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tv   The Civil War Battle of Fort Stevens 155th Anniversary  CSPAN  August 25, 2019 10:35am-12:11pm EDT

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c-span online store. go to c-span to see what is new for american history tv and check out all of the c-span products. announcer: the battle of fort stevens was fought in the northwest action of washington, d.c., in july 1864. when confederate forces probed the capital city defenses before turning back. the national park service and the alliance to preserve the civil war defenses of washington commemorated the battle's 155th anniversary with speakers, interpreters, and usable tribute -- musical tributes. >> good morning. good morning, good morning. i would like to welcome you to historic fort stevens. come on up. [laughter] on behalf of the national park service, we would like to
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welcome you to historic fort stevens and the 55th anniversary of the battle of commemoration. commemoration. my name is kim elder. i am the program manager for the civil war defenses of washington, and that is a long title or what encircles the national park service number which manages 18 of the forts, as well as battleground national cemetery. at this time, we will present the colors. today, representing the 54th regiment of massachusetts and the united colored troops from connecticut. we are going to open now with the presentation of colors. forward march.
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♪ ♪ [national anthem]
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♪ [applause] >> please be seated. for those who are wondering, that was the hymn from the 1861 verse written by oliver weldon, sung by harold hartford. at this time, we at this time, we will have greetings from our part superintendent at this time, julia washburn. [applause] julia: good morning, everybody. what a beautiful day we have. we really lucked out on the weather and it feels like it may be hot but not too humid we are lucky. on behalf of the acting director of the national park service, i
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bring you greetings from the nps, as well as welcome each of you to rock creek park and historic fort stevens. for those of you who do not know, rock creek park administers the civil war defenses of washington on this side of the city, northwest and northeast, so what stevens is -- so fort stevens is part of rock creek park. i have the probate judge -- privilege of welcoming you to rock creek park and fort stevens and tribute for joining us. i would like to offer a special thank you to our friends from the alliance for the civil war defenses of washington, specifically their current board president, loretta newman. [applause] julia: and all the board members who have partnered with us for several years now to plan, cosponsor, and execute the commemorative programming for the anniversary of the battle of fort stevens. i have to say that we could not
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put this event on each year without their help. thank you very much. i would like to thank the more than 100 volunteers who have worked alongside and often behind the scenes with the nps and the civil war defenses of washington staff to help make this year's programming the best ever, absolutely. today, we welcome you to the commemorative program in the service of the 155th anniversary for the battle of fort stevens. as you will hear from our distinguished 2009 keynote speaker later, dr. jonathan and many others, the battle of what -- fort stevens, the only battle to take place in the nation's capital, was quite a pivotal event in our country's history. we again thank you for joining us and we hope you will stay for
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this afternoon's programming and all the exciting activities, including the cannon firing demonstration. and now, i would like to see if our special guests have arrived. they have not. then i will pass it back. thank you. >> thank you very much julia. i just want to mention our superintendent is very supportive of all the programming that we have been on here for fort stevens and throughout the entire civil war defenses of washington system. those who do not know, fort stevens is one of only 18 sites that the national park service manages today. as part of the civil war in 1861, at the close of the war in 1865, there were a total of 68 forts that encircled washington, d.c. i will not tell you much more than that because you will hear
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a lot more about the defenses of washington today, and we hope you stay this afternoon. we have talks in the big tent, over at the smaller tents, lots and lots of being history -- living history demonstration as julia mentioned. we have over 100 volunteers here today from all over the country, including many of the regiments that actually fought here in 1861. at this time, we will now have a musical tribute by the balled jubileels voices. thank you. [applause]
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>> we specialize in singing music from different eras. in case you have not figured that out from our costume. we sing music specifically in the african-american traditions. in our presentation, we will spectrum from people of that time. singing war songs, songs of joy, songs of sorrow, like this song
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here. >> ♪ lord, how come we here lord, how come we here oh, i wish i never was born there ain't no freedome here, lord there ain't no freedom here there ain't no freedome here, lord and i wish i never was born lord, how come we here?
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lord, how come we here? oh, lord, how come we here? oh, i wish i never was born they stole our children away, lord they stole our children away they stole our children away, lord and i wish i never was born born oh, lord how come we here?
