Smithsburg is a town in Washington County, Maryland, United States. The population was 2,975 at the 2010 census. Smithsburg is close to the former Fort Ritchie army base and just west of the presidential retreat Camp David. Smithsburg, MD was founded in 1813 by Christopher “Stuffle” Smith. Mr. Smith purchased a plot of land formerly known as “part of Shadrack’s Lot.” The community’s development was directly influenced by factors such as migration paths, the arrival of the railroad, and advances in agricultural technology. By 1923, much of the existing village had been erected. Smithsburg was incorporated in 1846. Smithsburg acted as a hospital town during the American Civil War in 1862, treating wounded soldiers from nearby battles at South Mountain and Antietam.
On July 5, 1863, Confederate General James Stuart and Union General Kilpatrick exchanged artillery fire over Smithsburg. A cannon ball from this exchange can be found lodged in the wall of a building on Water Street. Kilpatrick continued the advance to Boonsboro, Maryland after the engagement on July 6. area. An incident involving slaves in May 1845 proved to be extremely violent for the people of Smithsburg. Twelve runaway slaves from Leesburg, Virginia had been seeking their way to freedom in the North when a man who considered himself to be a professional slave catcher, who had only supposed the group to be runaways, noticed the party making their way passed his home at three o’clock in the morning.
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