Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Fort Stevens

Former Walter Reed Army Medical Center

 

—Walking Tour 1 —

 
Battle of Fort Stevens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
1. Battle of Fort Stevens Marker
Inscription. Although nothing remains of the original landscape, this area was a battleground of the only Civil War battle fought in Washington. On July 11, 1864, Confederate troops attempted to capture the Union's capitol by first taking a meagerly defended Fort Stevens, one of a ring of forts constructed to defend the city. Approaching from the north, soldiers found this location was advantageous due to its high ground overlooking Fort Stevens to the south.

The area was rural, and the troops found water and shelter at the nearby farm owned by Thomas Carberry, former mayor of Washington. Confederate sharpshooters and signal men occupied numerous vantage points during the battle, including a 150-foot-tall tulip (poplar) tree located just north of the Carberry House. The battle ended the next day on July 12 upon arrival of Union reinforcements which prevented further advance and resulted in a Confederate retreat.

During the battle, both the Carberry farm and the tulip tree (known as the Sharpshooter's Tree) were struck by artillery shells fired from Fort Stevens. The tree survived and later became part of the landscape at the new Walter Reed General Hospital. Hospital buildings were constructed near the tree, including the Nurses' Quarters to the north and the Commanding Officers' Quarters to the south. The tree was removed in
Battle of Fort Stevens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
2. Battle of Fort Stevens Marker
December 1920 after being severely damaged during a winter storm, and a memorial now stands in the tree's former location. Cannonballs displayed in the memorial were reportedly recovered from the Carberry (later Lay) farm. The house was used as a caretaker's residence until the late 1908 when it was demolished to make way for new hospital facilities. The Fire Station along the southern edge of the hospital campus, is in the approximate location of the house.
 
Location. 38° 58.427′ N, 77° 1.707′ W. Marker is in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of Butternut Street Northwest and 12th Street NW, on the left when traveling west on Butternut Street Northwest. Touch for map. The marker is on the campus of the former Walter Reed Army Medical center. The markers of the walking tour and the Sharpshooters' Tree marker are only intermittently accessible. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1098 Butternut Street Northwest, Washington DC 20307, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of a Tulip Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); Walter Reed Army Medical Center (approx. 0.2 miles away); Company K, 150th Ohio National Guard Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles
Sharpshooter's Tree image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
3. Sharpshooter's Tree
The Sharpshooter's/Signal Tree, before 1911, facing southwest with a barn from the Carberry farm and other outbuildings in the background.
Close-up of Borden Institute photo on marker
away); The 122nd New York Volunteer Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away); 98th Pennsylvania Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 25th New York Cavalry (approx. ¼ mile away); Roll Call (approx. ¼ mile away); Battleground National Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away).
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Carberry House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
4. Carberry House
The Carberry house ca. 1915-1917, occupied by Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Fort Stevens and later used by the Walter Reed General Hospital.
Close-up of Borden Institute photo on marker
Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
5. Fort Stevens
View north from inside Fort Stevens toward farms west of Seventh Street Turnpike, today's Georgia Avenue. President Lincoln visited the fort during the battle and was fired upon by Confederate snipers. Tall trees in the distance as indicated by arrows are among the Confederate vantage points used during the battle. The arrows also indicate the location of what became the Walter Reed Hospital Campus and Walking Tour Stop 1.
Close-up of photo on marker
Bernard Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
6. Bernard Map
Civil War map of the area where the two-day Battle of Fort Stevens occurred. By 1918, hospital buildings were constructed near the tree, including the Nurses' Quarters to the north and the Commanding Officers' Quarters to the south.
Close-up of map on marker
The Sharpshooter's Tree image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
7. The Sharpshooter's Tree
The Sharpshooter's Signal Tree, sometime between 1911 and 1918 after construction of buildings for Walter Reed General Hospital. This view of the tree is along Main Drive, facing east to the hospital entrance along Georgia Avenue. A plaque commemorating the battle was placed in the former location of the tree sometime after 1920 when the tree was removed.
Close-up of photo on back of marker
Walking Tour Map<br>Stop 1 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
8. Walking Tour Map
Stop 1
Close-up of map on marker
Monument to a Tulip Tree image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 8, 2017
9. Monument to a Tulip Tree
Park Ranger Steve Phan led a walk to the Sharpshooter's Tree monument on July 8, 2017.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 77 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 10, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7, 8, 9. submitted on July 12, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement