Event Recognizes 150th Anniversary of the Ransom of Hagerstown


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - This holiday weekend is more than just fireworks and cookouts, officials say it's about recognizing our history and appreciating our past. One of those moments is the Ransom of Hagerstown that happened 150 years ago on July 6.

"The confederate army, in retaliation for activities that had gone on in Shenandoah Valley against their private citizens, in turn ransomed Hagerstown," said Steve Bockmiller, a city planner. "They demanded $20,000 and 1,500 complete sets of men's clothing in four hours, or else the town would be burned."

City planners organized an event called "Submarines and Saddles" at the Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown on Friday. It included historic artifacts from the ransom, and the civil war, for the public to check out. There was also a replica submarine of the CSS Hunley.

"It's a full scale replica of the confederate submarine," Bockmiller said. "It was the first successful submarine to sink an M-A warship in war time."

Bockmiller also explained where the saddles part of this event comes from.

"We're having cavalry, living historians, who will be here later doing demonstrations out on the ball field for the public," Bockmiller said.

The planners decided to have the event two days before the actual anniversary to get the public more aware of what's happening, and commemorate a bit of the town's history on July fourth.

"In preliminary to the fireworks program, figuring there's going to be all sorts of people that are going to be here, rather than having folks come to our program, let's bring our program to the folks," Bockmiller said.

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