Civil War Sesquicentennial
150th Anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy - July 2014
"The Battle that Saved Washington"
The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy will bring a number of special programs to the area commemorating the sesquicentennial of the July 9, 1864 “battle that saved Washington.”
Monocacy National Battlefield is located just south of Frederick. Here, Union General Lew Wallace, who would years late author the novel Ben Hur, was greatly outnumbered by the Confederates under Gen. Jubal Early. During the anniversary timeframe, various commemorative ranger programs will illustrate how the day-long battle won by the Confederates thwarted their plans to reach Washington, DC before it could be adequately protected.
The $200,000 ransom of the City of Frederick by Gen. Early will also be commemorated, along with the ransom of the town of Middletown. Special events and exhibits are planned, and will be announced as details are confirmed.
About Jubal Early's 1864 Raid
In the Spring of 1864, Union commander-in-chief General Ulysses S. Grant launched simultaneous attacks against the Confederates throughout the South. He succeeded in maneuvering Lee closer to Richmond, Virginia, and finally overwhelmed him at the Confederate States of America’s (C.S.A.) capital city and at nearby Petersburg. Confederate General Jubal Early took Rebel forces north in a desperate attempt to turn the tide of the war by capturing the Union’s capital city.
Confederate soldiers took trains to Martinsburg, West Virginia, and then crossed by foot into Maryland near Sharpsburg. Towns such as Hagerstown, Middletown, and Frederick were ransomed by the invaders in an effort to collect much-needed money and supplies for the ragged Southern army. After collecting $200,000 from the town fathers of Frederick, Early’s Rebels were stalled by General Lew Wallace and a hastily assembled Union force at the Battle of Monocacy.
The Confederates were victorious at Monocacy, but they failed in achieving their final objective of overtaking Washington, DC. While Confederate troops were delayed in Frederick, the Union army replenished and strengthened defenses around Washington, DC. Because of this, the Battle of Monocacy is also known as the “Battle that Saved Washington.”
For a complete listing of all Civil War related events, please visit the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area's full events calendar. Discover more about Frederick County's Civil War sites and stories.
Frederick County is located in Maryland's Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. For more events and to learn more about experiences "Below the Mason Dixon Line, above the Potomac, and at the Heart of the Civil War," visit www.heartofthecivilwar.org.