Friday, February 24, 2017

Seventeen Unknown Confederate Dead

First, a story. I drove down to Washington yesterday because I spent the morning in the field. So yesterday afternoon I was driving home, headed out Georgia Avenue toward the Beltway when my car started feeling weird, as if the brakes weren't releasing all the way. And then they locked up completely. With a maximum speed of about 2 mph, I fought my way from the center lane (6-lane road) to the outer lane and then into a gas station. This was about 4:30. The mechanic on duty looked at my brakes and said, "Your calipers are locked up. Probably need new ones. Can't get it done today." So I left my car to the kindness of strangers and headed home, hiking a mile to the Metro, riding that down to Union Station, catching a commuter train to my regular stop and getting one of my eldest son's friends to drive me home from there.

Today I trained in and then in the afternoon retraced my steps back to the garage. I decided to walk from the other direction, so I got off the Metro in Silver Spring and marched up Georgia Avenue. Walking by a nice but not really very old looking church, I was startled to come across this monument.

It says,
To the Memory of
Confederate Dead
Who Fell in Front of
Washington, D.C.
July 12, 1864
By their Comrades
That was the fight we now know as the Battle of Fort Stevens, part of Jubal Early's Raid on Washington. The monument surprised me because I consider myself something of an expert on the Battle of Fort Stevens. I studied the surviving part of the battlefield for the Park Service and even wrote a brochure about it, which you can read here. But I never knew about this monument. It is not at the Battleground Cemetery, a Federal creation, but in an ordinary churchyard.

I consider this discovery recompense for all the trouble with my car.


leif said...

i wonder if the NPS will be head-scratching why so many downloads of the brochure ;-)

Michael said...

Leif - Well, they have two clicks from me to scratch over! Most excellent little discovery there.