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Fighting on the Border
The heated words and actions of early 1861 turned into bullets and cannon balls on April 12 when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter. Mid-Maryland and the Virginia countryside bordering the Potomac River were quickly transformed into a war zone as both sides recognized the strategic military significance of the invisible dividing line.
For the next four years, this border region from south-central Pennsylvania through mid-Maryland and into Virginia was the scene of some of the most important military battles in American history. Antietam, Gettysburg, Monocacy, and many smaller engagements helped determine the outcome of the Civil War and the fate of the United States.