General Bradley Tyler Johnson - A visitor in his own hometown

Bradley Tyler Johnson went from lawyer in Frederick, Maryland to Confederate military commander to hated figure in his hometown as a result of his service during the Civil War. 

The History 

In 1851, Bradley Tyler Johnson opened a law office in Frederick, Maryland, the town he was born and raised in. When the Civil War broke out a decade later, he organized and outfitted a company of Confederate sympathizing Frederick residents and went to Harpers Ferry to join what became the Confederate 1st Maryland Infantry.

His departure from Frederick came under suspicious circumstances. The previous day May 7, 1861, there had been a large Unionist rally at Frederick’s courthouse. That evening, it burned down in the middle of the night with Johnson and his men leaving soon afterwards. The real culprit was never found, though both Unionists and seccessionist sympathizers blamed each other for the disaster.

Johnson returned to Frederick twice during the Civil War, first during the Confederate occupation of Frederick in 1862, the second during the ransoming of the city for $200,000 in 1864. Since he was a local, Johnson directed the army into town. His role in the ransom in 1864 meant that he was never truly welcomed back to his hometown.

Civil War soldiers in FrederickConfederate soldiers photographed on the streets of Frederick during the Civil War - Heritage Frederick 



The Frederick Visitor Center provides a warm welcome to people visiting the town from around the country and the world. Situated along the East Street corridor, right off access points to Interstates 70 and 270 as well as Route 15, the Visitor Center plays host to a wide range of people.


Frederick County Visitor Guide 24

In addition to the friendly front desk staff who are eager to point visitors in the right direction, people can find brochures for various area attractions as well as an introductory film that shows all Frederick County has to offer.

What's Nearby

The Delaplaine Arts Center, a free art museum, is just steps away. The stunning Carroll Creek Park is also close, just on the other side of the Delaplaine Art Center. Carroll Creek offers a nice opportunity to stroll along the water, look at public art and flowers, and grab a bite to eat.

Delaplaine Arts Center - 2022

Finally, Shab Row and Everedy Square is just another block beyond Carroll Creek. Shab Row is a section of revitalized former 19th century factory housing with 24 specialty shops selling gifts, clothing, general merchandise, home furnishings, antique furniture, and fine dining.

More Resources 

Books (access through and make sure to support Frederick bookseller Curious Iguana

The Maryland Line in the Confederate States Army by W.W. Goldsborough

Determined to Stand and Fight: The Battle of Monocacy, July 9, 1864 by Ryan Quint 


Bradley Tyler Johnson Biography - American Battlefield Trust