In 1864, John T. Best took over operation of the farm from his father David. The first year of farming on his own looked promising, but soon proved disastrous. During the Battle of Monocacy on July 9, 1864, Confederate artillery set up on his farm and sharpshooters took positions in the barn. They fired at Union troops guarding the covered bridge over the Monocacy River on the Georgetown Pike. The Union returned fire, however, setting the Best's barn ablaze and destroying the grain, hay, tools, and farming implements kept there. Confederate infantry, using the farm as a staging area, soon destroyed any crops left standing in the fields.
Undaunted by this disastrous first year, John Best continued to successfully operate the farm for many years following the Civil War. The National Park Service acquired the Best Farm in 1993.
location moncacy battlefield, frederick, maryland
photographer patrick e connolly