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1896, George Alfred Townsend. Gapland Rd. at Arnoldtown Rd. in Gathland State Park
  • Memorial Civil War Arch to War Correspondents at Crampston's Gap (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Civil War journalist and novelist George Alfred Townsend, who wrote under the pen name “Gath,” acquired land on South Mountain in 1884 to create a retreat. Parts of the September 1862 Battle of South Mountain, the first major Civil War clash in Maryland, were fought on this property. One of the most unusual constructions Townsend built on his estate over the next decade was a fifty-foot-high memorial arch dedicated to war correspondents killed in combat. The polychrome materials, horseshoe arch, and crenellations across the top suggest popular interpretations of medieval architecture. The lively, asymmetrical composition includes a fifty-five-foot-tall tower with a large niche containing a zinc sculpture of Mercury, the messenger god. Two tablets on the back of the arch list the names of 157 journalists and artists, both northern and southern, collected by Townsend. The property was acquired by the State of Maryland to be Gathland State Park in 1949, and two surviving Townsend buildings have been restored. The War Correspondents Memorial Arch had been transferred to the War Department in 1904 and is administered by Antietam National Battlefield.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "WAR CORRESPONDENTS MEMORIAL ARCH", [Burkittsville, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 343-343.

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