This Week in the Civil War - #871
At the Monocacy River southeast of Frederick, Maryland some forty miles northeast of Washington, D.C. on Saturday, July 9, 1864, 6000 Union troops engaged part of Jubal Early’s advancing force. After a stubborn fight, Union General Lew Wallace’s inexperienced, largely untrained, short term militiamen were routed with Union casualties of approximately 2000, of whom 1200 were missing in action. While not a major battle, the engagement at the Monocacy delayed Early’s advance against Washington, D.C. for one full day, allowing additional Union forces time to come to the defense of Washington and other Northern cities. Grant ordered two divisions of the Union Sixth Corps to Washington from City Point, Virginia and by letter stated his intention, if requested by President Lincoln, of personally going to Washington to oversee the city’s defenses.