Fort Frederick

Fort Frederick (HM55E)

Location: Big Pool, MD 21711 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 36.616', W 78° 0.292'

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A Witness to War

Built by the Maryland colony in 1756 during the French and Indian War, Fort Frederick's stone walls surrounded three large buildings. The colonists abandoned the frontier fort in 1759, when the threat of Indian raids subsided. During the Revolutionary War, the fort confined hundreds of British prisoners. The state auctioned the fortand about 100 acres in the 1790s. The property changed hands several times; in 1860, NathanWilliams, a free African American, bought theplace and farmed the land. By then, time andscavengers had demolished the buildings.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in1861, the area around Fort Frederick again became strategically significant. The U.S. Army acted to protect the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal a quarter-mile south of the fort and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad across the PotomacRiver in present-day West Virginia. The 1st Maryland Infantry (U.S.) under the command ofColonel John Kenly arrived in December 1861 to guard the canal and the fords and ferries betweenFour Locks, to the east, and Cherry Run, to the west. Company H occupied Fort Frederick. OnChristmas Day 1861, the regiment skirmishednearby with Confederate raiders who tore up the railroad. Company D relieved Company H here in January 1862, then crossed the river at the end of February to protect the railroad while it was under repair. In October 1862, a 12th Illinois Cavalry picket guarded the canal "immediately south of old Fort Frederick," and other Federals later occupied the area.
HM NumberHM55E
Series This marker is part of the Maryland Civil War Trails series, and the National Historic Landmarks series.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 6:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 757133 N 4388789
Decimal Degrees39.61026667, -78.00486667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 36.616', W 78° 0.292'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 36' 36.96" N, 78° 0' 17.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10924 Fort Frederick Rd, Big Pool MD 21711, US
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