Civil War Defenses of Washington
The partial reconstruction of Fort Stevens that you see today was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937. No visible evidence of the original fort remains.
Battle of Fort Stevens
July 11-12, 1864
On July 11-12, 1864, Fort Stevens was the focal point of a Confederate attack by Gen. Jubal Early with his force of 15,000 soldiers. Defended by a meager force of convalescents, quartermaster employees and 100 day militia volunteers, Fort Stevens held back an attack by Confederate skirmishers on July 11. Reinforcements from the Union 6th and the 19th Corps on the second day checked and turned back the only Confederate threat against Washington, D.C., during the war. Late in the afternoon of July 12, President Abraham Lincoln was exposed to Confederate fire while observing this battle where approximately 900 soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing.
Nearby Battleground Cemetery, which was dedicated by President Lincoln soon after the battle, contains the graves of 40 Union soldiers who died in defense of Fort Stevens.