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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brightwood in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Get Down You Fool”

Battleground to Community

 

—Brightwood Heritage Trail —

 
"Get Down You Fool" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 20, 2008
1. "Get Down You Fool" Marker
Fort Stevens Battlefield
Inscription. Hearing those words, President Abraham Lincoln ducked down from the Fort Stevens parapet during the Civil War battle that stopped the Confederates from taking Washington.

On July 9, 1864, some 15,000 Rebels led by General Jubal A. Early defeated Union forces at the Battle of Monocacy near Frederick, Maryland. Early's troops, suffering from the battle and the summer heat, then turned south to march on the lightly defended capital city. But the Monocacy encounter and skirmishes along the Rockville Turnpike gave the Union time to regroup. On the 12th, the Union's fresh troops challenged the Rebels in a fierce but brief fight. Early's forces retreated to Virginia. The only Civil War battle fought in the District of Columbia was over.

President and Mrs. Lincoln both witnessed the afternoon battle. Eyewitness Captain Elijah Hunt Rhodes of Rhode Island recorded the scene: "....[O]n the parapet I saw President Lincoln standing looking at the troops. Mrs. Lincoln and other ladies were sitting in a carriage behind the earthworks. We marched...into a peach orchard in front of Fort Stevens and here the fight began. For a short time it was a warm work, but as the President and many ladies were looking at us, every man tried to do his best....the rebels broke and fled....A surgeon standing on the fort beside President Lincoln was wounded."

"Early
Reverse Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
2. Reverse Side of Marker
should have attacked early in the morning."

Abraham Lincoln is the only serving U.S. president to have come under enemy fire.

[ Reverse Marker : ]
Welcome to Brightwood, one of Washington, DC’s early communities and the site of the only Civil War battle to take place within the District of Columbia. Along with nearby Battleground National Cemetery, Fort Stevens is a daily reminder that the Civil War greatly affected the citizens of Washington. This crossroads community developed from the Seventh Street Turnpike, today’s Georgia Avenue, and Military Road. Its earliest days included a pre-Civil War settlement of free African Americans (one of whom, Elizabeth Proctor Thomas, appears on each Heritage Trail sign). Eventually Brightwood boasted a popular race track, country estates, and sturdy suburban housing. In 1861 the area was known as Brighton, but once it was large enough to merit a U.S. Post Office, the name was changed to Brightwood to distinguish it from Brighton, Maryland. With a stock of solid, attractive houses and apartments, the recreational attractions of nearby Rock Creek Park, and longstanding houses of worship, Brightwood has welcomed generations of families whose aspirations have shaped its life and character.

Follow the 18 signs of Battleground to Community: Brightwood Heritage Trail to discover the personalities
"Get Down You Fool" Marker, Quakenbros Street, Northwest image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 19, 2008
3. "Get Down You Fool" Marker, Quakenbros Street, Northwest
and forces that created this remarkable community.

Battleground to Community: Brightwood Heritage Trail, a free booklet capturing the trail’s highlights, is available in both English and Spanish language editions at local businesses along the way. To learn about other DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
 
Erected 2008 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 16.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Defenses of Washington marker series.
 
Location. 38° 57.818′ N, 77° 1.737′ W. Marker is in Brightwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Quakenbros Street, NW 0.1 miles west of Georgia Avenue, NW, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is on Quakenbros Street, west of Georgia Avenue (U.S. Rte 29), just east of 13th Street, NW, and across the street from Fort Stevens. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aunt Betty's Story (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Stevens (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Stevens (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Rock on Brightwood Avenue
Marker at Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
4. Marker at Fort Stevens
(about 300 feet away); Scale Model of Fort Stevens (about 300 feet away); Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens (about 300 feet away); A Streetcar Named Brightwood (about 500 feet away); Build It And They Will Come (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brightwood.
 
More about this marker. In the upper left is a map titled Plan of Rebel Attack on Washington, D.C., with the caption, Shortly after the Battle of Fort Stevens, U.S. Army Topographic Engineer Robert K. Sneden drew this somewhat inaccurate map of the field of action which stretched from Fort DeRussy to Fort Slocum.

Beside the map is a photo of A century later, members of the Sons of Veterans re-enacted the warning during Lincoln's visit to the 1864 battle.


Below the map is a photo of Maj. Gen. Alexander M. McCook, defender of Fort Stevens, on horseback.

At the bottom left is This engraving made from an eyewitness sketch shows how close the combatants were. The casualty count for both sides was around 900.

And on the bottom right is a photo of A nearby house sustained major damage
Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 19, 2009
5. Fort Stevens
from the battle.

A photograph of Union soldiers at Fort Stevens appears at the top of the back of the marker. It has a caption of “Defenders of Fort Stevens in 1865, shortly after the war ended. The fort’s name honors Brig. Gen. Issac Ingalls Stevens, who died at the Battle of Chantilly.” The lower left of the marker features a map of the Brightwood Heritage Trail and indicates the location of the marker.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Follow the Brightwood Heritage Trail.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Defenders of Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
6. Defenders of Fort Stevens
Defenders of Fort Stevens in 1865, shortly after the war ended. The forts name honors Brigadier General Isaac Ingalls Stevens, who died at the Battle of Chantilly. (from the reverse of the marker)
Plan of the Rebel Attack on Washington image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
7. Plan of the Rebel Attack on Washington
Shortly after the Battle of Fort Stevens, U.S. Army Topographic Engineer Robert K. Sneden drew this somewhat inaccurate map of the field of action, which stretched from Fort DeRussey to Fort Slocum.
Close-up of map on marker
1964 Re-enactment image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
8. 1964 Re-enactment
A century later, members of the Sons of Veterans re-enacted the warning during Lincoln's visit to the 1864 battle.
Close-up of photo on marker
Major General Alexander M. McCook,<br> defender of Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
9. Major General Alexander M. McCook,
defender of Fort Stevens
Close-up of photo on marker
Major Damage image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
10. Major Damage
A nearby house sustained major damage from the battle.
Close-up of photo on marker
Elizabeth "Aunt Betty" Thomas image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
11. Elizabeth "Aunt Betty" Thomas
Close-up of photo on marker
Elizabeth P. Thomas Way image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2013
12. Elizabeth P. Thomas Way
Since September 22nd 2012, the 1000 block of Quackenbos Street has been Elizabeth P. Thomas Way.
Map -- Brightwood Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 1, 2013
13. Map -- Brightwood Heritage Trail
You are Here.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,155 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   13. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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