During the Civil War, Frederick was a key territory in the conflict. Acting as a barrier between the northern and southern states, it was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops and was located near the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Today, visitors to the county can commemorate this part of Frederick’s history by visiting South Mountain State Battlefield Park, Monocacy National Battlefield, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and other sites.
Frederick continues to play a major role in United States history and politics. It is the home to presidential country retreat Camp David, located in Catoctin Mountain Park and Fort Detrick, a U.S. Army Medical Command that is also one of the county’s largest employers. Frederick also has a distinctive 40-block historic district making it an ideal place to explore.