Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fort Frederick

On Monday our second stop was Fort Frederick (our first was a cemetery in Hagerstown, but that's for tomorrow's post). Its not really a Civil War fort as it was built decades earlier for the French and Indian War. But it did see some Civil War combat. On December 25, 1861 there was a small skirmish at the fort, which was being defended by a company of Union troops. Interestingly at the outbreak of the Civil War the fort was farmland, and was being farmed by a free black. I guess if you're going to be a free black living in a slave state better to live inside a fort. The top picture is taken from the catwalk behind the west barracks. The foundation of the Governor's House can be seen between the east and west barracks. Originally the catwalk would have gone all around the fort but today only a small modern version exists.

The bottom picture shows Mike in front of the big gate. Kinda shows just how tall the walls were. Its a bit hard to see in the picture but there are nice big spikes on top of the gate too just in case you decided you'd crawl over the gate.
The fort was rebuilt by the CCC in the 1930s. The day we went we had the whole place to ourselves. There were about 5 rangers/workers on the grounds but no other visitors, save two geese.
The fort's other pre Civil War job was as a prison for British and German troops captured during the Revolution and the War of 1812. I thought it was a neat place and worth the visit. I'm not sure it'd be a destination spot but if I was in the area with an extra hour or two I'd definitely stop again.

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