Battle of Folck's Mill - Confederates Attempt to Disrupt B&O Railroad

Description: After burning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on July 30, Johnson’s and McCausland’s cavalry brigades rode towards Cumberland, Maryland, to disrupt the B&O Railroad.

Brig. Gen. Benjamin Kelly organized a small force of soldiers and citizens to meet the Confederate advance. On August 1, Kelly ambushed Rebel cavalrymen near Cumberland at Folck’s Mill, and skirmishing continued for several hours. Eventually the Confederates withdrew.

The Battle of Folck's Mill, also known as the Battle of Cumberland, was a small cavalry battle fought August 1, 1864, in northern Maryland, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 during the American Civil War.

After burning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, on July 30, Confederate generals John McCausland and Bradley T. Johnson's cavalry set out for western Maryland towards Cumberland, to disrupt the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad and demand a ransom from the town or torch it as well. At 3 p.m on August 1 the Confederates arrived at Folck's Mill east of Cumberland. There, Union Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley with three divisions of untested "100-days" troops and six pieces of artillery met the Confederate advance. As the Confederates arrived at the outskirts of town, Kelley's artillery fired on the cavalry. Unsure of what he was up against and being unfamiliar with the local terrain, McCausland decided against an assault and brought up his own artillery. The gunners from both armies dueled until about 8 p.m. at which point McCausland withdrew, heading southeast to Old Town on the Potomac River.