Commemorate the 160th anniversary of the battle that saved DC

Over the next three days, there will be activities at the Monocacy Battlefield to commemorate the 160th anniversary of The Battle of Monocacy.

While not as well known as other Civil War battles, it’s hard to discount the significance of the battle that saved D.C.

“I think a lot of people are unaware of the Battle of Monocacy, largely because of what it accomplished,” Monocacy Park Ranger Tracy Evans said.

It was the summer of 1864, and the Confederacy believed they could thwart President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection efforts if they invaded Washington.

“The Confederacy knew they were not going to take it over,” Evans said. “If they could get in long enough to cause destruction, it certainly could have disrupted the 1864 campaign.”

Even though Union soldiers were outmatched 3-to-1 in crew and lost the battle, they were able to delay Confederate troops long enough for additional Union soldiers to arrive in Washington.

Evans believes that delay kept the Confederates from basically walking into the nation’s capital, possibly changing the course of history.

“Because that didn’t happen, you don’t hear about it,” Evans said. “If they had, it would be in every history book.”

According to The National Park Service, 2,200 men (900 Confederate, 1,300 Federal) were killed, wounded, captured or listed as missing during the Battle of Monocacy.

The activities the National Park Service has planned for this weekend includes hikes, Ranger-led car caravan tours, artillery demonstrations and a panel discussion.

Evans said that for those who aren’t history buffs, the Monocacy Battlefield is also a place where a lot of people from Western Maryland go to hike.

“Even if you’re not necessarily interested in the historical aspect of it, you can enjoy the landscape as well,” Evans said.

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Jimmy Alexander

Jimmy Alexander has been a part of the D.C. media scene as a reporter for DC News Now and a long-standing voice on the Jack Diamond Morning Show. Now, Alexander brings those years spent interviewing newsmakers like President Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney and Sean Connery, to the WTOP Newsroom.

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