Frederick County's ties to the American Civil War run deep, so it should come as no surprise that it is part of Maryland's Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area and The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area/National Scenic Byway. With two battles fought on Frederick County soil (South Mountain and Monocacy) and two more legendary showdowns (Antietam and Gettysburg) occurring just over county lines, it is no accident that Frederick City became a major hospital center and would remain so throughout the war. Major Jonathan Letterman, medical director of the Army of the Potomac, established US General Hospital #1 in Frederick at the site of the Hessian Barracks (today's Maryland School for the Deaf campus). In addition, churches, schools and public buildings were used as makeshift hospitals to care for the sick and wounded. Others were cared for in private homes.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
The amazing stories of Dr. Letterman, known today as the "Father of Battlefield Medicine," and countless other brave physicians and caretakers are told at this museum. Artifacts and illustrations interpret many "battlefield firsts" that would eventually leave their mark on modern medicine. Visitors enter a portal into life among the sick and wounded, while learning about Civil War era surgical and care techniques,
hospital structure, the role of nurses, and the challenges of field medicine.