Discover how the wounded were cared for by local residents. Learn about the medical procedures used to treat the wounds of battle. Hear stories of compassion and struggles of the dying.

For more great things to see and do in the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, please click on the logos below for each county’s visitor information website.

First Call Civil War Expo Weekends

Hear the Bugle Call to attention? The bugle’s First Call is sounding for all to assemble – to pay attention and be ready for more.  While the daily routine of Civil War soldiers was regulated by a variety of Bugle Calls, Maryland’s Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area presents First Call Weekend as an invitation to visitors. In the summers of 2012, 2013 and 2014, Washington, Carroll and Frederick counties, respectively, will each host a major weekend of public programs for all ages to herald the many commemoration activities planned throughout the three county heritage area in each upcoming season.

Press Release: First Call Weekend 2014

Frederick County First Call Weekend (click for program)

Saturday, June 7, 2014, noon-9 p.m. (one day for 2014; bonus concert on June 8)
Historic Downtown Frederick, Frederick, Maryland

 Frederick County will host First Call weekend in 2014, to herald commemorations related to the Battle of Monocacy, also known as the “battle that saved Washington.”  The 150th anniversary of Emancipation in Maryland will also be remembered. First Call will be offered in conjunction with the "I ART Downtown Frederick" First Saturday event, and will promote the theme, "history meets the arts."                                   

THe First Call corridor will be located on East Street in downtown Frederick, between Market Street and the Museum of Frederick County History at 24 E. Church Street, although some downtown museums are also offering programs at their sites.  Sixteen museums, historic sites and preservation groups will share information on their programs, resources and invite visitors to try their hands at such Civil War era arts traditions as dance, sketching, map making, letter writing, quilting and doll making.  Music and author talks will also be offerered throughout the day, culminating with VOICES OF THE CIVIL WAR at 8 p.m. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church at 31 E. Church Street in Frederick. 

Activities are free of charge, unless otherwise noted in the schedule that appears below.

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  "On the Border of Freedom" tours offered on the hour.  Explore what life was like for the many slaves who lived and worked in Frederick County from its beginnings until after the Civil War. Location: Roger Brooke Taney House, 121 S. Bentz Street. $

11 a.m.  Civil War Walking Tour of Downtown Frederick; 90 minute guided tour focuses on Frederick in 1864.  Location: Begin at the Museum of Frederick County History, 24 E. Church Street. $

Noon  Bugles Echo First Call on Market Street.  Jari Villanueva, the country's foremost expert on military bugle calls, will be available to answer questions about the meaning of "First Call" and the role of bugle call in the Civil War.  Location:  The echo concludes at the First Call information table at the NE corner of Church and Market Streets.

Noon-6 p.m.  Exhibits area open with information and Civil War related arts activities.  Location:  Church Street, from Market to the Museum of Frederick County History.

Noon: Dennis Frye discusses his 2012 book, Harpers Ferry Under Fire.  Location: Museum of Frederick County History, 24. E. Church Street.

12:15 - 1 p.m.  Ampersand interprets music from teh folk and old-time American traditions with selections from their CD, "Hard Tack and Home Fires: Songs of the Civil War."  Location: In front of Kemp Hall, 2 E. Church Street.

1-2:15 p.m.  Hancock String Band will perform with a repertoire that ranges from haunting spirituals - such as "Wade in the Water" - to foot-stomping Irish pub songs like "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."  Location: Winchester Hall portico, 12 E. Church Street.

1:30 p.m.  Stephen Bockmiller discusses his newest book, Follow the Money: The 1864 Confederate Ransom of Hagerstown, Maryland.  Location:  Museum of Frederick County HIstory, 24 E. Church Street.

2 p.m.  Textile historian Mavis Slawson will discuss quilts as used by soldiers during the Civil War.  Location: National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 E. Patrick Street.

2:30-3 p.m. Voices of Unity/Med of Jackson will perform several "negro spirituals," traditional gospel and patriotic selections with historical narration.  Location: Winchester Hall portico, 12 E. Church Street.

3-4 p.m. Ampersand (see 12:15 p.m.)

3-5:30 p.m.  Wine Garden and Music - the Historical Society's Heritage Garden is the perfect spot for a glass of wine ($) and to enjoy hammer dulcimer music by Donna Nomick.  Civil War authors will be available to chat and sign books throughout the day. Location: Museum of Frederick County History, 24 E. Church Street.

3 p.m.  Brett Spaulding discusses hist 2012 publication, Last Chance for Victory: Jubal Early's 1864 Maryland Invasion. Location: Museum of Frederick County History, 24 E. Church Street.

4-7:30 p.m.  The Victorian Dance Ensemble will demonstrate, and teach reels, quadrilles and otehr dances that were popular during the American Civil War.  Location: In front of Winchester Hall, 12 E. Church Street.

8-9:15  "Voices of the Civil War" - a blend of music, dance, and spoken word with costumed performers.  Enjoy parlor music, spirituals, work songs, shape-note tunes, camp meeting songs, battlefield songs, and more.  President Abraham Lincoln will visit.  Doors open at 7:45 p.m.  Made possible in part by a grant from the Frederick Arts Council and by the support of Plamondon Hospitality Partners.  Location: Evangelical Lutheran Church 31 E. Church Street.


5 - 6 p.m.  The Federal City Brass Band will bring to life the sound and appearance of a regular U.S. Army regimental brass band of the 1860s.  Stay for Celebrate Frederick's Summer Concert Series opening headline act, The Rock and Roll Relics, starting at 7 p.m.
The appearance of the Federal City Brass Band is supported b a grant from the Tourism Council of Frederick County.  Location:  the Bandshell at Baker Park in the City of Frederick

Carroll County First Call Weekend
May 4 and 5, 2013
Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster, Maryland

Here's a sample video of what what was planned for the First Call weekend in Carroll County in May 2013 (video will open in new window): 

Direct Video Link: 
Visitor Information

Download the complete First Call program with daily schedule (PDF).
On Saturday and Sunday, May 4 & 5, 2013, the Carroll County Farm Museum offered programs with a focus on experiences associated with the Gettysburg invasion and retreat of 1863. First Call showcased the area’s rich history and opportunities for visitors to learn about upcoming Civil War 150th commemorations in the area.


Washington County First Call Weekend
June 16 and 17, 2012
City Park, Hagerstown, Maryland

Watch video highlights of Washington County’s First Call weekend in June 2012:
YouTube Graphic

Washington County kicked off the initial First Call with an emphasis on the 150th Anniversary of the Maryland Campaign, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the north, including the Battle of South Mountain and the Battle of Antietam. From venues at the Hager House and the Washington County Fine Arts Museum, to an encampment, exhibits and concert stages on park grounds, the event was enjoyed by many and raised awareness of upcoming commemorations that drew more than 100,000 visitors to the heritage area before year’s end.