The day after the Clear Spring Union Meeting… a meeting at nearby Four Locks

Posted on October 12, 2009 by


If you aren’t familiar with that particular part of western Maryland, Four Locks is just to the South of Clear Spring, and located on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Interestingly (at least to me), my third great grandparents Moore were listed as residents of Clear Spring AND Four Locks in the 1860 census. I suppose they may have been moving households to Four Locks from Clear Spring. Having bought (in July 1860) a flatboat for moving coal on the C&O Canal, by November, the family sold their Clear Spring property… but I digress.

A day after the Union meeting at Clear Spring (incidentally, I found a two-sentence blurb about the raising of a “Union Pole” at Clear Spring on January 16, 1861. The blurb closing with the remark, “They are always right in old No. 4,” meaning Clear Spring was in District #4), a Union meeting was held at Four Locks and the following was written in an editorial for the Herald and Torch

Correspondence of the Herald and Torch
January 31, 1861

Dear Sirs: – A large, and enthusiastic Union meeting, was held to-day at Four Locks, in district No. 15; more commonly known as the Indian Spring district. The youngest, of her sisters in Washington county, this virgin, mountain district, surpassed them all, in the zeal, the harmony, and heartful devotion of her citizens, to the cause of the Union and the Constitution.

As an early hour, nearly two hundred persons had assembled, and in a few moments, owing to the admirable arrangements made for the purpose, the long and beautiful pole rose one hundred and thirteen feet in the air, with a splendid streamer near the top bearing the inscription in letters of living light, The Union Forever.

Scarcely had this been accomplished, before the ‘gorgeous ensign of the republic,’ tastefully prepared by the fair daughters of the vicinity, ascended amid the prolonged cheers of the multitude, until it reached its destined height; and catching the first fair breeze, it gracefully unfolded the stars and stripes, and continued to wave triumphantly ‘over the land of the free, and the home of the brave.’

The speaking commenced at twelve o’clock, and continued until four, during which time Capt. Isaac Nesbitt and J.D. Bennet, Esq’rs., of your town, and Lewis P. Firey, of Clearsprng, held the undivided attention of the audience, and frequently elicited the wildest outbursts of applause.

Several members of the Clearspring Band, were also present, with drum and fife, and enlivened the occasion with strains of the most delightful music.

After the speaking had closed, a large number of the visitors were invited to partake the hospitality of Messrs. Jacques and Hasset – and it is due to those gentlemen to say, by whom the writer, in company with many others, was so sumptuously entertained that they deserve the highest praise for their profuse liberality, their warm and generous hospitality, as well as for the admirable manner in which the while demonstration was conducted; and I cannot suggest this occasion to pass, without expressing my sincere thanks to them and to all connected with this first Union meeting in this district, for their zeal, energy, fervent patriotism, and whole-souled devotion to the Union.

And whatever may betide our glorious country in the future, for weal, or woe, the writer shall ever recur to that glad day, as one of the hallowed memories of the past, a gilded oasis in the trackless waste of time, to which he will turn to refresh his wearied spirit, or take fresh courage to go forward in the grand battle, to which he has pledged the earnest efforts of the noonday of his life.


I know, this comes off as simply more “hurraying” for the Union from another little town in Washington County, Maryland, but I’ve got a curve ball coming with my next post.