tv Washingtons Civil War Forts and Parks CSPAN August 19, 2014 10:17pm-11:19pm EDT
this is the initials of rodman. thomas rodman. he was also an inspector, so he may have inspected it. it depends on the fort, itself, as to what guns might actually be in them. this one had 2 15-inch rodman guns. they had 4 200-pounder rifles would which have been large. 6 30-pounder. i mentioned a lot of places, there were some vacant platforms, there were 11 vacant platforms where they could have had guns. so it depends on the size of the fort and what you're trying to as to how many guns are actually in them and how many guns are available. john g. bernard, the man who
kind of oversaw the fortifications during most of the war, as they redid and reconstructed some of these forts, he decided new guns would go in and help cover this which it wasn't doing before. so your plans for the fortifications, the system of fortifications did change over the four years of the war. coming back, i told you we would stop and i would show you what some of the 360-degree angle guns look like. see, the carriage is a little bit different, but this shows you, and you notice the bottom, that gun could be turned 360 degrees so you can fire. now, if the gun is mounted, basically you're probably only going to want about 180-degree turn, but it could be fired the other way if needed. so that gives you a good idea. but you can see the abatee. notice the abatee coming up, the pointed stakes that i mentioned on the outside.
so it's in the ditch on the outside to try to keep enemy from coming in. but you can see that it is clear field of fire in front. this is ft. stevens which is one of the many forts in the defenses of washington. this is probably the most famous, and i'll explain why in a little while. now, originally this was known as ft. massachusetts. the people who built it immediately after the battle of first manassas which really scared the washington, d.c.,
area, and they started getting serious about building defenses around the city. so ft. massachusetts was built in this area by massachusetts troops. it was about a perimeter of about 168 yards and encompassed about 200 men in the fort. after second manassas in august of 1862, they decided to make this larger because of its location. it's very -- it's on a high ground, plus it covers 7th street which today is george avenue. it was the 7th street extended which a lot of people used. so it was important to protect
it. so they made it larger so it was about 375 yards perimeter. as i mentioned, it was, perhaps, the most famous fort. that's because of the battle of ft. stevens on july 11th, 12th, of 1864 when jubal early brought troops up through the valley, up around frederick, maryland, and then in toward washington, d.c., on july 11th. he came very near the fort here, itself. his men were exhausted. they did kind of feel it out little bit that day but decided they would have a demonstration in force the next day. now, i've explained before that these defenses were mutually supportive, so if you attacked ft. stevens, you were going to
catch fire from the forts on both sides. even jubal early in his demonstration on the 12th realized that and decided to actually leave. now, the defenses, as i mentioned, had started being built in 1861. this is kind of an 1864 with the battle of ft. stevens. this is kind of the culmination of the defenses, following the attack in july of 1864. really they pretty much went unaligned. but they still had some troops in them to man them, but they weren't worried about that. lee was more or less heading south and the other confederate troops were doing the same in other parts of the country. so in 1864 was probably the culmination of the defenses themselves.
