Park Service honors anniversary of ‘battle that saved Washington’

The National Park Service is honoring the anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy with a two-day special event in Frederick County, Maryland.

On July 6 and 7, visitors of Monocacy National Battlefield will be greeted with “infantry and artillery firing demonstrations, military living history encampments, battlefield orientation programs and a children’s activity,” according to the National Park Service.

Visitors will also be the first to visit the new exhibit “They Became Heroes — Tenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry,” which opens July 6.

The exhibit explores the role of the 10th Vermont Infantry at the Battle of Monocacy and highlights two men who each earned a Medal of Honor.

On Tuesday, July 9, a ranger will give an in-depth tour of the battlefield in a “caravan style tour” beginning a 9 a.m.

Events are free and open to the public.

The full schedule of events is as follows:

July 6 and 7:

  • Battlefield Orientation Talks: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Infantry Firing Demonstrations: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
  • Artillery Firing Demonstrations: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

July 9:

  • Battlefield Tour: 9 a.m. at the Visitor Center

All times are subject to change.

One hundred and fifty-five years ago, a small force of outnumbered and inexperienced Union soldiers were all that stood between D.C. and an estimated 15,000 Confederate troops.

The Union capital didn’t have enough men to repel the Confederate force. D.C. was relying on Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace and his men — who were outnumbered roughly 3 to 1 — to defend the road to the city.

The two armies clashed on July 9, 1864, just six miles from Frederick, Maryland, in what is now known as the Battle of Monocacy.

Although Union forces were defeated, they managed to delay the Confederate army long enough for reinforcements to arrive in Washington. When Confederate soldiers marched on the capital two days later, they were repelled and forced to retreat.

Here is a map of the area.

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