1864 Attack on Washington - Maryland Civil War Trails 

Frederick County, Maryland

In the summer of 1864, Frederick County, Maryland found itself in the crosshairs of yet another invasion by the Confederate army. General Jubal Early and his Army of the Valley crossed the Potomac River west of Frederick and moved southwest through the Maryland countryside. Early's objective: capture the Union capital at Washington, DC. 

Early's invasion of Maryland led to the Battle of Monocacy near the City of Frederick on July 9, 1864. In the fierce battle, a detachment of the US Army was defeated by the larger Confederate force, but delayed them long enough to allow the nation's capital to be reinforced and defended. 

Known as the "Last Invasion," Early's incursion into Maryland had many consequences for the residents of Frederick County. These stories, including the Ransom of Frederick, are told across the region through the 1864 Attack on Washington Civil War Trail. 

In the aftermath of the fighting in Maryland in 1864, Maryland voters approved a new state constitution that outlawed slavery in the state. The new constitution went into effect on November 1, 1864, bringing emancipation to thousands of enslaved people across Frederick County and the State of Maryland. 

Use the map below to plan your trip to Civil War Trails sites in Frederick County and to learn more of the stories of the people who experienced this history firsthand and the places where it happened. 

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