even though construction went on right through the end of the war and some of them even afterwards. interestingly, in the 1930s, the civilian conservation corps was brought in to work on this fort. after the civil war, it was abandoned and it wasn't until around the turn -- around 1900 that some of the veterans of the 6 corps which had manned the fort raised money to try to buy the land. as you will see, when looking around the fort, it's by no means all here at this time. but they tried to restore it as best as they could. you'll notice the revetment, those logs, those fake logs are made out of concrete. okay. basically what we're seeing is this area over to about here, and then on the -- on the front side you will see the ditch is still there, but this area is cut off over on this side. it was never fully finished in the rear. it was more or less like, what's called a lanet, and they did have logs in the back to try to close it in to support it. while the, quote, battle of ft. stevens was going on july 11th to the 12th, abraham lincoln, not that far away, came out to the fort and he actually got up on the parapet to look out to see where the troops were. and there were actually some sharp shooters who took shots at him. they did not hit him. one of the story is, and i've often wondered whether this is
true or not, oliver wendell holmes who became very famous later was said to have said, get down, you fool. meaning get down before you get shot. i doubt that that happened, but there were people that said that that is what oliver wendell holmes said. this is the only time that a president of the united states has actually been under fire while president of the united states. so abraham lincoln here standing on the parapit looking out to see where the enemy troops actually were. >> you can watch this and other "american artifacts" programs any time by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. american history tv in prime time continues wednesday with the civil war battle of the crater which took place during the siege of petersburg, virginia, on july 30th, 1864. the battle failed with heavy losses for union troops. at 8:00 p.m., the national park service commemorates the 150th
anniversary of the battle and honors the role of u.s. color troops. at 9:20, we discuss how the attack failed and why u.s. color troops were unjustly blamed. and at 10:15, author kevin levin discusses how color troops were remembered in the years immediately following the civil war. the battle of the crater at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. >> here's a great read to add to your summer reading list, c-span's latest book, "sundays at eight," a collection of stories from the nation's most influential people over the past 25 years. >> i always knew there was a ris income bohemian arsenal and i decided to take it because whether it's an illusion or not, i don't think it is, it helped my concentration. it stopped me being bored. it stopped other people being
boring to some extent. it would keep me awake. it would make me want to go on longer. i would prolong the conversation, enhance the moment. if i was asked would i do it again, the answer is probably yes. i would have quit earlier possibly. easy for me to say. not very nice to my children. it sounds irresponsible. if i say yeah, i'd do that again. but the truth is it would be hypocritical to say i would never touch the stuff if i had known. i did know. everyone knows. >> soviet union and the soviet system in eastern europe contained the seeds of its own destruction. many of the problems that we saw at the end begin at the very beginning. i spoke already about the attempt to control all institutions and control all parts of the economy and political life and social life. when you do that, when you try control everything, then you create opposition and potential
disdense everywhere. if you tell all artists you want to paint that way and he doesn't want to, you made him into a political dissident. >> if you want to subsidize housing in this country, then put it on the ballot sheet and make it clear and make it evident and make everybody aware of how much it is costing. but when you deliver it through the third party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac, when you deliver the subsidies through a public company with private shareholders and executives who can extract a lot of that subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing homeownership.
>> now historians and park officials discuss the develop dsz ment of the civil war forts, they're role in the war and how they've been preserved for the past 150 years. this event hosted by the national archives and the national capital planning council is about an hour. >> good afternoon. thank you archivists for hosting us as we look -- take this fascinating look into washington's civil war history. on behalf of the national capital planning commission, let me add my welcome to everyone in attendance and watching online. the commission's role as the federal government central planning agency in washington, d.c. and in the suburbs of virginia and maryland, we seek to protect and enhance the capital city's rich historic and
cultural resources which include fort circle parks. national capital planning commission we recently celebrated 90 years since our organization was chartered by congress. one of the early responsibilities involved acquiring the property that has become fort circle parks. in terms of when we do, i would like to mention one current project, one relevant also to the national archives. we just started work on what we call the pennsylvania avenue initiative. we will discuss the near term needs for pennsylvania avenue and the capitol and develop a new vision for this iconic street which is home to so many
national treasures including this building, the national archives. i want to extend a special thanks to the park service for fort circle parks and especially recognize peter may. peter is a fellow ncpc commissioner. locals may recognize these names as parks, neighborhoods, and even metro stations. but many are surprised to learn about their civil war history. the civil war, of course, is a milestone in our nation's history. the role of famous battles such as gettysburg and antitum are very well known to all of us. but today we're going to learn about another important and less well known battle that took place not far from where we are sitting today. were it not for the earth and defenses built to protect washington, d.c., and the battle
of fort stevens that was built to defend washington, d.c., the city of washington, d.c., could be a very different place today. today we'll learn about the development of washington's civil war forts, the role in the war, and their ensuing transformation that today we know as the fort circle parks. so let me begin by introducing you to our terrific group of precenters. dr. b. franklin cooling, he is a well regarded military and able historian and professor of national security studies at the national defense universities eisenhower school and national security and resource strategy. he has written extensively on the national capital region, tennessee and kentucky and the roles these regions played in the civil war. today dr. cooling will discuss the development of the civil war defense of washington and their impact on the war.
