• Monocacy National Battlefield, Best Farm


    National Battlefield Maryland

Private Samuel McLain

Private Samuel McLain was a musician in the 144th Ohio National Guard. In a letter to his wife, he narrates the days leading up to the Battle of Monocacy, the progress of the Battle on July 9, and the retreat of Union forces:

July 7 [1864]: We left Camp Parole at 2 o'clock. We arrived near Harpers Ferry [Monocacy Junction] at 12 o'clock... I think the Rebs will not fight.

July 8: We can hear the battle [west of Frederick, Maryland]. We started after Johnny Rebs after midnight.

July 9: 2 o'clock. The battle is raging fiercely. 4 o'clock. The Rebs are driving our men, oh my God we have to retreat. We are striking for Baltimore. Our men are getting all cut to pieces. The artillery has left. I must go. Every man must save themselves. We have 45 miles to retreat.

July 11: We arrived in Baltimore or part of us ... We march all night and until 2 o'clock the next day. We have had a hard march. My feet are all raw ... I am well but sore feet ... We had to [throw] all our baggage away and guns. I stuck to my drum and grub. We got no sleep for three nights.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

As many as 36 species of fish have been identified at the park, including the Greenside Darter, which prefers the swift moving currents of the Monocacy River. More...