STOP #13

       The hill behind Boonsborough referred to in the reports is directly behind the church. The hill is not accessible but this location affords a good view of it and the Washington Monument. The station on the hill was occupied by Lieut. Swain whose report we have already read. Now you should leave the parking lot turning RIGHT on ALT 40. Drive 3.3 miles on ALT 40 until you reach BEAVER CREEK. Pull to the side of the road. This is the approximate location of Captain Daniells station on the Hagerstown Pike. Captain Daniels, Capt. William McCreary and Lieut. Tuckerman supported Brig. Gen. Buford's First Cavalry Division between the Beaver Creek crossing on the Hagerstown Pike and the Antietam. As previously described, Captain Daniels was receiving reports on Confederate troop movements from the Denicke brothers on Washington Monument and passing that information to General Buford.

Capt. W. McCreary

The following excerpts from Capt. McCreary's report give a good description of the action:

    Report of Capt. William G. McCreary, Signal Officer, Washington Reserve Signal Party

       Early next morning, with the advance of our troops, in company with yourself, advanced beyond Boonsborough, when I was directed by you to report to the right, with the right brigade of General Buford's cavalry division, General Merritt commanding, Captain Daniels being in the center and Lieutenant Tuckerman on the left of same division, to keep open communication along the line.

       Soon after taking our position, an advance was made along the line, and we advanced with them. At the crossing of Beaver Creek, the enemy were established with infantry, cavalry, and artillery to dispute our advance, but after a severe skirmish were driven back.

       Early next morning, July 10, moved forward, and drove them to Antietam, a distance of 4 miles. During this movement, I was. in communication with Captain Daniels, but the rapid movements of our forces prevented sending many messages; but from our points of observation much valuable information was furnished the commanding officers, for which we received their personal thanks...

The following are some of the communication sent and received:

July 9

    General Merritt:

       A battery of the enemy is visible on the crest of the hill. I can also see bayonets, indicating that it is supported by infantry. No cavalry visible except pickets.

McCreary, Signal Officer.

July 10

    General Merritt:

       Three squadrons of rebel cavalry have passed to our right, and are concealed behind the woods. We have not any skirmishers in that direction.

McCreary, Signal Officer.

    To Commander of the Right:

       Cease firing in our front. Captain McCreary, signal officer, reports three squadrons of cavalry passing to your right. Throw out skirmishers, and keep a sharp lookout to prevent being flanked.

Merritt, General

       General Howard wishes to know anything relative to the enemy's movements in front.

T. R. Clark

       All quiet. Enemy are throwing up earthworks near Antietam Creek.


       Our cavalry are retiring from the right. The enemy's cavalry and infantry are advancing on the left.


July 13

    Captain Nicodemus:

       The enemy are reported by a citizen from within their lines to have broken up their camps, and to be moving all their wagon trains toward Falling Waters.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. G. McCreary,
Captain, Signal Corps, U.S. Army.

[O.R., XXVII, Part I, pp. 211-213]

Report of Capt. Lemuel B. Norton, Chief Signal Officer, Army of the Potomac

       In summing up the operations of the signal corps of this army for the month and a half herein recorded, I find that sixty-seven signal stations of observation and communication were occupied, eight signal telegraph lines established, and seventeen extra reconnaissances made.

I have stated as concisely as possible the amount and character of the work performed, When it failed in a signal point of view it has been noted; but of the real value of the information obtained by the corps and the importance of other services rendered, the commanding general and the corps commanders are best able to judge ...

       During the late movements of the army, 3 signal officers and 6 flagmen were captured by the enemy. The only reported injuries were those of 2 flagmen slightly wounded at the battle of Gettysburg.

[O.R., XXVII, Part I, p. 206]

       This is the last stop of the tour. The quickest way back to Gettysburg is to go back to FREDERICK on ALT 40. Take HWY 15 north to GETTYSBURG.


STOP #13