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Battle of Monocacy

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Date: 9 Jul 1864 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: US_Civil_War Battles
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The Battle of Monocacy (also known as Monocacy Junction) was fought on July 9, 1864, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from Frederick, Maryland, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 during the American Civil War. Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early defeated Union forces under Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace. The battle was part of Early's raid through the Shenandoah Valley and into Maryland in an attempt to divert Union forces away from Gen. Robert E. Lee's army under siege at Petersburg, Virginia. The battle was the northernmost Confederate victory of the war. While the Union troops retreated to Baltimore, Maryland, the Confederates continued toward Washington, D.C., but the battle at Monocacy delayed Early's march for a day, allowing time for Union reinforcements to arrive in the Union capital. The Confederates launched an attack on Washington on July 12 at the Battle of Fort Stevens, but were unsuccessful and retreated to Virginia.[1]


The Battle That Saved Washington Marker

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The Battle of Monocacy took place on July 9, 1864, in the valley before you. The battle pitted North against South, and Washington, D.C., was the prize.
Richmond and Petersburg were endangered, but the Southern leader, General Robert E. Lee had sent General Early north to threaten Washington, D.C., at least to force the Union commander at Richmond, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, to send soldiers back to defend the Capital.
The Battle of Monocacy was fought on Saturday, July 9, 1864. The Union forces were heavily outnumbered, about 18,000 to 6,000. Union General Lew Wallace gave battle to delay the Southern forces until Northern reinforcements could reach Washington, D.C.
The fighting started in mid-morning and continued throughout the day. In the late afternoon when Southern troops in battle line streamed out of the woods on Brooks Hill, broke the Northern lines and forced Wallace's small force back towards Baltimore.
The way to Washington was open, but it was too late. General Grant summed up the importance of the valiant effort by outnumbered Northerners.
"They met the enemy, and, as might have been expected, were defeated; but they succeeded in stopping him for the day on which the battle took place... If Early had been put one day earlier he might have entered the capital before the arrival of the reinforcements I had sent."

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Pvt. Alfred S. Roe, 9th New York Heavy Artillery

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Sources

  1. Wikipedia:Battle_of_Monocacy




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