Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Oakland’s Civil War Days recalls Jones-Imboden Raid

Confederate troops burned railroad bridge in 1863

Angie Brant Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The streets of Oakland are about to be overtaken by Union and Confederate soldiers, but this time, the skirmish will bring together the community in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Jones-Imboden Raid.

Beginning Thursday, the community will observe the milestone with a series of events and activities called Oakland Civil War Days.

Though Garrett County was not yet a county at the time of the April 1863 raid, those early residents were witness to the battles between both sides of the Great War.

The residents of Oakland had managed to avoid much of the direct fighting until Robert E. Lee began plans to destroy major supply lines for the Union Army and targeted a nearby railroad bridge. Lee’s orders were carried out by two brigadier generals, John D. Imboden and William E. Jones.

A small group of Union soldiers from Company O of West Virginia were tasked with protecting the bridge, an invaluable portion of the B&O Railroad that helped provide much-needed supplies. These soldiers were in no way prepared for the more than 600 Confederates headed their way. Members of the 12th Virginia Cavalry, the First Maryland Battalion and John H. McNeill’s Partisan Rangers took the Union soldiers by surprise, as well as the residents of Oakland.

The Confederate soldiers quickly subdued the opposition and burned the railroad bridge. While violence was avoided, the Confederates pillaged homes and businesses for supplies and food. The Union forces stayed only briefly in the area, as they moved toward their other targets, but the impact of that raid was not soon forgotten.

Accounts of those difficult days have been preserved and will be featured during Oakland Civil War Days, organized and hosted by the Garrett County Historical Society.

According to volunteer John Rathgeb, the four-day event will begin with a presentation by Our Town Theatre. Actors will present the experiences of those early settlers and soldiers in a series of vignettes titled “Civil War — The Common Threads” on Thursday as well as during special events throughout the weekend. The capture of Company O will be re-enacted Sunday at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.

Rathgeb said he believes the living history demonstrations will be of particular interest to visitors.

“We will have encampments set up at The Glades, at the B&O Museum, including drills, marching and inspections,” he said. “We will have Civil War-era medical re-enactors and we will also have soldiers foraging throughout the community, just as they did during the Jones-Imboden Raid. Foraging was common at this time in Oakland. Oakland was occupied by Company O and while they were here they co-existed with the residents, likely using supplies they were able to find, as did the Confederate Calvary when they raided the town.”

Speakers will include authors Steven French and Daniel Toomey, acclaimed historians, as well as storyteller and singer Matthew Dodd. Hammer and Strings and the Shenandoah Minstrels will provide period music. Hammer and Strings will also  perform at a dinner Friday at the Pleasant Valley Community Center.

Shenandoah Valley Minstrels will provide the musical accompaniment for a Civil War dinner/dance Saturday at the Oakland Elks Club. Reservations for both dinners can be made by calling the Garrett County Historical Society at 301-334-3226.

“While the Jones-Imboden Raid of the Civil War, which took place in Oakland, may not have the notoriety of the Battle of Gettysburg, the railroad in Oakland was important enough that when it was burned by the Confederate Calvary, John Garrett, president of the B&O Railroad, at the time, ordered it to be rebuilt, and it was done in five days,” said Oakland Mayor Peggy Jamison. “The railroad has always played an important role in the history and heritage of Oakland and the town appreciates the hard work of the committee that is bringing this small, but significant, event to our attention.”

Rathgeb said he hopes Oakland Civil War Days illustrates the determination and fortitude of the people of Oakland who rallied and recovered from the raid in just days following the exit of the Confederate soldiers. Activities and demonstrations will be held throughout the community and a free shuttle service will be available to accommodate visitors.

A full schedule of events can be found at www.agreatsmalltown.com/civil-war-days.html.

Contact Angie Brant at abrant@ times-news.com.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.