Richfield: "The Boy General of the Golden Lock"

near Frederick on Catoctin Mountain Highway (U.S. 15) and Willow Road, Frederick, MD 21701

Richfield: The Boy General of the Golden Lock

History: Gen. George G. Meade promoted three young captains, George Armstrong Custer, Elon J. Farnsworth and Wesley Merrit, to the rank of brigadier-general on June 28, 1863. Custer, age 23 and Farnsworth, age 25, were assigned to the Third Division of cavalry, who camped here. Custer was introduced as general to the troops he would command on June 29. Some of the troopers called him "the boy General of the Golden Lock." From Richfield, Custer and Farnsworth rode north to Gettysburg. Farnsworth died in battle on July 3, and Custer went on to become one of the Civil War's great cavalry generals.

More to Explore: Take a quick detour onto Old Frederick Road to visit Utica District Park, which offers picnic facilities, a playground, walking trail and ball fields galore. Then continue to Utica Mills Covered Bridge, off Old Frederick Road.

Photo Credits:

  1. "Pencil drawing on blue paper of Custer's Brigade advancing."
  2. "Photograph of General George G. Meade with 7 other Generals of the Army of the Potomac" Photos courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.