Battle of Fort Stevens

Battle of Fort Stevens (tmp-375fa)

Location: Washington, DC 20307
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 58.427', W 77° 1.707'

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Former Walter Reed Army Medical Center

—Walking Tour 1 —

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
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.
HM Numbertmp-375fa
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 at 9:32pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 324280 N 4315824
Decimal Degrees38.97378333, -77.02845000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 58.427', W 77° 1.707'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 58' 25.62" N, 77° 1' 42.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1082-1098 Butternut St NW, Washington DC 20307, US
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