On July 9, 1864, a wooden covered bridge spanned the Monocacy River where you see the present-day Urbana Pike Bridge. The covered bridge provided easy movement for the Confederates, intent on speeding 15,000 troops with their horses, wagons, and artillery toward their objective, Washington, D.C. Union General Wallace ordered the bridge held "at all hazard." Throughout the morning the Confederates advanced on the bridge, but a determined Union force held them back. By noon, Wallace decided to move his troops toward the Confederate threat at the Thomas farm, then ordered the bridge burned. Sheaves of wheat were gathered and ignited under the bridge's roof; flames engulfed the structure destroying it.
[The covered bridge] had to go.... I remember as if it were yesterday the struggle I had with myself to have the match applied.... I gave the word and in a moment...the old crossing was in a whirl of flame and smoke. — Union Major General Lew Wallace