>> the co-founder and vice president of the alliance to preserve the civil war defenses of washington. she worked for the house interior committee where she handled national parks, public lands and preservation legislation and during the clinton administration she also directed the american heritage rivers initiative at the white house council on environmental quality. today ms. newman will discuss the post war impact on the forts on the surrounding neighborhoods in washington and their evolution into parks. and kim elder, miss elder is the national park services program manager for civil war defenses of washington. she is responsible for the management and oversight program development for 16 of the remaining forts and batteries owned and operated by the national park service. so today miss elder will highlight the parks today and provide us with a preview of this weekend's activities at fort stevens. so let me begin now with dr. cooling.
>> good afternoon, folks. it's a pleasure to be back in this lovely facility even if every time i come here i go into the wrong entrance. as a researcher, i became very accustomed over 30 years or more of going in the other side. well you don't want to hear about that today. i'll mention the national archives in just a second in a different context. i am happy to say that for four days now i have listened to the national park service and the city and frederick county regale me with how the battle saved washington from confederate capture. now having been privy to this -- or also developer in this area with a couple books on the subject, i fear i'm also part of
the problem. but today i want to tell you that the real battle that saved the city of washington is what we're going to talk about to some degree. we'll talk this afternoon about fortress washington. abe lincoln, fort stephens and the bat that will really saved the union on the 11th and 12th of july of 1864. it's ironic that not 50 years plus a month before -- 50 years and a month before -- i guess that's 49 years and 11 months, but anyway, the british, you will recall, captured washington and burned the public building setting a day in infamy that was not 911 and not 7 december 1941. 50 years later, an enemy almost did it again. an enemy even though they were fellow americans was the enemy of the state, the enemy of the
united states, the confederacy. we forget both, 1814 and 1864 despite an inextricable linkage between then and now through the commemoration of the centennial and next month the commemoration of a bicentennial. and let me say this. without the national archives and this is not pandering to the united states, without the national archives, without the national capital planning commission and the national park service, the task of remembrance, preservation which we're going to be speaking of also today and public use indeed public recognition would be infinitely harder, public records, public planning and foresight links together then with now and into the future. and we're not there yet for the future, believe me. what we have is using the laboratory of historical site and event.
political capital of the nation in the united states. had it not been for 1814 and the battle of blade enzburg, there would not have been the attention paid by 1864 in part to protecting the city. indeed through the intervening years, there had been constructed in the area of the most possible threat to the capital that, is to say the river approach, fort washington. by 1861 it was completely neglected and of no use whatsoever in a brother's war of civil war, especially where, in fact, maryland, a southern slave holding state was five miles away from us right here
surrounding the capital of the union. or the old united states. by 1864, there is a ring of fortifications by the city. they're preserved. we have something we can point to from the civil war and suggest that it's still using -- still being employed usefully for the city and the population today. nationally, locally and the residence of the district of columbia. now these were unearthed -- i should say these were earthen fortifications, for the washington was a masonry fortification. but these were field fortifications. there were contra bands, hired labor. we had private military contractors even back then, you might say. maybe halliburton didn't have anything to do with it. but it's interesting to think about. an interlocking communication
system of signals, roads, wagon parts, store houses, arsenals where i work was the ole washington arsenal that figured prominently in this story. but why do we consider this symbol, sword and shield, symbol of the union, washington, d.c., the shield, the protected the fortifications that protected the city and the sword, the union armies in the field that were supposed to work together with the fortifications as important in our particular story. by 1864, these forts and heavy armament down at fort foot which you must visit because it's a preserved with heavy ordinance of the period. by 1864, we had an episode that is as the duke of willington would have declared if he had been here instead of about
waterloo, he would have said about fort stevens, it was a despite lessons learned, despite all the fortifications, despite the thousands of public dollars expended on this fortification of 1864, a critical month of july. ten critical days of which right now if we had been in the city didn't get there yet. give me a chance. if we were here on july 10th, 1864, we would be panicked in the streets without air conditioning, without refrigeration because the rebels were close enough to be in rockville, gaithersburg and on up the line to the menocacy.
