Monocacy National Battlefield | WORTHINGTON FARM

Worthington Farm at Monocacy National Battlefield

Worthington Farm at Monocacy National Battlefield

MONOCACY NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD TOUR

STOP 2:  Worthington Farm

Allow 15 minutes for a visit
Add 1.5 hours each for hiking the Ford Loop Trail and the Brooks Hill Loop Trail

The second stop on a tour of Monocacy National Battlefield is at the Worthington Farm. There is a parking lot at Baker Valley Road, but this is very far from the farm, so continue down the gravel road to the official Worthington Farm parking lot. All that remains of the farm buildings is the Worthington House, which is a short walk from the parking lot. The house is not open to the public, so other than reading the information on two wayside exhibits about the events that took place here, there’s not much to do unless you want to hike one or both of the trails that begin at this stop:  the Ford Loop Trail and the Brooks Hill Loop Trail.

View from the Worthington Farm parking lot towards the Worthington House, Monocacy National Battlefield

View from the Worthington Farm parking lot towards the Worthington House, Monocacy National Battlefield

BATTLE AT THE WORTHINGTON FARM

Fighting on July 9, 1864, first began a mile to the northeast of the Worthington Farm at the Best Farm and Monocacy Junction. Despite being outnumbered by more than two to one, Union troops at the junction and on the other side of the Monocacy River at the Thomas Farm and Gambrill Mill were able to hold off the Confederates and keep them from marching south across the river via the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bridge and the Georgetown Turnpike bridge (close to the modern Urbana Pike bridge). Union soldiers a few miles to the northeast of the junction were also able to keep the Confederates from crossing the river via the Baltimore Pike / National Road bridge. Confederate general Jubal Early realized that a frontal assault in this area would be too costly, so he decided to send some of his men downriver (southwest) where it was possible to cross on foot at Worthington Ford. Once across and on the Worthington Farm, they would be in a position to attack the left flank of the Union line at the Thomas Farm.

The first to cross the river at Worthington Ford was a 1,100-man strong cavalry unit under the command of Confederate general John McCausland. Union general James Ricketts, who was commanding the troops at the Thomas Farm, suspected the Confederate movement, so he place 1,400 men of his own behind a fence and rows of corn that separated the two farms. When the Confederates got close enough, Ricketts launched a surprise attack that annihilated the cavalrymen. After two more unsuccessful charges, Early sent General John B. Gordon’s division of infantrymen (approximately 3,500 men) across the river at Worthington Ford to join with McCausland. These combined forces eventually broke the Union line and sent them retreating back to Baltimore.

WORTHINGTON FARM HISTORY

The house on the Worthington Farm was built around 1851 by Griffin Taylor, the owner of the property at the time. John Worthington purchased the farm in 1862 just as the Civil War started. During the Battle of Monocacy, the Worthingtons took shelter in the basement of the house. Glenn Worthington, who was six years old at the time, watched the battle through a gap in a shuttered window. He later went on to write an account of the battle in 1932 called Fighting for Time. After the Battle of Monocacy, the house and grounds were used as a hospital.

Back side of the Worthington House at Monocacy National Battlefield

Back side of the Worthington House at Monocacy National Battlefield

There is a cannon on display at the side of the house. I doubt this is an actual cannon used in the battle, for the Confederates, who were the victors, certainly wouldn’t have left a perfectly good cannon behind. However, it is in the same position as a Confederate cannon was during the battle, and it is the only gun on the battlefield known to be in such a position.

Cannon next to the Worthington House at Monocacy National Battlefield

Cannon next to the Worthington House at Monocacy National Battlefield


Stop 3: Thomas Farm | Stop 1: Best Farm | Battlefield Tour Home Page


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Last updated on May 5, 2023
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