After marching north through the Shenandoah Valley from Lynchburg, the Confederate army of Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early side-stepped the Federal garrison at Harpers Ferry and crossed the Potomac River at Shepherdstown into Maryland on July 5-6.
On July 9, 1864, a makeshift Union force under Major General Lew Wallace attempted to arrest Early's invading Confederate divisions along the Monocacy River, just east of Frederick.
Wallace, joined by Ricketts's Division of the VI Corps that had been rushed from the Petersburg lines, was outflanked by Gordon's Division and defeated after putting up a stiff resistance.
Hearing of Early's incursion into Maryland, Grant embarked the rest of the VI Corps on transports at City Point, sending it with all dispatch to Washington.
Wallace's defeat at Monocacy bought time for these veteran troops to arrive to bolster the defenses of Washington.
Early's advance reached the outskirts of Washington on the afternoon of July 11, and the remaining divisions of the VI Corps began disembarking that evening.
Monocacy was called the "Battle that Saved Washington."
Season of Fire: The Confederate Strike on Washington
The Confederacy's last effort to do something meaningful by trying to attacked Washington DC. The Confederate forces came pretty close to success. The battle at Monocacy River and fighting in the District of Columbia where President Lincoln came under fire at Fort Stevens
Maryland In The Civil War
After Fort Sumter, the Lincoln administration could ill afford to lose Maryland, especially its principal city Baltimore, site of the first blood spilled when a mob attacked the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. Maryland was the site of the greatest single day's carnage in American
Antietam Expedition Guide
Indespensible asset for understanding the battle that resulted in America's bloodiest day. The automated and time-scaled troup movement maps helps to grasp the scope and scale of the conflict
The Civil War Papers Of George B. Mcclellan: Selected Correspondence, 1860-1865
General-in-chief of the entire Union army at one point, he led the Army of the Potomac through the disaster at Antietam Creek, was subsequently dismissed by Lincoln, and then ran against him in the 1864 presidential campaign. This collection of McClellan's candid letters about himself, his motivations, and his intentions
Too Afraid to Cry: Maryland Civilians in the Antietam Campaign
The children, women, and men living in the village of Sharpsburg and on surrounding farms. The dramatic experiences of these Maryland citizens, stories that have never been told, and also examines the political web holding together Unionists and Secessionists, many of whom lived under the same roofs
The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom
The Civil War Era
Published in 1988 to universal acclaim, this single-volume treatment of the Civil War quickly became recognized as the new standard in its field. James M. McPherson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this book, impressively combines a brisk writing style with an admirable thoroughness. He covers the military aspects of the war in all of the necessary detail, and also provides a helpful framework describing the complex economic, political, and social forces behind the conflict. Perhaps more than any other book, this one belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff.
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.