Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day, with a high temperature of about 75 degrees and mostly clear skies. So, because I live only about 90 minutes from the battlefield, I decided to take a field trip to South Mountain and get a firsthand look at the terrain. Walking the actual ground gave me a better appreciation of the topography and will allow me to develop a more accurate scenario map.
The trip was very productive, so I thought I would share some pictures that I took. If you would like to take you own trip to Fox Gap, the Friends of South Mountain State Battlefield web site has a walking tour of area. You can find it here:
Also, before I get very far into this, I would like to make an appeal for your support of The Civil War Trust. TCWT is America's largest non-profit organization (501-C3) devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields. The South Mountain Battlefield has been designated as one of our nations most endangered battlefields.
Additionally, if you are really interested in a detailed history of the Fox Gap area, then I would recommend you visit ‘A Gap in Time: The Wise Farmstead and Fox Gap Archeological Project’ at:
Click on the link to the ‘Project Results’ and then the pdf under ‘II Place for the Past.’ It contains a detailed description of the battle at Fox Gap and includes some of the best battlefield maps I have ever seen. These are by Steven R. Stotelmyer, and I have keyed the photographs to one of his maps.
These pictures are of the Reno and Garland monuments which are located near the spot of the Wise cabin on the map. By the way, the Wise house is no longer standing.
The North Carolina Monument is about 1000 feet south of the Reno Monument and was placed on the battlefield in 2003.
This is a picture looking north at “17th Michigan Field.” The field is just north of the Wise cabin location and Reno Monument Road. It gives you a good idea of the flat open areas in the Gap itself. See map reference point one.
Many of the Civil War era stone fences are evident … just remember NOT to cross them and head off into the fields on the east side of South Mountain. These fields are on private property and are not under National Park Service control.
This is a view looking east from behind the stone fence that was used as a defensive position by Col. Daniel H. Christie’s 23rd NC Infantry Regiment. See map reference point two for this picture and the next.
This view is from the wall itself and the defensive position of the 23rd NC, looking east across the field that Col. Carr B. White’s 12th Ohio Infantry Regiment would have attacked across.
See map reference point three. This is the view toward the southeast. Captain Bondurant’s Jeff Davis Artillery Battery fired in support of the 5th NC Infantry Regiment from this spot. LtCol Rutherford B. Hayes’ 23rd Ohio Infantry Regiment attacked from left to right across the ground in the distance.