Once we were out of sight of Mt. Briar, we mounted and began our trek south through Pleasant Valley. Almost immediately, we began to see some houses in the distance along Trego Road.  I raised my hand to halt. Al and Tom came up on either side of me.

I asked, “Can we bypass these houses?”

Al ventured, “We could go up on tha mountain to our right a-ways, but ‘twould be rough going.”

“I am afraid of dogs giving us away.” I confessed.

Al declared, “Ah, don’t worry bout that Jim. These people are use ta riders using this herah road during the night. They won’t take no notice of a few riders, ‘specially with all the cavalry going back and forth lately.”

That made me feel a lot better about not raising an alarm. So I said, “Well, let’s get on with it.”

We picked up our pace and took the road right through the middle of Rohrersville Station at a gallop, which produced a minimum of barking dogs, and then followed the road to where it joined with the Pleasant Valley Road about 1 mile south.  We continued on the Valley Road for about another mile when a road appeared on our left.  Al, who was had taken the lead of our caravan, raised his hand for us to halt.  We reined in.

He said in a low voice, “That’s a road that goes up to Crampton’s Gap and overah South Mountain. Tha town of Burkettsville’s on the otherah side.”

“Is there another road that goes up to Crampton’s Gap?” I questioned.

“Yeah, about half a mile further south therah’s the Gapland Road that goes up and thru Crampton’s Gap.”

“I thought you said there‘s only one road leading up to the gap from Pleasant Valley.” I rebutted.

“If’n I said that, then I’s wrong. I must of forgot about his here road, which goes by the Townsend house and up to tha gap,” he apologized.

“So we got two ways to get up the mountain and through the gap?” I mumbled.

“Is there a road on the east side of the mountain gap that connects with the road coming up from Point of Rocks Ford toward Frederick City?”

Al looked at me and grinned. “Ya sure knows your geeografy. Yeah, on the other side of the mountain, Gapland Road goes thru Burkettsville and heads east ta Jefferson. That is tha best place to meet another bunch coming up from Point of Rocks.”

I grinned back. He had figured out that the ambush of the Yanks in Pleasant Valley wasn’t the only mission we had on our little foray into this part of Maryland.


About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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