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Near Big Pool in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Fort Frederick
A Witness to War
 
Fort Frederick Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
1. Fort Frederick Marker
 
Inscription. 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 fort and about 100 acres in the 1790s. The property changed hands several times; in 1860, Nathan Williams, a free African American, bought the place and farmed the land. By then, time and scavengers had demolished the buildings.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, 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 Potomac River in present-day West Virginia. The 1st Maryland Infantry (U.S.) under the command of Colonel John Kenly arrived in December 1861 to guard the canal and the fords and ferries between Four Locks, to the east, and Cherry Run, to the west. Company H occupied Fort
 
Markers and Fort Walls Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
2. Markers and Fort Walls
Museum can be seen behind the trees on the right.
 
Frederick. On Christmas Day 1861, the regiment skirmished nearby 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.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland Civil War Trails, and the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 39° 36.616′ N, 78° 0.292′ W. Marker is near Big Pool, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Fort Frederick Road south of Big Pool Road (Maryland Route 56), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. It is front of the Sulter Souvenier & Concession Shop at the Fort Frederick State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Big Pool MD 21711, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nathan Williams (here, next to this marker); Fort Frederick Officers’ Quarters (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. ¼ mile away); The National Road (approx. ¼ mile away); Big Pool Junction (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Big Pool.
 
Two Markers Face The Concession Shop Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
3. Two Markers Face The Concession Shop
A set of stocks are in the foreground in front of the conical tree. The fort is behind the photographer.
 

 
Regarding Fort Frederick. In the 20th Century, the fort and surrounding acreage became Maryland’s first state park. There is no entrance or parking fee at this park after Labor Day and before Memorial Day, and it is convenient to Interstate 70 at Exit 12. Camping sites are available near the C&O Canal and Potomac River.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Frederick State Park. (Submitted on January 20, 2007.)
2. Fort Frederick State Park, One of Col. Washington's Frontier Forts. (Submitted on January 20, 2007.)
 
Fort Frederick Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
4. Fort Frederick Entrance
Single entrance to the fort faces south-southeast towards the Potomac River. The roofs and chimneys of the barracks show over the stone walls. Click on "Click for map" in the Location Section above, zoom in, and switch to the satellite view for an excellent overhead photograph of the fort.
 
 
Barracks Building Inside the Fort Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
5. Barracks Building Inside the Fort
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on January 20, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,875 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 20, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
 
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