churches who died of wounds were temporarily buried here, in the older section nearest Middletown Road (Md. Rt. 17) immediately behind the Reformed Church. They were removed in 1868. From the cemetery's summit one has an excellent view of the upper Catoctin Valley and Burkitt's Ravine through which troops of the First Div. Sixth Corps, advanced undetected toward the mountains.

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Dr. John E. Garrott House

Both home and office to Doctor Garrott, this house undoubtedly sheltered many wounded. Dr. Geo. Stevens, 77th New York Inf., assisted Dr. Garrott at the church next door where they found the surgeons had gone to bed leaving a sea of wounded Federal soldiers. the two labored far into early Monday morning to stabilize the wounded.

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Dr. Tilghman Biser House

There is no evidence that Doctor Biser assisted army surgeons. Living with him was his nephew, Lewis Lamar who was reading medicine with Dr. Biser in preparation for medical school. Lewis was a distant cousin to tow high-ranking Confederate officers that were mortally wounded at Crampton's Gap, Col. John B.Lamar (aide to Gen. Howell Cobb) and Lt. Col. Jefferson M. Lamar (commanding the Cobb Legion). Lewis Lamar was apparently unaware of the two cousins death that occurred so near to his residence.

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Dr. John D. Garrott House
(Original Burkitt House)

There is no evidence that Doctor Biser assisted army surgeons. Living with him was his nephew, Lewis Lamar who was reading medicine with Dr. Biser in preparation for medical school. Lewis was a distant cousin to tow high-ranking Confederate officers that were mortally wounded at Crampton's Gap, Col. John B.Lamar (aide to Gen. Howell Cobb) and Lt. Col. Jefferson M. Lamar (commanding the Cobb Legion). Lewis Lamar was apparently unaware of the two cousins death that occurred so near to his residence.

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Otho F. Harley House
(Built circa 1849)

This was home to the grandson of town founder Joshua Harley. In 1824 the town was known as "Harley's Store" or "Harley's Post Office". It changed to Burkittsville after Harley's death in 1828. Otho Harley's residence marks the battles start when officers of the 96th Pennsylvania, while under shell fire from Brownsville Pass, summoned Harley from hiding to learn where the Rebel battle line was located. The 96th took position on Distillery Lane opposite the house.

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