Monocacy National Battlefield | PARK AT A GLANCE

Best Farm at Monocacy National Battlefield

Best Farm at Monocacy National Battlefield

PARK OVERVIEW

Monocacy National Battlefield is located in Frederick, Maryland. The park preserves the site of a July 9, 1864, battle in which Confederate troops on their way to attack Washington, D. C., where confronted by Union soldiers a few miles south of Frederick at Monocacy Junction. In addition to a tour of the battlefield, the park offers visitors a chance to hike numerous trails and learn more about the battle at the Visitor Center museum.

Less than a month earlier, Union general Ulysses S. Grant had pulled many of his troops from the Washington area to help capture Petersburg, Virginia. Confederate general Robert E. Lee, desperate for relief at Petersburg, sent Lieutenant General Jubal Early and 15,000 men from Richmond on a mission to invade Maryland, and possibly capture Washington. Lee’s goal was to provoke Grant into moving men back to Washington to defend the city, thus relieving the pressure on his heavily outnumbered army at Petersburg.

Agents for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad spotted Early and sent a message to Major General Lew Wallace, who was commanding troops in Baltimore at the time. Wallace marched 3,400 men to Monocacy Junction, an important road and railroad junction with connections to both Washington and Baltimore. An additional 3,200 men sent by Grant from Petersburg arrived at the junction on the morning of July 9th. Even so, the Union army was outnumbered by more than two to one.

The ensuing battle led to a Union defeat, with Wallace and what was left of his army retreating to Baltimore. Early marched on to Washington, but Wallace’s stand at Monocacy delayed the Confederates long enough for Grant to send two divisions of soldiers to defend the city. A battle took place on the outskirts of Washington at Fort Stevens on July 12th. President Lincoln was actually at the fort and watched the battle unfold. Stopped from advancing further, by nightfall Early and his men began a retreat back to Virginia. This was the last Confederate attempt during the Civil War to invade a Union state.

OPERATING HOURS

The Monocacy National Battlefield Visitor Center is typically open on Thursdays through Mondays from 9 AM to 5 PM. It is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The battlefield grounds and trails are open daily. The gates to the Visitor Center, Worthington Farm, Gambrill Mill, the 14th New Jersey Monument, and the Best Farm open at 8:30 AM on Saturdays and Sundays and 7:30 AM during week. There is no gate at the Thomas Farm. The grounds close at sunset.

All facilities, grounds, trails, and parking areas are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans, be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Monocacy National Battlefield.

FEES

There is no fee to visit the park.

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Visitor Center
allow 30 to 60 minutes

Battlefield Tour
allow 2 hours for the tour and up to an additional 4 hours if you want to hike the trails at the tour stops


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Last updated on May 2, 2023
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