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One Fort, Three Wars at Fort Frederick State Park

Fort’s History Highlighted Sept. 16-17

Photo of Fort Frederick State Park

Historic Fort Frederick State Park will give visitors a look at life in the fort as volunteers exhibit the varied roles the setting played during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution and the Civil War.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

“Though Fort Frederick isn’t famous for heroic last stands or notorious battles, its reuse throughout history for such a variety of reasons makes it unique,” Park Historical Interpreter Matthew Wedd said. “Activities and living history encampments will give visitors a look into some of the small champions of history – the daily lives of the people who served throughout these much larger conflicts.”

Highlights of the program include:

  • Flag-raising ceremony
  • French and Indian War-era military drill and musket firing
  • Volunteer company drill
  • Fort Frederick in the American Revolution
  • Interactive ranging party and patrols
  • Fort Frederick in the Civil War
  • 18th-century medicine
  • Soldiers’ rations of the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Flag-lowering ceremony

Governor Horatio Sharpe ordered the fort’s construction in 1756 to protect the frontier during the French and Indian War – his decision to build it of stone made it a reusable facility and a lasting monument. Twenty years later General George Washington sent one of his colonels to the fort to turn it into a prison camp during the War of Independence, when 1,000 British prisoners were held captive there. By the time of the Civil War, the fort was in ruins and used primarily as farmland but with its proximity to the canal and railway, Union soldiers would often camp there to protect supply lines from Confederate raiders.

As well as programs in the fort, the park’s visitor center and exterior museums have more exhibits about the fort’s history, including artifacts, uniforms and a ten-minute video. Food, gifts and souvenir items will be available for sale at Captain Wort’s Sutler Shop.

There is a service charge of $3 per car for residents and $5 per car for nonresidents for this event. Disabled access is available; however, most of the activities are situated on grassy areas that may present difficulty. Visitors should dress for inclement weather or hot sunny days.