Battle of Hancock Civil War Commemoration

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Date: January 6, 2012
Contact: Hollie Lynch, 301-491-0149

Hancock, MD. - The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in partnership with the Town of Hancock, Maryland, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Hancock on Saturday, January 7, 2012 with a series of programs, speakers and Civil War era music.

Dressed in period soldiers' clothing, Civil War Musician and Storyteller, Matthew Dodd will be performing at the Saint Thomas' Episcopal Church located at 2 East High Street, Hancock, MD. Programs are offered Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Participation is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. visitors are invited to tour the C&O Canal's Hancock Visitor Center, the Bowles House, located at 439 E. Main Street in Hancock, Maryland. The historic home is free, open to the public and features a variety of videos, historic photographs and exhibits that tell the stories of families who occupied the home and canal operations in Hancock, Maryland.

The Battle of Hancock Sesquicentennial Commemoration, January 5 - 8, 2012 includes a wide range of activities for people of all ages. A full schedule of events including dates, times and locations can be found on Facebook at "The Battle of Hancock Commemoration Events," or on the Town of Hancock's website at

For more information on C&O Canal events and programs or to schedule a group tour, please contact Park Ranger, Hollie Lynch at 301-491-0149 or visit the website at


In early January of 1862, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson ordered the surrender of the town of Hancock. The Town was an important transportation site, on the C&O Canal and the National Road. General Jackson had been disrupting activities on the canal, and also making raids on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Forces attached to Jackson had also attacked Fort Frederick, just east of Hancock, on Christmas Day.

The Union commander in charge of the garrisoned town, Brigadier General Frederick Lander, refused to surrender Hancock. Confederate troops commenced firing from Orrick's Hill, just across the Potomac River from Hancock. The ongoing cannon bombardment continued for two straight days. The Union Troops held fast, and refused to give up the Town of Hancock.

Finally, on January 7th, having failed to find a suitable crossing into Maryland, the confederate forces retreated and advanced on Romney. The winter was already bitter cold, and between the stubborn defenses of the Union Army, and the frigid temperatures, Jackson withdrew.

Last updated: May 10, 2016

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