Battleground National Cemetery
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Battleground National Cemetery was established shortly after the Battle of Fort Stevens in the summer of 1864. The battle, which lasted two days (July 11 through July 12, 1864) marked the defeat of General Jubal A. Early's Confederate campaign to launch an offensive action against the poorly defended nation's capital. The Battle of Fort Stevens was also to gain notoriety as being the only military action in which the commander in chief (President Abraham Lincoln) came under direct fire from an enemy force. With a combined total casualty figure of over 900 killed or wounded during the conflict, 41 of the
Within the cemetery grounds is a series of cast iron markers containing the words of a poem entitled "The Bivouac of the Dead," written by Theodore O'Hara in memory of those men who perished during the Mexican War. This poem, as well as the words of the Gettysburg Address in bronze found on the side of the caretaker's lodge, are reminiscent of many national cemeteries.
Did You Know?
The Civil War Defenses were generally named after well known Union officers (many deceased during the war). This was not always the case. Fort Williams was first named Fort Traitor because the owner, Samuel Cooper(left), pledged an oath to the Union only to become a Confederate later on in the war.