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5542Re: Hamburg Passes?

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  • eighth_conn_inf
    Mar 1, 2009

      Thank you for your insight. I know that since you worked with Dr.
      Harsh that you likely knew about this relatively minor point.

      Perhaps someone at the Frederick County HS or Washington County might
      be able to point me to something.

      In Paula M. Strain's "The Blue Hills of Maryland" she mentions
      Hamburg as "a ghost town on top of Catoctin Mountain near Gambrill
      State Park. It was never plotted officially but, at late as 1892,
      several houses stood near the crossroads. Even earlier, there was a
      tavern there. Now only the ruins of the Hamburg fire-tower mark the
      village," 272.

      She also writes about the Hagerstown-Frederick trolley which ran thru
      Myersville then thru S. Mountain at "Orr's Gap" then to what was then
      called Smoketown (now Mt. Lena), 204.

      She discusses Orr's Gap at some length (201-203) positing that this
      gap, three miles north Turner's Gap, through a sag between Bartman's
      Hill and Pine Knob, has been known by three names in the last 250
      years: Orr's Gap, Hamburg Pass, and Trolley-Line Gap. She believes
      that the Orr's Gap name faded by the time of the CW so the pass was
      unnamed (by D. H. Hill) or incorrectly named "Hamburg Pass" by
      Ripley. But she implies that that name stuck since no one disputed
      it. "Ripley's assignment of the name of a village ten miles east on
      Catoctin Mountain to little Orr's Gap, has led a number of Civil War
      historians unfamiliar with Maryland to repeat his mistake, making
      Hamburg Pass the second name Orr's has been called," 201-202.

      She could not find any reason for the name "Orr" in land records,
      etc., so she says that is likely why the name faded. As we know, the
      names of places by CW troops unfamiliar with the area can be
      misleading and almost certainly by spelling. Perhaps here, Ripley
      talked to a civilian or a soldier familiar with the area and was told
      that the road thru the gap leads to Hamburg so for identification, he
      simply called it Hamburg Pass.

      Based on her research, I will call it "Orr's Gap" with, of course, a
      footnote re Harsh, Ripley, Carman, and that the road thru there also
      led to Hamburg, among other places east.


      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
      > Hi Larry,
      > I am aware of the dual usage of Hamburg pass. I cannot say that I
      have anything concrete on the supposition I am about to state, but it
      was the thinking of Joe Harsh when he wrote the book and does make a
      sort of sense. I think the pass in South Mt. is called Hamburg pass
      because it leads to the town of Hamburg, even though it is across the
      valley and on top of Catoctin Mt. It makes sense and if we think
      about it Brownsville Pass leads across South Mt. to Brownsville; the
      town is not on top of the gap. And yes, it is my understanding that
      it is the gap where I-70 and "new" 40 run across the mountain. I
      think in the Battlefield Board letters another trooper mentions
      crossing South Mt. at Hamburg Pass, but I don't havethat in front of
      me right now. I can look it up if you need it.
      > You're doing good work, and I look forward to seeing it in print
      sometime soon.
      > Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
      > Professor of History
      > Hagerstown Community College
      > >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 02/28/09 4:54 PM >>>
      > Hamburg was a village in Maryland north of Frederick on top of the
      > Catoctin Mountains through which a road ran. ("OR Atlas" 27, 1)
      > Carman on p. 175 says that Hamburg Pass is there while Harsh (and
      > Ripley) say it is about three miles north of Turner's Pass through
      > South Mountain.
      > One officer in the 9th Virginia Cavalry, one of F. Lee's regiments,
      > commented that "Hamburg was a rude and scattering village on the
      > crest of the mountain, where the manufacture of brandy seemed to be
      > the chief employment of the villagers, and at the early hour of our
      > passage through the place, both the men and women gave proof that
      > they were free imbibers of the product of their stills. It was not
      > easy to find a sober inhabitant of either sex," Beale, "A
      > Of Cavalry in Lee's Army."
      > Harsh discussed Hamburg Pass, "Flood," 248, 257. Did Harsh (or
      > Carman) confuse the Hamburg Pass in the Catoctin Mountains for a
      > in South Mountain. See Brig. Gen. Ripley's report using "Hamburg
      > Pass" for the pass north of Boonsboro in South Mountain: "OR," vol.
      > 19, pt. 1, 1031.
      > What seems to be certain that there was then (just a few
      > remain) a place called Hamburg on Catoctin Mountain through which a
      > road traversed the mountain. It is also certain that there was a
      > some three miles north of Turner's Gap. Was Ripley and therefore
      > Harsh using Ripley confused or was Carman wrong? Or did a road then
      > run from Hamburg thru the pass in S. Mountain. It is possible that
      > both passes had the same name but that seems very unlikely.
      > Is the pass in S. Mountain three miles north of Turner's Gap the
      > through which Rt. 40 and I70 are located? Is this pass where the
      > stage road from Frederick to Hagerstown passed? IIRC Tom Clemens
      > mentioned this. I assume that Fitz Lee's troopers used the pass in
      > Mountain to get to Boonsboro after leaving Hamburg and I'd like to
      > know its name.
      > I appreciate any comments especially referring to sources. Has
      > been thru Hamburg?
      > Larry F.
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