In the summer of 1864, Confederate general Jubal Early (who has perhaps the most memorable name in Civil War history), marched 15,000 troops toward Frederick in hopes of capturing the capital. At Monocacy Junction, a stop on the B&O Railroad, they encountered a force of Union soldiers about a third their size. Despite being outnumbered, the Union troops managed to stall the Rebels by burning a key bridge across the Monocacy River, thereby thwarting a takeover of Washington,
D.C. Roam the fields surrounding the park with an audio tour, available in the visitor center, to better understand what's sometimes called "The battle that saved Washington, D.C." Recently, Monocacy has been making headlines for a major new discovery: National Park Service archeologists have uncovered the site of the largest known slave habitation site in the Mid-Atlantic region. The remains of several dwelling houses and artifacts dating back to the 1790s have been uncovered. The site is associated with L'Hermitage, a plantation established by French planters who came to Maryland from Saint-Domingue (known today as Haiti). By 1800, it was home to 90 enslaved laborers—the second largest slave population in Frederick County at the time, and among the largest in Maryland.