Strangers Along the Canal: Civil War Encampment

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Date: July 8, 2016
Contact: Kelly Fox, 301-491-1123

Strangers Along the Canal: Civil War Encampment

Potomac, MD –On July 30th and 31st 2016, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) National Historical Park will host a Civil War living history weekend with the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at the C&O Canal Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center located at 11710 MacArthur Boulevard, in Potomac, Maryland. The encampment and Visitor Center will be open from 9:00am-4:30pm Saturday and Sunday. The park is open from Dawn-Dusk.   

The Civil War living history encampment will offer both formal and informal 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. Civil War infantry tactics and wartime activity along the C&O Canal will be discussed.

In the early 1860s the worst fear of many had come to pass. The country had split,  civil war had become a reality and was now divided right along the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. The original 1st Minnesota saw action along the C&O Canal while stationed at Edwards Ferry and around the town of Poolesville, Maryland  and engaged in skirmishes during the first winter of the war.   

During these hard times, many local residents looked with concern on the troops along the canal. Were they liberators, foretelling the end of bondage or were they a nuisance burning fences and stealing chickens? Were they a safeguard of lives and property or an occupying force of interlopers? How long would they stay? During this event, the park invites visitors to reflect on what the Civil War would ultimately determine: the Union of the States, and eventual freedom of 4 million enslaved people.

This event and all ranger programs are FREE and open to the public. The Great Falls Tavern parking area has a entrance fee of $10 per vehicle. Mule-Drawn Canal boat rides are also offered at 11am, 1:30pm and 3pm. Prices: $8.00 for adults (ages 16-61), $6.00 for seniors (ages 62 +), and $5.00 for children (ages 4-15). Children aged three and under ride free.

Check our Website and Facebook page for additional special event information and ranger-led, Join in the conversation this summer! #CandOcanal #great falls #towpath #mules #potomac #NPSCentennial. Please call 301-767-3714 for more information.


ABOUT THE C&O Canal:  The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves and interprets the historical, natural and recreational resources of the C&O Canal. Over 5,000,000 visitors a year enjoy the opportunities for recreation and understanding that the Park has to offer. For more information, visit the Park’s website


Last updated: July 27, 2016

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1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740



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