Follow in the footsteps of soldiers and surgeons to discover the harsh conditions, personal sacrifices, and brilliant innovations of Civil War medicine, innovations that continue to save lives today. Located in Downtown Frederick, this museum offers two floors of extensive world-class exhibits and unique “behind the scenes” experiences for students.
• Investigate Civil War era artifacts, from the most curious to the most common, and discover secrets of the past the same way historians do.
• One of the most enduring innovations of Civil War medicine is the system of triage we still use today. Try your hand at both 1860s and modern triage and understand the fast-paced and tough decisions medical professionals make to create order in chaos and save lives.
• During the Civil War, soldiers gathered around a campfire and swapped stories and songs to entertain each other and remember loved ones back home. Hear an experienced storyteller share some of our favorite Civil War folklore, then try your hand at Civil War storytelling. (Middle school and up)
• Tour and Discussion (high school and up) The history of Civil War medicine is full of questions of leadership, responsibility, and ethics. Discuss how these issues affected lives then, and continue to change our world today.
• Want more than just a regular tour? On our After Hour tours, visitors explore the darkened galleries and discover some of the more bizarre sides of Civil War medicine.
• If our artifacts talk, imagine what stories they could tell. While you can’t talk to the artifacts, you can do the next best thing. Tour the Collections Room with our Collections Manager and discover the stories that aren’t on display.
The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo allows each guest to get as close to the animals as safety permits. To feel the silky soft fur of the chinchilla or see the muscles in a jaguar’s legs as he prowls within his naturalistic habitat are just a few of the experiences that will bring you closer to the animal world.
• Animal Encounters at Conservation Theater – Daily encounters begin in April to accommodate our school groups. Our encounters are fun, lively adventures with lots of opportunities to learn about and touch selected animals.
• “Meet the Keeper” times are also available throughout the day so you can get the inside scoop on how we care for our animal friends.
Experience the backstage magic for yourself! Built in 1926 as a silent movie palace, our landmark theater reflects the evolution of both the film industry and Frederick County. Led by an experienced tour guide, you’ll discover Art Deco architectural details, immerse yourself in local theatrical lore, and access backstage areas normally off-limits to the public. Tours are approximately 45-60 minutes and are free of charge.
During the summer of 1864, the Confederacy carried out a bold plan to turn the tide of the Civil War in their favor. They planned to capture Washington, DC and influence the election of 1864. On July 9, however, Federal soldiers outnumbered three to one, fought gallantly along the banks of the Monocacy River in an effort to buy time for Union reinforcement to arrive in Washington, DC.
Monocacy National Battlefield provides a variety of opportunities for teachers and students. Think of the park as an alternative classroom! There is a variety of historical and natural resources that can be used to meet curriculum goals.