In the early spring of 1864, the war front looked rather bleak for the Confederate States of America. Union General Ulysses S. Grant had amassed an army of over 100,000 Union troops and was pressing into the Shenandoah Valley and the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia. The majority of regiments that were stationed in Washington’s defenses were pulled out to aid in this campaign. The Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia, and the adjacent town of Petersburg, Virginia were under siege. Confederate President Jefferson C. Davis and his commanding General Robert E. Lee realized that if the Union troops were not pulled out of the Valley, soon, Richmond would fall and the war would come to an end.
A daring tactic was devised. Have a small Confederate Army of about 20,000 under the command of Jubal Early leave Richmond and head northward. It was hoped that if the Union would chase this bold army it would relieve pressure off of Richmond. If lucky, perhaps this army could lead the Union out of Virginia all together. And it was possible, just possible, this army could attack Washington itself.
On July 9, 1864, Jubal Early’s troops engaged Union General Lew Wallace’s division at Monocacy Creek in Maryland. With Monocacy being less than 50 miles away from Washington, those in this city realized all too late that they were to be attacked. Walk to the front of the fort.
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