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Mountain skirmish to part of walk

November 11, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. - The Franklin County area abounds in Civil War history and the mountain village of Blue Ridge Summit and its environs want their own bit of the action.

The four-corners region hopes to capitalize on an insignificant Civil War incident following the mammoth Battle of Gettysburg in early July 1863 called the Battle of Monterey.

Gettysburg was fought on July 1, 2 and 3. On July 4, Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate army headed south over two parallel routes, one through Cashtown in Adams County, Pa., the other through Blue Ridge Summit and Franklin County.

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The wagon train that came through Blue Ridge Summit was about nine miles long. It was known as "the booty train," said Gary Muller, chairman of the One Mountain Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes the quality of life in the four-county area.

The group is made up of more than 30 members who live in the four contiguous counties of Franklin and Adams in Pennsylvania and Washington and Frederick in Maryland.

"We're in the far corners of all four counties," member Karen Justice said.

The booty train was so called because the Rebels grabbed what they could from the locals as they passed through on their way south, said Troy Harman, a park ranger at Gettysburg National Battlefield.

"They captured about 50,000 hogs and 20,000 cattle," Harman said. "They were picking the area clean."

The Union Army caught the Rebels in Blue Ridge Summit. Both sides met at Monterey Lane on the night of July 4 and the battle ensued with many confederate wagons destroyed in the fight, Muller said.

The One Mountain Foundation and the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce are cooperating in an effort to get the battle site listed as a Civil War Trail. Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland all have designated Civil War Trails.

On Thursday, Muller, Justice, Chamber Executive Director MaryBeth Hockenberry, Harman, Mike Vallone and William Dowling met at the Blue Ridge Summit Lions Club Park to plan the Park Services' upcoming Battlefield Walk of the area on July 3, 2006.

Harman and the others came to find the spot off Monterey Lane road where the battle took place, Muller said.

The battlefield walk will draw 300 to 400 visitors and will be televised, Hockenberry said.

"This is a big deal to be selected for a walk," she said.

The battlefield walk will be held in conjunction with Waynesboro's WaynesboroFest in July, she said.

"The chamber is involved in putting this battlefield on the map," she said.

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