84°Partly Cloudy

Remembering the Battle of Fort Stevens and the Battleground National Cemetery in Brightwood

by Prince Of Petworth January 31, 2013 at 11:00 am 11 Comments

6625 Georgia Avenue, NW

I’ve driven past this sight probably 100 times. I finally walked past and was able to check out this incredible history.

From Wikipedia on the Battle of Fort Stevens:

The Battle of Fort Stevens was an American Civil War battle fought July 11–12, 1864, in Northwest Washington, D.C., as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864 between forces under Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Union Maj. Gen. Alexander McD. McCook. Although Early caused consternation in the Union government, reinforcements under Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright and the strong defenses of Fort Stevens minimized the military threat and Early withdrew after two days of skirmishing without attempting any serious assaults. The battle is noted for the personal presence of President Abraham Lincoln observing the fighting.

From Wikipedia on the Battleground National Cemetery:

After the battle, Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs seized 1 acre (0.40 ha) of farm land to use for burying the dead. Under direction from President Abraham Lincoln and Meigs, forty were buried on the evening of July 12 on the battlefield site. That night, Lincoln came to the site to dedicate it as the Battleground National Cemetery.

Continues after the jump.

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting

  • saf

    Have you been to the site of the fort yet?

  • SerenityNow

    I drove by Fort Stevens today and noted how pathetic it was to have a very tattered flag flying there, hanging on by only one ring. NPS could do better for such a notable location.

  • anonymous

    Here’s where the Confederates from that battle were buried:


  • AngryParakeet

    The ferry that crosses the Potomac at White’s Ferry north of Leesburg is named the Jubal Early.

  • Anonymous

    this has to be one of the most interesting monuments in the city.

    • Anonymous


  • anonymous

    In Winchester there’s a Jubal Early Drive. They wouldn’t name a street after native Patsy Cline because when she was beginning her career there she sung in bars, etc, but they named a street for Early.

  • I’m surprised the Wikipedia entry on Fort Stevens doesn’t include this story — from the National Park Service website (http://www.nps.gov/cwdw/historyculture/president-lincoln-under-direct-fire-at-fort-stevens.htm)

    On July 12, 1864, President Lincoln stood atop the parapet of the fort to witness the battle and came under direct fire of Confederate sharpshooters. It is the only time in American history in which a sitting president came under direct fire from an enemy combatant.

    Many individuals claimed to be the one to encourage President Lincoln down from the parapet. The most notable individual was a young officer named Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. His remarks to the president were short and straightforward:

    “Get down, you damn fool!”

    Holmes would eventually serve as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1902-1932.

    • Huh? Maybe someone just edited it, but most of the Wikipedia entry for Fort Stevens discusses that exact story.


Subscribe to our mailing list