Civil War ‘Battle That Saved Washington’ Remembered

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Civil War re-enactors as Confederate soldiers. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Civil War re-enactors as Confederate soldiers. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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FREDERICK, Md. — Civil War historians are marking the 150th anniversary of the only major Confederate victory on northern soil.

Despite that distinction, the Battle of Monocacy near Frederick is remembered mainly for its role in preserving the Union.

The daylong clash of 15,000 Confederate and 6,000 Union troops along the Monocacy River on July 9, 1864, delayed Gen. Jubal Early’s planned invasion of Washington, about 40 miles away. Federal reinforcements arrived in time to stave off the attack on the Union capital two days later.

The National Park Service says the Confederates could not have held Washington for long. But even a brief occupation would have embarrassed President Abraham Lincoln and damaged his already precarious bid for re-election.

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