Civil War Union Troops Guard the Great Falls Tavern

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Date: May 12, 2017
Contact: Pete Peterson, 301-767-3714

Potomac, Md – In 1862, the country was in the middle of the Civil War with a hostile border along the Potomac River. This weekend, May 13th and 14th, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) invites the public to explore this war story with the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry at Great Falls Tavern in Potomac, Md.
When war came to the C&O Canal many local residents feared what the future could bring. Were these soldiers liberators, foretelling the end of bondage? Were they a safeguard of lives and property? Were these troops an occupying force of interlopers? Were they just a nuisance, burning fences and stealing chickens? How long would they stay? What would next year bring?
This Civil War Living History encampment will offer both informal and formal programs. Visitors are invited to walk through the camp and talk to the re-enactors throughout the weekend.  Formal programs will be offered at 12:00, 2:30, and 4:00 both Saturday and Sunday. The event will be free of charge, although there are fees to enter the park (currently $10 per vehicle for a single visit, unless a passenger has an applicable park pass).
The original 20th Maine volunteer infantry regiment saw action along the C&O Canal at the Battle of Shepherdstown, shortly after the battle of Antietam. The 20th Maine found that the canal offered an excellent defensive position by using the dry bed of the canal prism as a trench. From the canal, they were able to fire across the Potomac at Confederate forces along the opposite shore.
Call ahead for details at (301) 767-3714 (press “0” to reach a live person, Wed.-Sun., 9:00-4:30) For more information on the C&O Canal’s programs, please visit
Have you ever imagined what impact the Civil War had on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal)?
The event will be free of charge, though there is an entrance fee to the park of $10.00 per single vehicle. The Great Falls area of the C&O Canal is located at the intersection of Falls Road and MacArthur Boulevard in Potomac, Maryland. For more information about the program and the park, please call the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center at 301-767-3714.
For more information, please visit Follow us on Facebook at chesapeakeandohiocanal and on Twitter @COcanalNPS

Last updated: May 25, 2017

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