Harper’s Ferry, WV Today we bravely headed into Washington, DC even though the GPS does not work well in this area so we were back to reading maps. Jim’s theory was that vacation time was past so most kids should be in school and parents would not be traveling. Wrong. The area around the Capitol and the Mall was packed. We could not find a single parking place. Block after block along the mall was filled with cars. Nevertheless we drove up and down Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenue “touristing”. We finally left the city behind and headed off. We came to Frederick, MD and the site of Battle of Monocacy, a Civil War battle. One never hears much about the Battle of Monocacy but it was very important. General Early of the CSA was sent by General Lee to go up the Shenandoah Valley and attack Washington, DC from the North. It was lightly guarded as the soldiers had been sent elsewhere. The North learned of the plan and sent troops to the Monocacy River to stop the Confederate advance. The North’s General Wallace knew that he could not defeat Early’s 15,000 men with his 5,800 men but he was determined to hold the road to Washington as long as possible. After a long day of fighting, the Confederates won the field. The Union forces lost 1,300 men while the Confederate forces lost 900. Even though it was a Confederate victory, it delayed the Confederates long enough for Union forces to arrive at Washington, DC to stop Early’s attempt at taking the city. By not reaching Washington, DC before reinforcements arrived, Early’s campaign failed and he withdrew to Virginia. This was the last time in the war that the South fought in Union territory.