Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 16

H Monocacy National Battlefield
Text and photos by Leonard Adkins

The Hike

THIS EASY WALK AMID THE HISTORY OF 150 YEARS AGO ALSO
INCLUDES A RIDGE-LINE OAK-HICKORY FOREST.

A CIVIL WAR BATTLE that you may not
know about took place during the
summer of 1864. When compared to
other, multi-day battles, it was little
more than a skirmish (although hundreds died), yet this one-day conflict
was one of the most important of the
war; it almost certainly saved
Washington, D.C. from being captured by the Confederacy.
Earlier that year, Confederate
General Robert E. Lee's army had dug
in near Petersburg and Richmond, Va.,
as Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S.
Grant laid siege to the area. The tactic
was working, in large part because
Grant had bolstered his forces by
transferring thousands of troops from
forts that surrounded Washington.
Realizing the city was almost without
defenses, Lee dispatched Lieutenant
General Jubal Early and 15,000 troops
to travel the Shenandoah Valley, pass
through Maryland and capture the
Union capitol.
Crossing the Potomac River, Early's
army turned eastward near Frederick,
Md. Alerted to these movements,
Union Major General Lew Wallace
marched a group of fewer than 3,000
(most had little combat experience) to
Monocacy Junction, the logical point
that Early would have to go through to
continue to Washington. An additional 3,000 men sent by Grant from
Petersburg arrived on the morning of
July 9, shortly before the Confederates
began to attack. Outnumbered three
to one, Union troops held the south150 YEARS AGO

Events observing the sesquicentennial of the
battle will take place July 5-13, 2014, and will
include hikes, black powder demonstrations,
music and talks. On July 9, there is to be a
Color Guard ceremony, keynote speaker and
guided battlefield hikes timed to occurrences
during the day of the battle.
16 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

The Worthington House was built in 1851 and remained in the family until 1953. It
was used as a field hospital during the Civil War.

ern soldiers at bay until late in the day.
With 1,300 men dead, wounded,
missing or captured, Wallace ordered a
retreat to Baltimore. Although Early
won the battle, his army was delayed
long enough to enable Federal reinforcements to arrive in Washington to
prevent its capture. Thus ended the
Confederacy's third and final invasion
of Northern territory.
Although authorized in 1934,
Monocacy National Battlefield did not
receive federal funds until decades
later and was established in 1976. An
extensive visitor center provides perspective on the site and an electronic
map is one of the best I've seen in
helping visitors understand what happened during the battle. In addition,
the battlefield is one of a dwindling
number of National Park Service sites
that does not charge a parking or
entrance fee. Of the several hikes that
may be taken, the one that combines

A BIT OF INTERESTING TRIVIA

In 1880, Lew Wallace, the Union commander during the Monocacy Battle, wrote
and published "Ben-Hur," which stayed on
the bestseller list into the mid-1900s and
was made into a movie in 1959 and seen by
tens of millions. The book was even blessed
by Pope Leo XIII, the first novel to receive
such an honor.
the outer perimeters of the Ford and
Brooks Hill loop trails is the longest and
is, of course, the one I'm suggesting
you to take. The outing has a combination of meadow and woods - and this
is what continues to draw me to historic sites. Not only can I visit places
that shaped our nation, but hikes are
often through a landscape where I can
also observe natural world wonders.
Descending into woods from the
Worthington House, the Ford Loop
Trail enters the woods and bears left


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Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014

Letters / You Said It
From the Editor
From the Farm
BRC Unlocked
Mountain Report
Creasture Feature
Great Buys in the Mountains
The Hike
Festivals and Events
Country Roads
It’s Weird, It’s Wonderful, It’s Asheville!
Photoessay: The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina
Mountain Adventure: Where to Play, Where to Stay
One Day on the Parkway, 1987
Little Zoos, Big Fun
Mountain Garden
Flavors
Cabin in the Woods: The Farms Cabins and Cottages
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Letters / You Said It
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - BRC Unlocked
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Creasture Feature
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Great Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Festivals and Events
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - It’s Weird, It’s Wonderful, It’s Asheville!
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Photoessay: The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Adventure: Where to Play, Where to Stay
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - One Day on the Parkway, 1987
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Little Zoos, Big Fun
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Flavors
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: The Farms Cabins and Cottages
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover3
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