Tourism: Rose Hill Manor's 1st Annual Civil War Encampment

Rose Hill Manor's 1st Annual Civil War Encampment
by Danielle M. Angeline

Mark your calendars for the weekend of July 9 & 10, where visitors will be transported back in time to Rose Hill Manor's 1st Annual Civil War Encampment of July 1863. This family-focused event is located at 1611 North Patrick Street in Frederick, Maryland. All ages will witness reenactors and living historians from the Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania regions, demonstrating what military camp life was like on the grounds of Rose Hill Manor prior to and after the battle of Gettysburg.
In July of 1863, General Tyler and the Artillery Reserve were encamped where Governor Thomas Johnson High School now stands. It is believed that General John Reynolds and the 1st Corps and Artillery Brigade were also bivouacked (a temporary camp or camping place without tents, especially one used by soldiers and mountaineers) on the property. Because Rose Hill was situated between two major routes on the Gettysburg campaign, several military groups passed by or encamped on the property.
Initially called "Rose Garden," Rose Hill Manor sits on a tract of land, original owned by a German immigrant, who purchased the land out of the Taskers Chance plat. Hans Peter Hoffman and his family resided in a cabin, on the property until the land was sold to Thomas Johnson, Maryland's first elected governor. Later, he gave the property to his daughter Anne on the eve of her marriage to Major John Colin Grahame. John and Anne built the manor that stands here today.
In 1853, David Ogle Thomas of Buckystown purchased Rose Hill. His family, wife Elizabeth, and their seven children set up a large plantation at Rose Hill. David Thomas came from a line of prosperous gentleman farmers and was well respected and connected within the community. During the Civil War period, the Thomas property was estimated at valuing $39,000. Wheat, swine, sheep, a truck garden, a small dairy and an orchard were all maintained on the plantation.
During the Civil War, Rose Hill played host to several encampments. At the reenactment, both Confederate and Union camps will be represented while visitors are free to roam the camps including the civilian camp that will serve the soldiers food and fetched water. Reenactors will be dressed in period costuming and there will be a period fashion show during the weekend. Civil War items will be on display and guided tours will be lead by period dressed docents. Sutler Row will be set up, selling period reproduction pieces such as clothing, and tents, canteens, and camping equipment.
Several historical military groups, including the 4th Maryland Light Military, 2nd Maryland Infantry and the 17th Virginia Infantry will present artillery, cannon, and infantry demonstrations. According to the website,, Infantry or Infantrymen, are solders who fight primarily on foot, using personal weapons. They arrive on scene in various ways and are deployed either in formations or as skirmishers and guerillas. Today, "Infantryman" is reserved for the most basic of infantry troops, the rifleman. Additionally, the United States Signal Core will illustrate and explain telegraphing and flag signaling. A goal for next year's encampment is to include Calvary demos and animal representation. On Sunday July 10 at 10AM there will be a time period church service--as if the soldiers are getting ready for battle--which will include period hymns and prayer.
The Museum Counsel, who will have food booths on the property, will represent Rose Hill Manor in this time period. However, patrons are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and blankets and enjoy the beautiful grounds in a relaxing manner. At the request of the Manor, alcoholic beverages are prohibited at this event.
Come and discover life in Frederick during the Civil War when it was known as Fredericktowne. The encampment will run on Saturday, July 9, 2005, from 10AM-4PM and on Sunday, July 10, 2005, from 8AM-1PM. Admission is $5.00 per vehicle (SUV, Van, and car). Further information can be obtained by calling (301) 694-1650 or (301) 631-2743 or by viewing their website at
Reenactors or living historians can register for this event by filling out an online form at or by mailing the application to Frederick County Parks & Recreation, Civil War Encampment, 118 North Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701.