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

Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood

City within a City

 

—Greater U Street Heritage Trail —

 
"Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 26, 2008
1. "Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood" Marker
Inscription.  The Shaw neighborhood and the Greater U Street Historic District are rich in African American and Civil War history. They are the ideal place for the African American Civil War Memorial now located on this Metro plaza. The neighborhood was named for Robert Gould Shaw, the White commander of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, an African American unit featured in the film Glory.

When the first shots of the Civil War were fired, this entire area north of Washington’s downtown was still woods and open fields, with a few small wooden houses scattered here and there. The Union command chose this area for some of the city’s major encampments–Campbell Hospital at 6th and Florida Avenue, the Wisewell Barracks at 7th and P Streets, and Camp Barker near 13th and R Streets. These camps were safe havens for freedmen fleeing the South, and some chose to stay and make their homes in the area.

After the war, as the city’s population mushroomed, public streetcars began to run north from downtown through this neighborhood, opening it up for development. From the 1870s to 1900, builders filled its residential streets with the Italianate,
Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood Marker - Photo on Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 26, 2008
2. Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood Marker - Photo on Reverse
"This Civil War hospital once occupied an area north of 6th and Boundary Street, today's Florida Avenue, just four blocks from where where you stand."
The Historical Society of Washington, DC.
Second Empire and Queen Anne style row houses that characterize the neighborhood today. Blacks and White built and lived in this neighborhood which became predominantly African American between 1900 and 1920.

The Prince Hall Masonic Lodge, the large building adjacent to the African American Civil War Memorial, was designed by the prominent African American architect Albert I. Cassell in 1922 and continues to be a center of civic and social activity.
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 4.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Greater U Street Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 38° 55.015′ N, 77° 1.559′ W. Marker was in U Street Corridor, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker was at the intersection of U Street Northwest and 10th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling east on U Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is on the sidewalk just north of the subway entrance (escalator) for the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial Metro rail station. Marker was in this post office area: Washington DC 20001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. African American Civil War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia
"Spirit of Freedom" - by sculptor Ed Hamilton, 1997 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 9, 2011
3. "Spirit of Freedom" - by sculptor Ed Hamilton, 1997
- centerpiece of the African American Civil War Memorial adjacent to the marker, installed July 1998.
(a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named African American Civil War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Sailors / With Freedom Came the Greater YOU (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "We had everything we needed right here." (about 300 feet away); Musicians / With Freedom Came Their Businesses (about 300 feet away); Pioneers / With Freedom Came Their Community (about 300 feet away); Artillery / With Freedom Came Their Cultural Icons (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in U Street Corridor.
 
More about this marker. [Photo captions:]
Christian Fleetwood, an African American Medal of Honor winner lived in this neighborhood.

This Civil War [Campbell] Hospital once stood near 6th and Florida Avenue in today’s LeDroit Park.

An archival photo of members of the Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge, 1000 U Street.

Conductors pose with their horse-drawn public streetcar, right, on Boundary Avenue, now Florida Avenue, in the 1860s. The advent of public transportation encouraged the building of rowhouses in the area after the Civil War, such as these in the 1900 block of 13th Street, above.
 
Also see . . .  Greater U Street Heritage Trail markers that have been entered in the Historical Marker database. (Submitted on March 25, 2009.)
 
Additional keywords. U. S. Colored Troops, USCT
 
Categories. African AmericansRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
More. Search the internet for Civil War Camp to Victorian Neighborhood.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 30, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,117 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on March 7, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1. submitted on December 30, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on October 31, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3. submitted on October 17, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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