but we're here today. this is the third confederate invasion of northern territory. but it was a pretty critical preelection summer for the president of the united states. and after all, abraham lincoln was a man that had the same kind of problems as president obama has, a not so loyal opposition of his own party called the radicals that had sent to him by this date a drastic reconstruction bill that would have been punitive and completely unpalative to his scheme of reconstruction. this was by robert e. lee to change the strategic balance in the war in the east. not just militarily but also politically. though militarily robert e. lee thought predominantly through
the state of his whole career, he wanted to break the stranglehold of u list is s grant and others on the richmond petersburg line. you may recall in the west the atlanta campaign had become bogged down on the coast lines, mobile bay and wilmington north carolina and others were not blockaded by the union. in this election summer of 186 4shgs everything was kind of at a stand still. the war had not been won after gettysburg. forget gettysburg. forget an teet yum. they all hung in the balance. it all hung in the balance on an afternoon here at fort stevens. my favorite confederate general hard swearing had children out of wedlock, spit tobacco. lee's bad old man of which i have a biography coming out
shortly pointing out many of the foibles. he was a fighter. what about eight to ten maybe 12,000 men battle hardened veterans and was becoming a game changer here in this war in the east. how close the invasion, the time line, the citizens soldier, the lawyer, the uniform who oppose succession but went with a state much like robert e lee, never understood that. he was a west pointer. after the war in canada, he used to look across to fort niagra and complain about that barber pole flag, american flag they had to look at every morning. he swore allegiance to it when owe graduated west point.
i don't have much truck for early and his comments on the american flag. it's all a matter of delays. it all begins with the previous week starting the fourth of july when they begin the repast that set out for them by the union soldiers at harper's ferry and mart inzburg and so forth. he loses three days. he loses another day at frederick. a bat that will cost him services of one of his best divisions, but early by this time has become the confederate incarnate of hard war. he's the great extortionist of the civil war. he decides he's going to extort capital from all these northern cities and particularly by '64 maryland cities like hagerstown and middletown and frederick. he wastes a lot of time when the primary mission is to get to
washington, change the scope of the war, capture the city, disperse the lincoln administration. but he's dialing around in frederick extracting 200 grand from them. okay. priorities. a second factor, on july 10th, the thermometer out here at georgetown university or up in maryland at a farm near sandy springs stood in the mid 90s. drought had been in the region for weeks on end. water was in short supply. and the marching columns went through six inch dust on even a concrete highway. probably took them just as long to get as it takes us to get up 270. just about as unpresident anlea. but all the delays get to our main point about the battle of fort stevens. i don't want to go on too long because we have other things we want to talk about this
afternoon. fort stevens had been set up as fort massachusetts based on a camp bright wood out here in the bright wood section of washington as early as 1861. after the previous invasion of maryland in 1862, they expanded fort massachusetts who obviously had been built bypass mass soldiers, volunteers in part into fort stevens. you can still see and we'll talk about that the restored part at fort stevens. otherwise everybody goes out and says where is the fort? they're thinking they're going to find a western stock ok'd or more like fort mchenry or fort washington. but fort stevens was an expanded earthen fort with a stock ok'ded ba stockadeb backside. it was manned this time not by a veteran ar till rift but 150 day men out of ohio who had come to
a neighborly artillery to be shipped to grant as fire for the battles in va va these 150 day men, that manned fort stevens, were equal to the heavy artilarists because they trained the 150-day people. let me just tell you one moment in time before i kind of wrap this thing up and we let kim have at it here. early afternoon, july 11th, monday afternoon. the moment when the two forces will meet at fort stevens, there's early's men coming in from frederick and there are reinforcements finally coming up from the petersburg lines by boat that are down at the docks at sixth street at this very moment. at this very moment early rides down what we know of as georgia
avenue. it is the seventh street road, and there is a medical center, one of the great traffic stiz of our time giving up walter reed so we can cause more traffic congestion in bethesda, walter reed is situated on what is going to become the battlefield. the only battlefield in the district of columbia. early hunched over from arthritis through the mexican war and the dos and damps pulls out the binoculars and peers down at the union lines from his left fort slucum, to his right that would have been fort durissy. he peers through the binoculars and he senses the moment of opportunity to change the course of the war, my career, american history and the future of the confederacy beckons right then and there. can you imagine that career opportunity for any of us at that time?
