Archiver > BRETHREN > 2009-06 > 1246312923

From: Merle C Rummel <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Crossing the Potomac Query
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 18:02:03 -0400
References: <001901c9f854$e21702f0$a64508d0$@net> <><001e01c9f868$4bef48f0$e3cddad0$@net>
In-Reply-To: <001e01c9f868$4bef48f0$e3cddad0$@net>

> Although the Great Pennsylvania Wagon Road via the Valley Route west of the
> Blue Ridge to Big Lick made sense for the Brethren pioneers from
> Pennsylvania, was it the preferred route for those from Maryland who lived
> in the Frederick area who were migrating to North Carolina? If so, where
> did they cross the Potomac? Wasn't there just one or two places to cross
> it, one leading down the Valley Route and the other down the other side of
> the Blue Ridge? My query is especially about those migrating in 1762-1763
> from the Pipe Creek area to go live in North Carolina. It seems like it
> would have been shorter to not have to cross over into the Valley (and then
> have to switch back to the other side of the Blue Ridge at Big Lick).
> Dwayne Wrightsman

I pastored at Beaver Dam - and used to be well acquainted with Pipe
Creek and the whole area.. I lived at New Windsor (for a while on the
Brethren Service Center Campus). I visited with Austin Cooper (pastor
of Pipe Creek) frequently. Many of the migrants of the 1750s and 1760s
were from Beaver Dam (Austin Cooper claimed that Beaver Dam was an
extension of Pipe Creek - I heartily disagree!). The Garbers were a
Beaver Dam family, as were the Saylors, and many other Brethren names.
Beaver Dam was twice the largest church in the Brotherhood - once being
the 1760s - with major migrations leaving it, some going south - others
going to western Pennsylvania.

The Beaver Dam Creek flows northwest into the Pipe Creek just before
Pipe Creek flows (westward) into the Monocacy River. (The Monocacy
River flows south past Frederick MD, into the Potomac).. The Monocacy
Road (built by Michael Danner, from York PA, going southwest to Elder
Jacob Danner at Israel Creek, near Frederick MD) was the migration path
to Pipe Creek and Beaver Dam, and followed by them through Frederick,
across the Blue Ridge into Middletown Valley (now US40 - the Cumberland
Road, later the National Road) and then crossed South Mountain to the
Antietam near Hagarstown, where they met the Great Wagon Road and the
earlier Great Warrior's Path (Conococheague Valley) - thence down the
Valley. Some did cross the Potomac lower at Shepherdstown, but that was
just another short cut to the Valley Road. Some went north up the
Monocacy through Thermont to Gettysburg and met the Great Wagon Road
there. That could be easier, but longer, than crossing the two ridges
of Middletown Valley.

There was a crossing of the Potomac at Point of Rocks, below Frederick,
up from the mouth of the Monocacy River. In the Civil War, this was
where General Early crossed, defeated Lew Wallace (of Ben Hur fame) and
attacked the Washington Defences (commanding general - to Abraham
Lincoln, who went to observe the "enemy" - "Mr President, if you don't
get down, I'm going to surrender!" - after sharpshooters killed an
adjacent general standing by Lincoln). This is also where General
Robert E Lee's famous Lost Order resulted in the Battle of Antietam (at
the Dunker Church). This road led to Leesburg VA - and down to Manassas.

Virginia was a Royal Colony. "Foreigners" from the northern colonies
(including those NOT Church of England/Anglican) were not very welcome.
Back of the Mountains (Blue Ridge) in the Valley, things were a little
different! This Church of England thing, was why the migration went
through Virginia to the Yadkin in Carolina. As the conflict with
England approached the American Revolution, there was change, and the
Brethren made settlement in Virginia.

Merle C Rummel

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