Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum and Park has a new parking area adjoining Rolando Woods Park. It will allow more visitors to discover the 125-acre natural, cultural and historical preserve. Monterey Pass Battlefield Park includes trails and a museum, interpreting the Monterey Pass Battle, fought on the retreat from the Battle of Gettysburg. The battlefield trails are fully interpreted and are broken down into six stops. Trails are open 8 AM to dusk year-round.
On July 4, 1863, a seventeen-mile train of wounded and dying men began the retreat from Gettysburg through Franklin County. During the retreat on the night of July 4-5, 1863, Civil War came to South Mountain in what is known as the Battle of Monterey Pass. The Battle of Monterey Pass was the second largest battle in Pennsylvania, fought in two states, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and four counties (Adams and Franklin Counties PA and Frederick and Washington Counties in MD).The conflict involved 10,000 Confederate and Union soldiers.
The Battle of Monterey Pass is one of the most confusing battles of the Civil War.For several hours, during the blinding thunderstorm in the middle of the night, the battle was carried out in between lightning strikes and muzzle flashes. Six hours of heavy fighting had spilled over to Fairfield Gap as well as Leitersburg while General Kilpatrick gained the South Mountain summit of Monterey Pass. At Fairfield Gap, a portion of the 1st Michigan Cavalry was beaten back by Confederate cavalry while at the Monterey House, two guns of Pennington’s battery began shelling the Confederate wagons.
By 3:30 a.m. on July 5th, Kilpatrick successfully reached the turnpike where Ewell’s wagon train was located, capturing and destroying 9 miles worth of wagons, taking 1,360 prisoners and a large number of horses and mules as they moved on toward Ringgold, Maryland.
The museum is open Weekends from 10 AM to 4 PM from April to November. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.
Visit online at www.montereypassbattlefield.org