not robert e. lee, not grant, jubel early. who ever heard of him? the soldiers knew him. the enemy was finally going to know about him. and he turns to bring up his army and there is no army that he can bring up because of the heat and the dust and they're strag willing a straggling up to gaithersburg. would we have pressed that issue? here's your moment. you would have pushed the momentum and found something more than a guard to go forward and push through those thinly held lines at the time? early doesn't. maybe he was just as tired as jaded and fatigued. he hated the yankees by this stage. but he couldn't push forward. so what does he do? next best. what most of us would have done. he retires back to silver spring, the mansion of francis preston blare and the little
spring there and the rum cellar and he calls command conference to wait developments. he loses the initiative here at fort stevens. well the next day, in fact that day a man calls conference to waste development. abe, the adolescent comes out to fort stevens to see what's going on. he also wants to come out to be with his boys. they vote. if you think lincoln wasn't a consummate politician maybe you're a little idealistic. second day he comes out to the fort and horatio write says mr. president i'm so happy to see you here. would you like to see a battle.
he realizes oops he real is that could be his career. he gets shot. think about it? who becomes vice president? what happens to the city, et cetera, et cetera. abe goes up there, nearly gets shot maybe not where that boulder is placed to go. the great what ifs of history that are based on the records and myth and story telling much like i'm telling stories today. hifton i onstorians are -- hist repeated itself historians jfrt repeat each other. lincoln is almost shot. insurgents from the 102nd pennsylvania are cut down near by. yes, lincoln was nearly shot. the early escape that evening was planned by the time he realized he could not breach the
defenses at fort stevens because write and his troops had come in from grant's army. of course this episode slightly sk skathes his re-election changes. the fate of his secretary of state's son who was wounded and the political chances of re-election. remember the blind memorandum in august in this deadly summer of near defeat largely because of early before washington, the president gets his cabinet to sign on the back of a memorandum saying they don't know it but he promises that everybody will abide by the suck suggesticessi thinks he will not get
re-elected. the northern is taken aback and the thinking that maybe lincoln set this whole thing up. conspiracy theory. scathing criticism of a war entirely. grant is going nowhere. only the confederates seem to be going somewhere. so it falls to an autumn campaign and the change of command that will occur up here that brings the teal together of grand, sherton. pulling out of the lines on the twelfth turns to his tstaff and says well, i guess we scared abraham lincoln like hell. according to his aid, douglas who represents most of the confederate force at this time
is ticked off because they didn't get into washington and they didn't capture him he says general on the afternoon of the twelfth when these couple of brigades came out against us in a counter assault, it was somebody else that was pretty scared like hell, i suspect. >> and he spits out of the side of the his mouth and utters a couple of profanities an says yeah, i guess so but it ain't going to make it into the history books. well, it has made it into the history books. the memoirs that fill out the official recorders. i venture to tell you there are probably not archives in the national archive published by the war department for the benefit mostly of the veterans after the war though. the military also used them in
war planning. there's probably more that can be found on this thing. let me wrap up by suggesting cl lost opportunity did change his summer plans. grant was forced to seal the achilles' heel of the valley. make no mistake, however, to a number of these union veterans, the high water mark of the confederacy was not gettysburg, it was a little toll house, toll gate house at the corner of
georgia avenue and brine piney road, that was the fullest extent that the confedd eerate forces came on july 11th and twelfth to capturing washington, changing the course of the war and changing the course of us today quite frankly. we don't yet really know where lincoln stood. i think he stood all over the place. lincoln never stood still. he was behind, it was over the fort massachusetts portions. he was over at fort stephens. we really don't know for sure. i'm 75 years of age folks. i remember things differently than when i was fighting or
something like that at 20, 18, or what have you so the veterans may have been mistaken but they wanted to mark that spot and they got the stone out of the water reed area cameron creek and put that bar relief and that's their monument to the remembrance of lincoln on enemy fire. we don't know that the justice supreme court really uttered one of those immortal words, get that damn fool down. the records suggest there are six or five other people, veterans who also shouted get that fool down of the get that man down including horatio down because he told him i can't protect you. finally lincoln condesendedly
getting down. still washington forts are yet another of washington's many monuments that have transitioned you purpose. they want recognition from all of us, appreciation. for commemoration for with a they did there an probably both sides lost thousands of people on both sides. so just what they have become and what the soldiers did there 150 years ago certainly warrant our gratitude, our recognition and some consideration in the
