Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Monocacy Battlefield PhotoJournal

On Saturday, we took the short drive to the Monocacy National Battlefield to have a look around. We have lived in this area for about 14 years and this was our first visit to this historic Civil War site.  Shame on us for waiting so long.  We first stopped in the recently built Visitor Center to figure out what was available and what we would be seeing - and also because it had just started raining a little at that point so we wanted a roof over our heads.

view of Best Farm from the Visitor Center

Inside the Visitor Center is an interactive museum area with lots of information about the Civil War, the battle at Monocacy in particular, and about the local area. I wanted the boys to each try on the Confederate uniform available, but they didn't want me to take a picture. Kennady finally tried the jacket on, but found the hat did not go well with her big flowery hairclip.

Daddy tried on the uniform too, and gave a more serious pose.

After we finished at the Visitor Center, the drizzle had stopped so we headed out to one of walking trails. We chose one that started at the Worthington Farm. In this house, 6-year old Glenn Worthington was one of the family members that hid in the cellar and watched the battle through cracks in the walls. When the battle was over, the family nursed the wounded.  Worthington grew up to become a judge who wrote the first book-length account of the battle as an eyewitness, and later advocated for preserving the battlefield area as a Civil War monument.  (Why was this battle significant? Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early led about 15,000 men on a campaign to threaten Washington, DC.  Agents of the B&O Railroad learned of the troop movement and informed Union Major General Lew Wallace, who quickly brought together a force of 6,550 men at Monocacy Junction.  The Union forces were outnumbered and ultimately had to retreat, but were able to delay Early's forces by a full day, giving Union forces enough time to prepare for the defense of the capital.  Read all the details.)

Well, off we went on our simple hike. The trail we chose followed the Monocacy River part of the way, and was about a mile and a half long. The value of the walking trails is that they offer some nice pastoral scenes, rather than historical significance, since we didn't come across any historical markers along the one we chose. (we do plan to go back and try one or more of the other trails)

Monocacy River

As we walked we could hear the low rumble of thunder all around us (Kennady did ask at one point if it was cannon sound effects or real thunder), and I made the comment that the downpour would probably start when we were at the halfway point of the loop, so that we would have to finish the hike in the rain.  I really should have kept my mouth shut...

And I put my camera away for awhile...

Fortunately, by the time the trail came to these open fields, the rain had subsided back to a drizzle, but really - the damage was done. We were very wet.

As were the cattle. We all tried to bear it with good grace.


Julie said...

Great photos! I really like visiting battlefields and old houses. We have dozens of them in our area (Nashville), and after 10 years we still have to visit some of them. I think we'll get them done as our children grow older and gain more perspective.

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