A Student of History

April 24, 2007

Monocacy Battlefield-Good visit

Filed under: Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 7:04 am

While attending the recent Society for Military History Conference in Frederick, MD last weekend, I had a chance to spend a few hours at the NPS site at Monocacy nearby, the so-called “battle that saved Washington, in 1864.  In the summer of 1864, General Jubal Early led Confederate forces towards Washington, D.C. and threatened to capture the capital city. On July 9, Union troops under General Lew Wallace met Early’s forces here at Monocacy.  Although Wallace’s troops were defeated by several powerful rebel assaults, they slowed the enemy advance on DC enough to give the Feds a chance to organize a defense.

The site is very nice, and also quite convenient tot he interstate so even if one has but one or two hours, it is certainly possible to drive and/or walk it.  It is also a small scale battle by CW standards, actually more like a larger Rev War site.  The NPS either owns all the land (well, most of it) or has obtained lifetime easements of the killing ground, so one can easily see where the events took place.

I hiked some trails too, although recent rains made some of it a bit muddy.  Again, well worth it-and the new visitor center is almost done. 

Construction of the new Monocacy National Battlefield visitor center has reached 84% completion with construction estimated to finish in spring 2007. Interior building framing is complete and drywall installation is progressing; the exterior of the visitor center and the roof is complete. Mechanical and electrical systems are installed including sprinkler systems, storm water management, and HVAC. Opening of the new visitor center is currently scheduled for June 2007.

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