Historic Civil War-era walking tours resume in downtown Frederick

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FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — If you’ve ever shopped or strolled along the streets of downtown Frederick, chances are you’ve passed by some of the most historic places of the Civil War era– including the very spot where one of nation’s presidents stood. 

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is resuming their historic walking tours. 
That journey begins with docent Bradford Stone. 

“I’m dressed as a union surgeon would have been dressed following the Battle of Antietam and that’s what this tour focuses on–what happened after that battle, the bloodiest day in U.S. history to this very day,” Stone said. 

The 45-minute tour uncovers the history that still lies within the city’s streets and buildings in the aftermath of the September 1862 battle. 

Stone says in the three months following the battle, about 8,000 soldiers recuperated in Frederick. At the time, the population of the city was 8,000. 

“Literally every major building is being taken over by the union army to serve as a temporary hospital,” Stone explained, “The streets like Market Street are running red with blood from all the ambulances coming into the city.”

In total, about 25 Civil War hospital sites took over Frederick. 

One of the most historic spots on the tour is along Record Street. Stone says that on October 4, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln visited a wounded general who was rehabilitating at the Ramsey family home.

“[Lincoln] made it a point to shake hands with all of the Ramsey family, but he also made it a point to shake hands with each and every one of their slaves. He was showing where his heart was in terms of the issue of slavery,” Stone said. 

For more information on the historic walking tour, visit the website.

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