Today, we we decided to take the back roads into Martinsburg from Cumberland, Md., and stopped off at the North Branch parking area for a quick walk up to Lockhouse 75. Afterward, we hopped in the Jeep and followed the road behind the lockhouse to the Historic Pollock Cemetery. For those hiking the C&O in the Mexico Farms area, the cemetery is a short hop from the towpath near mile 176.2.
The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization adopted this site in 2001, and they did a wonderful job with it. I never thought of myself as much of a cemetery buff, but since starting this website, this is the fifth post pertaining to cemeteries. History is definitely where you find it, and I have to say that I learned plenty about the Pollock family and local Civil War lore.
For starters, James D. Pollock (1841-1916) was a soldier in the Confederate army who was captured during the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1865 he was released during a prisoner exchange and would later (at the age of 55) marry Natalie Morris and father two sons and four daughters. Thanks to the CHCO, a new interpretive stone was placed at his gravesite, and any passerby is welcomed to learn about James’s long and interesting life.
Interestingly, James’s sister Sallie was a Confederate spy, and she was also honored with a historic stone. Sallie’s “information monument” was added to the cemetery in 2004, and it completes the family’s contribution to American history during the Civil War. In all, the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization did a great job with the Historic Pollock Cemetery. For anybody wanting to know more about the Pollocks or this organization, there is an interesting brochure on-site. This is a great side trip, and, as always, I encourage everybody to stop and see what lies just beyond the towpath.