Nov 29, 2019
Before the Civil War, Frederick became the state capital for a brief period in 1861. The legislature moved from Annapolis to vote on the secession question. At this time, Maryland was still a “slave state” although an unseceded border state. Frederick was a major crossroads during the Civil War and saw considerable action.
A legend of Frederick’s Pennsylvania Dutch women booed the confederates in September 1862, including Barbara Fritchie. She did this while General Stonewall Jackson marched his troops through Frederick on his way to Crampton’s, Fox’s and Turner’s Gaps on South Mountain and Antietam near Sharpsburg. A replica of her house stands along West Patrick Street in downtown Frederick.
“Shoot if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country’s flag, she said.”
— John Greenleaf Whittier
Whether or not this really happened is up for debate.
President Abraham Lincoln, on his way to visit Gen. George McClellan after the Battle of South Mountain and the Battle of Antietam, delivered a short speech at what was then the B. & O. Railroad depot at the current intersection of East All Saints and South Market Streets. A plaque commemorates the speech (at what is today the Frederick Community Action Agency, a Social Services office).
At the Prospect Hall mansion off of Buckeystown Pike near what is now Butterfly Lane, in the early morning hours of June 28, 1863, a messenger arrived from President Abraham Lincoln and General-in-Chief Henry Halleck, informing General George Meade that he would be replacing General Joseph Hooker after the latter’s disastrous performance at Chancellosrsville in May. The Army of the Potomac camped around the Prospect Hall property for the several days as skirmishers pursued Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia prior to Gettysburg. A large granite rectangular monument made from one of the boulders at the “Devil’s Den” in Gettysburg to the east along the driveway commemorates the midnight change-of-command.
In July 1864, in the third Southern invasion, Confederate troops led by Lieutenant General Jubal Early occupied Frederick and extorted $200,000 ($3.2 million in 2018 dollars) from citizens for not razing the city on their way to Washington D.C. Union troops under Major General Lew Wallace fought a successful delaying action, in what became the last significant Confederate advance at the Battle of Monocacy, also known as the “Battle that saved Washington.”
The Monocacy National Battlefield lies just southeast of the city limits, along the Monocacy River at the B. & O. Railroad junction where two bridges cross the stream – an iron-truss bridge for the railroad and a covered wooden bridge for the Frederick-Urbana-Georgetown Pike, which was the site of the main battle of July 1864. Some skirmishing occurred further northeast of town at the stone-arched “Jug Bridge” where the National Road crossed the Monocacy; and an artillery bombardment occurred along the National Road west of town near Red Man’s Hill and Prospect Hall mansion as the Union troops retreated eastward. Antietam National Battlefield and South Mountain State Battlefield Park which commemorates the 1862 battles are located 23 miles and 35 miles respectively to the west-northwest. Gettysburg National Battlefield of 1863 is approximately 35 miles (56 km) to the north-northeast.
All info for this blog comes from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick,_Maryland#Civil_War
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All photos are from google accept the Monocacy Battlefield photo, which is mine!
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