pantheon of heroes in the confederacy including officers and personnel. the veterans like louis white did after the war, worked in the pension bureau. the most immediate great entitlement program, built a house and preserved what he is going to el ytell yo tell you a now. [ applause ] >> thank you frank. everything i'm going to show you -- i'm the picture girl. i've learned from you and a few others like him but mainly from frank. especially for the civil war defenses of washington, there's
a bible. wally owens his coauthor wrote mr. lincoln's forts. if you really care about these issues, that's the book to read. i encourage you to get that book. so what i'm going to do is go as fast as you can. the nice thing about youtube is pause and look at them at your leisurely. i just want you to see these beautiful places that i love and wreck reing a and fortly lungs of the city are lrp owe the, as said, the city was unprotected down below. if you haven't been you should to. it's quite different than the fort that's were built during the civil war. after bull run lincoln knew the
city was vulnerable, that's when he ordered major general john g. barnyard to build a series of forts around the city to protect it. here they are. it was quite an amazing feet to build all of those. they did it very quickly. it was just tremendous. >> i've circled on here the ones that are under government ownership today. the park service owns one of the ones in washington d.c. plus the one in maryland and virginia. the ones in virginia are owned by local governments. you will see some of those as well. another part of the story that's historic as well was in 1902 senate mcmillinn commission report on the parks in d.c. and one of their major recommendations have to do with
the forts in washington. they saw that they were both beautiful to look at and look from. they saw these as potential parks linking them up with the fort circle drive and which congress funded until the 1930s. so there's land linking all of these forts. these are all the different forts. they are under three different management systems unfortunately. legislation has been released to establish the civil war defense of washington national historical park and have it under its own superintendent and hopefully the own star and will be able to do the things that we'd like to see done. ly give you quickly -- here is fort stephens sm, some historic
photos. it's quite an amazing place. i would like to note the farm land. all of it is farm land around it. many of it got hit by the shells and burnt but here it is today. the ccc in the 1930s. the civilian conservation corp reconstructed much of fort stephens. you can get the feeling what it was like. it was canyons and sorry i didn't get the boulder but it's here too. it's also a picture of african history then and now. elizabeth thomas was a free african-american. owned 11 acres. her land was taken for fort
stephens. just down from fort stephens was this land right now. this was private property. it was threatened with a town house development. it was awful. some of us got together and said we got to do something. down here two more african-american historically significant properties. i encourage you later to read about them. the school and the light foot house. here is a map. i think this will help knowing around fort seens. they didn't know whether conconfederates right now down. here is fort bunker hill. here is manner.
tacoma. fort derucy was in play very much so. you will see a picture of that in a moment. i also have down here beyard and battery kimball. fort bunker hill, was a square block and high. park services is now repairing the trail that's lead up to there. it should be a great recreation spot even though none of the defenses are left. leading from there coming into where fort toten is part of the land that was bought for the fort circle drive. there is a drive along it here but i suppose they would have put it in the middle. i'm glad they didn't. here is the metro station.
this is part of the fort circle drive land. here is fort toten some historical photographs. you'll notice that i have in every one of these i've tried to get the real person's name. the more i study this and i more i love the land and love the parks. these are real people. i'm trying to bring in the human element as well. fort toten today is not doing so well. the entrance is closed off. when i first started taking pictures 15aries ago this gate was closed and hasn't been opened since. it's beautiful land. it's huge, too. it would be a magnificent park. it needs staffing and it needs resources and programs. it needs what the park service does best, run parks.
fort slocam is in manner park as i mentioned before. this is all farm land around it. the u.s. colored infantry is there. behind it is ncos that were african-american. there's nothing left at fort slocam is no defenses there but a great park. if they could get a canon there and have a ranger give a talk about it, they could learn about it. this is part of the fort circle drive land that was never built around it. fort de rucy. it's so beautiful. you come up to oregon avenue and you just drive in and pull off. it's very easy to find. when you go to the nature center and walk down, sometimes when
they got cut off, the trees grew back. it still 150 year old. here the earth works there they are massive. you can go all the way around. this picture doesn't do justice and some hiking trails. terrific park. again fort reno is the highest point in d.c. and on top of that to boot they had this tower so up here they could see the bust, f confederates were in trouble. similarly when they looked at fort reno said it is well fortified. here is the modern fort reno. if you climb up to the top and take this picture, that's
virginia in the distance. you can really feel like what it might have been like just kind of close your eyes and it's definitely worn eye visit. i took this just a couple of weeksing weeks down thinking what a beautiful wilderness. this is more kaniccures. i thought maybe people don't use it. he so this is a park. battery kambell. parks don't like this. communities love it for dog walking. there are some defenses that remain. it's a beautiful area.
