Thursday 11 September 1862 – Ridgeville, Maryland
Still entirely too indefinite to justify definite action. – Major General George B. McClellan complaining about his lack of knowledge of Lee’s Army in Maryland
After spending two nights at Drainsville, the 8th Connecticut and the rest of IX Corps finally moves out toward Frederick. The 8th falls in line and begins the march at 7:00am as part of Rodman’s Division. The hot and dusty march continues until the regiment reaches what Captain Marsh calls the “little dirty village of Damascus.” The soldiers have marched about 10 miles, but their day is not done. After a rest halt, Oliver Case and his comrades form up and move out again until they reach the town of Ridgeville (now part of modern Mount Airy) near the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line.
Mount Airy was formed by the incorporation of two towns, Parrsville and Ridgeville. The eastern most town was Parrsville that drew its name from the spring located in the town that forms the headwaters of the Patapsco River. It also formed the corners of four Maryland counties, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Carroll.
To the west of Parrsville was Ridgeville, the town occupied by the 8th Connecticut on September 11, 1862. The town was founded on the highest elevation along the National Pike between Baltimore and Braddock Heights. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad followed this route to the east and during the 19th century at Ridgeville, horses were used to help to pull the railcars up the steep inclines on the east side.[i]
Milestone 31, about 130 feet southeast of its original location, the Baltimore and Fredericktown Turnpike
A heavy rain begins falling after nightfall and continues all night.[ii] Captain Marsh suffers from the rain, but does manage to enjoy some Maryland hospitality:
I got wet completely through but that is one of the variety of soldiers life. I was fortunate enough to get an excellent supper at a rich old Dutch farmers. They were strong union and hid their flag while rebels were around.[iii]
Back in Hartford, Connecticut, a baby boy is born to Mary Elizabeth Thompson Case, the wife of Ariel Case, Oliver’s brother. In keeping with tradition, the baby does not receive a name until many days later likely at the prompting of his father. The name selected for the boy is Oliver Cromwell Case, a tribute to his uncle who will never lay eyes upon his nephew.
[i] “Parrsville & Ridgeville: Two Towns at the Four Corners,” HMdb.org, TheHistorical Marker Database, Accessed from http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=4933
[ii] Croffut and Morris, 1868.