The ‘Clustered Spires of Fredericksburg’ wayside marker is at a scenic overlook off the Interstate 270 expressway that crosses the Monocacy battlefield. A marker on “The Battle That Saved Washington” is nearby.

The senic overlook is at the rest area off Interstate 270 (westbound lanes only) about 2.5 miles north of the Maryland Route 80 exit for Urbana. (39.349552° N, 77.389906° W; map)

The Clustered Spires of Frederick wayside marker

The Clustered Spires of Frederick marker (click to enlarge)

From the marker:

Clustered Spires of Frederick

John Greenleaf Whittier immortalized Barbara Fritchie and the town of Frederick in his poem about the elderly Frederick resident who supposedly displayed the Union flag as Southern soldiers marched by on September 10, 1862.

On July 9, 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early held up the town! “…we are going to make a demand upon the banks Frederick of $200,000, and if the demand is granted, very good, if not then the town will be reduced to ashes.”

The Mayor, Alderman, and Common Council of Frederick borrowed the money from the five local banks and the town was spared. The final payment on the loans was made in 1951.

From the sidebar:

In the same poem Whittier described the town and the surrounding valley:

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland,

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach-tree fruited deep,

Fair as a garden of the Lord

– John Greenleaf Whittier

The Clustered Spires of Frederick wayside marker

The Clustered Spires of Frederick wayside marker