A hearing before the committee on War Claims of the U. S. House of Representatives on the bill, reimbursing Frederick the $200,000 paid General Early during the Civil War, has been arranged for Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, and a delegation of citizens from this city will go to Washington to appear in the interest of the claim. Mr. Robert M. Ranneberger, Jr. of near Doubs, lost a fine horse recently by death caused by lung fever. The animal was valued at $250.
It is true. General Jubal Early ransomed the City of Frederick, Maryland during the Civil War, as he marched his troops toward Antietam. He threatened the town leaders that if they did not pay up, he'd burn the entire city to the ground. Previously, he ransomed Middletown and Hagerstown west of Frederick. The Frederick fathers paid Early $200,000, and the city, founded in 1745 was saved.
Frederick is my town. I cannot imagine the terrible loss of history that would have occurred if the city leaders had not come up with the ransom. Churches, homes, and other buildings built prior to the Civil War as far back as the Revolution, would have been lost forever. When I go downtown and see these beautiful structures their history cries out to me, and I am thankful they have survived.
My next series leads me from the cities of Washington DC, Alexandria, and Baltimore, to the green foothills and mountain ranges of western Maryland and West Virginia. If you want to write well, go to the location of your story if you can and draw on its inspiration. Take loads of pictures and a notebook.
To read more about the ransoming of Frederick and the Battle of the Monocacy that followed here is a link.