Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
|In 1864, with Union forces attempting to encircle Richmond and threatening
the vital rail junction at Petersburg, Lee decided on a diversion. He
sent a force north to threaten Washington. They met Union defenders
southeast of Frederick, Maryland near a rail junction called Monocacy
Junction. After a day of fighting, the Union forces retreated. It was
the northernmost Confederate victory of the war. But it gave the defenders
of Washington an extra day to fortify and bring in additional defenders.
This battle is sometimes touted as "the battle that saved Washington," though Confederate forces could almost certainly not have held Washington. But they could have caused a great deal of chaos and disruption.
|Like a number of Civil War battlefields, this one has a nice animated
map of the battle. The broad white lines are the railroad. Roads are
barely visible at this picture scale. The view looks north and the present
Visitor Center is near the triangular junction in the far bend of the
After attempting a direct assault, the Confederates crossed the river downstream. Blue represents Union and red represents the Confederacy.
Created 22 June 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020