Elk Ridge (Maryland)

Elk Ridge (Maryland)

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Elk Ridge (Maryland)

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Elk Ridge is a mountain ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Maryland. The ridge is located to the west of South Mountain and runs roughly parallel to it from Rohrersville, in the north, to the Potomac River across from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in the south. Across the Potomac the ridge continues as Blue Ridge Mountain in Virginia and West Virginia. The southern end of the ridge, which is part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, is known as Maryland Heights.


In the early 19th century, Elk Ridge was the site of numerous charcoal hearths, which produced charcoal for nearby iron furnaces from wood harvested on the mountain. More than 50 hearths were constructed between 1810 and 1840.

The Maryland Heights portion of Elk Ridge was the scene of much activity during the American Civil War. Artillery emplacements and fortifications were first erected on the mountain by Union forces in 1862, during Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign. Later that year, during the Battle of Harpers Ferry, the union fortifications on the mountain were attacked by units under General Lafayette McLaws, who subsequently took control of the ridge and used it to deliver devastating artillery fire against the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry. After the battle Confederate forces abandoned the ridge to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam and the Union army quickly reoccupied the heights.

Following the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln came to Maryland to review the army,...
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