The Battle of Monocacy–148 Year Ago

It’s called the Battle that Saved Washington.

July 7, 2012, the National Park Service celebrated the Battle of Monocacy that took place on July 9, 1864. It was to have been a two day event, but the temperature was in the 90’s, so they backed it off to one day. Monocacy is a couple of miles south of Frederick, Maryland.

So what was it like in 1864? Don’t know, as I haven’t found any temperature readings for that date and place, but there was much to be learned about this battle.

There were three farms along the Monocacy River, where this battle took place. One on the North side of the river, the Best Farm, Two on the South, the Thomas and Worthington Farms.

The Best Farm:


The Thomas Farm:


And the Worthington Farm:


The owner of this farm was John Thomas Worthington (1826-1905) who is my 4th Cousin, 3 Times Removed. His ancestor was the oldest son of Capt. John Worthington (1650-1701), while my ancestor was the youngest son of Capt. John.

Judge Glenn Howard Worthington (1858-1934) was the son of John Thomas Worthington who wrote the book “The Battle that Saved Washington”.  It should be noted, that Judge Worthington was involved in creating this National Battlefield before his death in 1934.

The re-enactor’s for the day, were “in uniform”, as they may have been 148 years ago, and had a number of demonstrations to give a hint as to what the battle might have looked like.


The story teller, gave us a hint into the life of the Confederate Army at the time of this battle.


The above photography was demonstrating a Skirmish Line, as an advanced party ahead of the Confederate Army that was behind them.


The Union story teller, walked us through “by the 9 count”, and what that was so important.


The Union Army was demonstrating “by the 9 count” way of firing. Oh, did you know that 4 teeth and 2 fingers were required to be in the Army? We learned why.

The National Park Service provided information about the importance of this battle. This was the only battle that the Confederate Army won on Union Soil?

The Confederate Army was going to take Washington, DC. The Union Army was “out of place”, and were trying to get re-enforcements back to DC to fortify the city.

The Union Army was able to slow down the Confederate Army for “a day”, allowing those re-enforcements to get back into place.


The heat of the day, watching the demonstration, helped put this battle into perspective, from the stories of this battle, at this place, 148 years ago.


5 Responses to The Battle of Monocacy–148 Year Ago

  1. Susan Clark says:

    Russ, thank you so for sharing this! This battle and land has special significance for my husband’s family and their Worthington in-laws. What a treat to see these pictures today!

    • Susan,

      You should find other Worthington Farm photos on my Blog. I have visited here many times. What is your husband’s connection to these Worthington “in-laws”? We might be related.

      Thank you,


      • Susan Clark says:

        His 2nd great-uncle (who fought at Monocacy), James A. Palmer, married Louisa Worthington. She was a daughter of Thomas & Jane Jamieson Worthington and the referenced John Thomas Worthington’s first cousin. That makes for a pretty remote connection – but I’m proud to claim it!

        • Susan,

          Very cool. Was Jane Jamison Worthington, really Jane Henrietta Jamison Worthington? She and Thomas were married April 19, 1833 in Frederick, according to the information that I have. I don’t have Louisa and James A Palmer, but that only means that I haven’t found them, and that I haven’t researched them.

          But that does mean that we are related, distantly, but related.

          Thank you,


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