1863 Gettysburg Campaign - Maryland Civil War Trails 

Frederick County, Maryland 

After a series of stunning victories in Virginia, General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River in June 1863 and invaded Maryland. Lee's forces quickly moved into Pennsylvania, threatening the capital of the Keystone State at Harrisburg.

The Union's Army of the Potomac followed in close pursuit, crossing the Potomac River and passing through Frederick County, Maryland on its way to engage the Confederate invaders. They met just 8 miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1863. The most important battle of the Civil War ensued. 

Frederick County found itself at the center of national and international events in 1863 when US and Confederate armies clashed at the Battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863. Throughout June and July of that year, the US Army used Frederick County communities as staging areas, supply depots, and hospitals as they marched to and from the largest battle of the Civil War.

The US Army's victory at Gettysburg doomed Confederate hopes for a successful campaign and went a long way toward ensuring ultimate Confederate defeat two years later. 

The Gettysburg Campaign impacted every Frederick County resident, bringing the Civil War to their doorsteps for the first time since Confederates occupied Frederick less than a year earlier. These stories are told across the region through the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign Civil War Trail. 

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.