that was to guard the chain bridge the only fixed bridge between d.c. and the ferry. across the riff is the only fort that the park service has today that's in virginia. it was built again to protect leesberg park. if you know where you are going u you can enjoy it. crossing it to the other side of the river. before you're going this beautiful land up here, that is -- those are all the fort circle parks. i often give this to the national capital planning commission when they had a hearing of the expansion of that
of think people and how terrible it would be to destroy this great vista. here is the one on the side. anacostia. i will not show you every one. at least you'll get a flavor how beautiful they are. how historical they are. we will start at the bottom and fort foot and work my way up. here is fort foot. this is one of my favorites. it's high over the river. you can see the beautiful vista there. president go out and seize are the real canyons. they had fallen down the ravine but put back up in the 80s. it's a wonderful place to go. halfway between washington d.c. and fort washington.
here is fort stanton. some of the earth works. this is the view in p2003 when started getting involved in the park servie i services on some . this is not part of the fort circle parts or civil war defenses of washington but nobody can go up to fort stanton and not drop by and see the douglas national park.
fort ricketts. behind in the trees are defenses there. here is fort davis. this is the only part of the fort drive that was ever constructed. it was done during the ccc area in 1935. here is a picture of it being built. you can still go there and see what the defenses like like. here is fort dupont which is the second largest park in d.c. it has problems with exotic vegetation so our hope is -- i'm not the kind of person what can tell you what to do about exotic vegetation so something should be done. here in the hills all over in the area east, these beautiful plants, native plants, endangered species that are up there. the ranger told me people drive all the way up there to see the
mountain loral in the spring and you can walk up the hills and see those. it's well worth the visit. this is a hike i went on with the sierra club. they dove quite regularly and if you would like to join them go to the nature center at the park service at rock creek. fort chaplin is more of a park than a historic site but it's more of a park. here are the ones owned by local governments this is battery bailey. it was a place where they had a platform where they could put a canon there. they weren't garrisoned. it was charming. there was display about what it did look like.
48th and allen, they did a wonderful job improving the e earth works but also improving the interpretation. they had a fabulous event. this is there now. they also have bathrooms. we don't have those at fort stephens. fort war, this is the gem of them all. it's been and restored. it has a great museum. it's in alexandria who owns and runs it. terrific. the displays are great. they are doing a lot of history in the african-american story there. it's very controversial. they are trying to make up for past wrongs. look what the they did.
here is a canyon. squint your eyes and you feel like you're back then. this is fort stephens. this is what it was the last couple of years. every year we have an event. the thoalliance group, the president susan cla if, if, y and our treasurer gary thompson and me. it's really important to have advocates. that's what we are for the alliance to preserve the civil defenses of washington. we're six years old. fighting very large for that legislation. we hope you'll help us support it. i thank you for the chance to speak. [ applause ]
>> well, again good afternoon. i just want to again thank our host the national archives for hosting us and having all of these folks here today to talk about the civil war forts of washington i'd like to thank our sister agency the nccp. i'm going to click this button here. it's been alluded to my colleagues here have said we have a lot of great things going on in these forts and we're ready to tell this story. this is an important place in history. the 150th anniversary battle of fort stephens the only battle fought in washington d.c. we will have a lot of activities planned in fort stephens.
we will have some events there some coming sunday. i did want to point out that many of you all have gotten this kmem ra commemorative program. it's just not fort stephens. the attack on washington is all here. if you have an opportunity to come out and visit with us, please do so. as we've noted, just this week tomorrow, today and tomorrow, we've got a lot of great things going on. we just learned that cspan will be out tomorrow evening on fort stephens to cover of the historian's round table. we're looking at fort stephen's day which we've been hosting for the past three years. fort stephens on steroids with mr. lincoln, mrs. lincoln. we will be firing a canon f