150th Battle of Ft. Stevens

The Civil War Defenses of Washington hosted three days of special events to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens. These events highlighted the pivotal role of Fort Stevens in preventing Confederate General Jubal Early from wreaking havoc in Washington, D.C. and capturing the nation’s capital. The Battle of Fort Stevens was the only time in United States history that a president in office came under direct enemy fire.

Visitors from across the country attended the special events and programs. Highlights of the weekend included a Civil War historians’ roundtable, a commemorative postal issuance, battlefield walks and talks, and a memorial ceremony at Battleground National Cemetery. More than 100 living history demonstrators, including members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, gave visitors a glimpse of what life was like on a Civil War battlefield with a cannon firing, live music, camp tours and musket demonstrations.

Pictured in the first photo above is Ed Bearss with members of 54th Mass. Co B. The second photo shows Ed Bearss speaking while Mayor Muriel Bowser listens. The third photo is of the entrance to National Cemetery on Georgia Ave NW. The fourth photo shows 54th Members on post, and the fifth photo shows a member of the 54th at present arms at ceremony in the National Cemetery while the Jubilee Choir sings.

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