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Crampton's Gap tour scheduled for Aug. 14

July 24, 2004

BURKITTSVILLE, Md. - The fifth annual candlelight tour of the Crampton's Gap area of the South Mountain State Battlefield will be held Aug. 14 from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

The tour, titled "After the Battle," will feature walking tours of Crampton's Gap, where present-day Gathland State Park is located. Walks will start at 20-minute intervals and participants should wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Civil War re-enactors will show what life was like for the soldiers after the Battle of South Mountain. Visitors on the tour also will learn how the surrounding area changed after the battle.

Fought on Sept. 14, 1862, the Battle of South Mountain was the first major battle of the war fought in Maryland and was the turning point of the Maryland campaign. It also was the first defeat of the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee by the Army of the Potomac under Gen. George B. McClellan.

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The battle helped set the stage for the better-known Battle of Antietam three days later. The daylong battle resulted in more than 6,000 total casualties.

The cost is $5 per person for anyone 13 and older, while children 12 and under will be admitted free. Proceeds will benefit The Friends of South Mountain State Battlefield to help with preservation and interpretation of the battle history.

South Mountain State Battlefield is off Md. 17, one mile west of Burkittsville. For directions and information, call 301-432-8065 or e-mail apreston@dnr.state.md.us.

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