Civil War Along Tom's Creek and Waynesboro Pike
The Struggle of
Part 2 of 5
Six miles north of the Mason and
Dixon Line is a little town called Fountain Dale. Fountain Dale is
located between Jack’s Mountain, Beards Hill, and is connected to
two major mountain gaps along the Old Waynesboro Pike. Many locals
tell me Fountain Dale received its name from an actual fountain
that belonged to a man named Dale. There is a old church at
Fountain Dale that bears the inscription of 1857, possibly the
founding year of the town. With a only a few houses and stone
fences there really isn't much to this small town, or is there?
Although being a small town today, Fountain Dale has a very
fascinating Civil War heritage. During the Gettysburg Campaign,
both Union and Confederate soldiers scouted and picketed the area
of Fountain Dale to observe the movements of troops that were
coming from the direction of
Fairfield and Waynesboro.
During the Gettysburg Campaign
separated and each company was to act as an independent
organization. On June 27th, Lieutenant William A. Horner asked
permission to take a dozen men and go through the Confederate
lines to see what was going on. After a some debate
Hunter, commanding Company C of Cole's Cavalry allowed a
dozen of his troopers to go on scout. They came out at Boonsboro
and traveled to Waynesboro then to Fountain Dale.
By the time that parts of Pegram's Artillery Battalion had
encamped at Fayetteville they had lost several horses. Because of
the concerned state the horses were in, Lieutenant John Hampden
(Ham) Chamberlayne led a small detail soldiers from Purcell,
Crenshaw, and Lecture’s Batteries and made their way through
Franklin County toward Waynesboro. Private Thomas Goosey who
traveled with Chamberlayne's small detachment noted "We pushed on
and soon struck the village of Waynesboro, where United States
flags were displayed in great numbers, which, of course, we
From Waynesboro, Chamberlayne's men traveled up the mountain to
toward Fairfield in Adams County when they came across a small
church at Fountain Dale on June 28th. This small church, built in
1857 is located on Old Waynesboro Pike. It was Sunday and church
services were underway. Ham Chamberlayne saw about 20 horses tied
to a post and decided that these horses were are exactly what his
Lieutenant Chamberlayne opened the door of the church and
rushed in with his pistol drawn and demanded that each person give
up their horse and that they would be paid in full by means of a
treaty between the Confederate States Government and the United
States Government. No dispute was made and Chamberlayne then
walked back outside and untied the horses.
As Chamberlayne's men started for their camp, a detachment of
General Buford's Cavalry was spotted coming down Waynesboro Pike.
This was a small squad of horsemen under the command of Lt.
William A. Horner. Seeing rebel horsemen near the church Lt.
Horner, order his squad to intercept them.
It was at this time that Ham Chamberlayne hand-selected 6 men
who had revolvers to turn and make a stand with him, while the
others made their escape. Chamberlayne led his men directly toward
Horner’s men and charged. A clash erupted between these two
forces. Private Goosey mentions the small detail fell back to it's
main party. After the charge, Chamberlayne and his six men were
taken prisoner. The prisoners were Lieutenant John H. (Ham)
Chamberlayne, Sergeant R. H. Malloy, Sergeant Alpheus Newman,
Sergeant Hugh Davis Smith, and John Alexander Estes. Lieutenant
Chamberlayne was later exchanged and rejoined his unit.
After the skirmish, Horner's Keystone Rangers retired with
their prisoners to Emmitsburg. The other 19 men of the detail
made it safely back to Fayetteville. Sometime after the Skirmish,
local residents were encouraged to take inventory of their
livestock and to report any missing animals to the local sheriff.
Oliver Horner who was a Sergeant during the engagement of
Fountain Dale later recalled: "The Confederate Raiders
were captured and the horses were recovered". Sergeant Horner was
later promoted to Lieutenant for his actions during the battle of
After the battle of Fountain Dale, while scouting near
Monterey, members of the 14th Virginia spotted a Federal patrol,
believing that they were militia. The Confederates tormented the
New Yorker’s by attempting to lure the Federal body into a trap.
However, the New Yorker’s did not pursue the Confederates. During
the evening of June 28th the Federal Cavalry under General John
Buford came into Fountain Dale moving toward Fairfield,
investigating the rebel forces in the area.
Although being a small town today, Fountain Dale, just as many
of these small towns along Waynesboro Pike, impacted the Civil War
in it’s own unique way. There is still a lot to be learned about
the battle of Fountain Dale. The battlefield itself still remains
intact but is now in private ownership. The history of the
Emmitsburg and Waynesboro vicinity is only a footnote in history.
When asked about these events, visitors are surprised to see that
not much information are in the town’s records about the movements
of troops and the actions they fought so bravely in.
Read Part 3
other articles by John Miller
John Miller's Account of the Emmitsburg in the Civil War