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Join us at Fort Stevens Day - July 15, 2023

By David J. Kent

Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

July was a big month for battles (see: Gettysburg, Vicksburg, etc.). On July 11-12, 1864, the big battle was at Fort Stevens, where Confederate General Jubal Early's forces came dangerously close to taking Washington. President Abraham Lincoln traveled from his nearby summer cottage (now called President Lincoln's Cottage) to witness the battle. Famously, he stood up on the ramparts as bullets flew around him, only to be chastised with "Get down, you fool!" (or some similar NSFW language). For those not familiar with the NSFW term, its meaning is "Not Safe For Work.")

The 159th commemoration of the Battle of Fort Stevens will be held Saturday, July 15, 2023, from 10 am to 4 pm. As usual, it will be an interesting mix of information and fun! There will be a lineup of wonderful groups who specialize in the music of that period, such as the 8th “Green Machine” Regiment Band, Doug Jimerson & the Civil War Comrades, Jubilee Voices, a Fife & Drum Corps, and Buglers! There will also be historical reenactors and characters, exhibits, and several speakers throughout the day. Abraham Lincoln is expected to make an appearance, as he did 159 years ago! More information is in the flyer shown below.

The program is presented by the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington, an organization founded by the Lincoln Group of DC's very own Loretta Neumann. They also put on the annual Lincoln-Thomas Day program on September 22nd to honor both Lincoln and Elizabeth Thomas, the free African American woman whose property became Fort Stevens. I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the Lincoln-Thomas Day in 2019.

All Lincoln Group of DC members are invited, so plan to be at Fort Stevens on Saturday, July 15th for all the Fort Stevens Day festivities.


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