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

Fort Stevens

Rock Creek Park

 
 
Fort Stevens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
1. Fort Stevens Marker
Inscription.
We havenít taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell!
General Jubal Anderson Early

Built between 1861-1863 this structure was originally called Fort Massachusetts and guarded the northern defenses of the nationís capital during the Civil War. On July 11-12, 1864 Fort Stevens defended the city from a Confederate attack under the command of General Jubal Anderson Early. During the battle, President Abraham Lincoln came under direct fire from Confederate sharpshooters while he witnessed the battle from the parapet of the fort. The Battle of Fort Stevens marks the only time in American history that a seated President came under direct fire from an enemy combatant during a time of war.

Fort Stevens was named after General Isaac Ingalls Stevens. General Stevens was killed on September 2, 1862 during the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia.

[ Sidebar : ]

In order to construct Fort Stevens, the home of the original property owner, Elizabeth Thomas, was destroyed. Several years after her death in 1917, Ms. Thomasís family was financially compensated by the U.S. Government for the loss of the home and property.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location.
Fort Stevens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
2. Fort Stevens Marker
38° 57.865′ N, 77° 1.736′ W. Marker is in Brightwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Quackenbos St NW and 13th Street NW, on the left when traveling east on Quackenbos St NW. Touch for map. 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. Scale Model of Fort Stevens (a few steps from this marker); Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fort Stevens (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); “Get Down You Fool” (about 300 feet away); Aunt Betty's Story (about 400 feet away); The Rock on Brightwood Avenue (about 400 feet away); Park and Shop! (about 600 feet away); A Streetcar Named Brightwood (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brightwood.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains an “Illustration of President Lincoln on the parapet of Fort Stevens.” A photograph of the “3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery at Fort Stevens, 1865” appears on the right side of the maker. The sidebar includes a portrait of Elizabeth Thomas.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Stevens. Mr. Lincolnís White House website.
Fort Stevens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 13, 2013
3. Fort Stevens Marker
This replacement marker appeared on Fort Stevens Day, July 13, 2013. It is likely temporary. The wording and imagery seem to be the same as the faded marker it replaced except for the wording of the sidebar involving Elizabeth Proctor Thomas.
(Submitted on November 12, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. The Battle of Fort Stevens. URL listed on marker. (Submitted on June 6, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Elizabeth Thomas image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 13, 2013
4. Elizabeth Thomas
In order to construct Fort Stevens, the home of the original property owner, Elizabeth Thomas, along with her brother George Proctor and sister Sarah Proctor Diggs, was confiscated and destroyed for the war effort. Property destroyed included a two story house, numerous outbuildings, fencing, a garden and an orchard.
Close-up of side-bar on replacement marker

The new wording on this side-bar reflects community objection to the original marker's claim that Aunt Betty Thomas was eventually compensated. It is a central tenet of the local telling of Aunt Betty's story that she was never compensated, in spite of Lincoln's promise that she would be.
3rd Massachusetts at Fort Stevens, 1865 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 13, 2013
5. 3rd Massachusetts at Fort Stevens, 1865
close-up of photo on replacement marker
Marker in Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
6. Marker in Fort Stevens
A well preserved Fort Stevens is located in a residential neighborhood in northwest Washington.
Fort Stevens Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
7. Fort Stevens Marker
Fort Stevens Marker (replacement) image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 13, 2013
8. Fort Stevens Marker (replacement)
Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
9. Fort Stevens
Scale Model of Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
10. Scale Model of Fort Stevens
This model of the fort is located wthin sight of the marker (see photo 3).
Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
11. Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens
This monument noting President Lincoln's presence at the battle is found in Fort Stevens, near the marker.
President Lincoln on the Parapet of Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 6, 2017
12. President Lincoln on the Parapet of Fort Stevens
“We haven't taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like Hell!” — General Jubal Anderson Early
close-up of illustration on marker
Elizabeth (Aunt Betty) Thomas image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 6, 2017
13. Elizabeth (Aunt Betty) Thomas
In order to construct Fort Stevens, the home of the original property owner, Elizabeth Thomas, was destroyed.

The final marker settled on a compromise caption for this sidebar.
Close-up of photo on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 923 times since then and 112 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 12, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3, 4, 5. submitted on July 14, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on November 12, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   8. submitted on July 14, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   9, 10, 11. submitted on November 12, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   12, 13. submitted on June 6, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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