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oh, lord, how come we here? lord, how come we here? and i wish i never was born i wish i never was born i wish i never was born ♪ [applause]
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>> ♪ heal away heal away, lord, heal us ♪ >> ♪ steal away steal away home i ain't got long to stay here my lord, he calls me he calls me by the lightening the trumpets sound within my soul ♪ >> ♪ heal away
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heal away heal away steal away steal away, lord i ain't got long to stay here ♪ ♪ >> ♪ sweet trees are trembling trumpet sounds ♪ >> ♪ i ain't got long to stay here ♪ heal away heal away heal away
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heal away heal away, lord i ain't got long to stay here ♪ ♪ >> ♪ my lord calls me by the lightening ♪ >> ♪ the trumpet sounds within our minds, lord i ain't got long to stay here ♪ ♪ >> ♪ steal away steal away steal away to jesus ♪ >> ♪ steal away ♪ >> ♪ steal away home
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i ain't got long to stay here ♪ ♪ [applause] >> what's the next song? what's next? >> this song was written to recruit colored troops into the ninth infantry and an addict, -- in benedict, maryland. it was called "the negro battle hymn." >> ♪ hark, listen to the trumpeters they call for volunteers on a zion's flowery mounts, will
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the officers we look like men we look like men we look like men of war all armed and dressed in uniform we look like men of war ♪ >> ♪ we want to know cowards in our ranks whose colors, they will fly. men who are not afraid to die ♪ ♪ >> ♪ we look like an men we look like men of war all armed and dressed in uniform, we look like in a war -- men of war this sets my heart quite in a flame, the soldier thus to be i will enlist, and fight for liberty
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we look like men we look like men we look like men of war all armed and dressed in uniform we look like men of war we look like men we look like when, we walked like men of war, all armed and dressed in uniform, we look like men of war ♪ [applause] >> what are we doing? >> ♪ oh, freedom oh, freedom
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oh, freedom oh, before i be a slave, i'd be buried in my grave and go home to my lord and be free ♪ >> no more moaning. >> ♪ no more moaning no more moaning no more moaning and before i be a slave gravee buried in my and go home to my lord and be free >> ♪ hallelujah ♪
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>> ♪ they will be shouting they will be shouting they will be shouting over me and before i'd be a slave i'll be buried in my grave and go home to my lord and be free ♪ >> ♪ he is the old chief of zion he is the old chief of zion he is the old chief of zion get on board, get on board ♪ >> ♪ get on board, get on board ♪ >> ♪ it has landed many a thousand ♪ >> ♪ it has landed many a thousand >> ♪ it has landed many a
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thousand get on board, get on board ♪ >> ♪ ain't no danger in the water ♪ >> ♪ ain't no danger in the water ain't no danger in the water get on board get on board ♪ ♪ >> ♪ it will take you home to glory ♪ >> ♪ it will take you home to glory get on board get on board ♪ >> ♪ it is the old ship of zion 'tis the old ship of zion 'tis the old ship of zion get on board, get on board 'tis the old ship of zion 'tis the old ship zion 'tis the old ship of zion get on board, get on board ♪ >> ♪ and before i be a slave,
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i'll be buried in my grave and go home to my lord and be free ♪ [applause] >> that was beautiful music, that beautiful voice, let's give a round of applause again. [applause]
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>> i mentioned we will hear from them once again later, so i am so, so happy. all right, at this time, i will ask that the president of the civil war defense is a washington enter the stage. [laughter] at this time, i will ask loretto a newman, president of the alliance to preserve war in washington, introduce us to the very, very important folks joining us today. [applause] >> thank you. well, good morning and will -- and welcome, everybody. this is so good when you work
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several months for something and the day comes. it is wonderful to see it successful and no rain. i just want to tell you a little bit about the alliance. the alliance to preserve the civil war defenses of washington. those are all the forts built around the nation's capital at the beginning of the civil war to protect us from confederate attacks, and it worked until 1864 when a confederate general north and washe stopped for a day. excuse me. day -- that that delay gave grant time to send troops from petersburg to freeman the fort. reman the fort. fort stevens was renamed. all of the forts were and all around the city, they were in play during the battle. so you know, there was a real
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fort there, not just a metro station and they had the biggest cannon, and fort slocum over in manor park, that was the first shot, we are told, was from fort slocum. and then of course, fort stevens here, and then fort lucy often -- off on military road on the others of rock creek park was an important part of the battle. fort reno, which was the highest part of washington, d.c. there was a union signal tower. they saw the dust of the confederate soldiers marching down and warned everybody they are coming. here was this fort reno with the huge guns. there was no way they would get there. street, which 7th is now georgia avenue into fort stevens. they were close. you know where historic walter reed is.
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they got closer than that. there will be a walk this afternoon up to walter reed and battleground cemetery and then back. that is more than i have even in my notes. i just thought you ought to have a little history. about the alliance, we do advocacy. we raise funds. we provide support to the national park service for this wonderful commemoration of the battle of fort stevens. we also provide speakers, conduct historical tours and bus tours to educate children and adults. we are all volunteers. we do not have a paid membership. we prefer to have instead hundreds of friends to whom we provide information and educational opportunities from time to time. you can become a friend, simply by signing up at our table. there are exhibitor tables on the hill. i encourage you to visit them all. you can sign up there and hear about us. we do get donations from our
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friends, but that is purely voluntary, but we do accept them on our website. that is very simple to remember. i want to give special thanks to others. first of all, for the generous donations we received to support today's activities. the alliance puts in a lot of money and volunteer time for this, and we earned that money throughout the years and use it for this purpose. i want to note that mayor ballenger was invited. she is hoping to come. i do not know if she is, but she is extremely supportive and she made a very generous contribution from her constituency servants is -- constituency services fund. we all owe a big debt to her. also brandon, who has been here every year. he comes and gives opening comments, so i hope he shows up, but i know he has another movement. he made a generous contribution, and also the d.c. humanities
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council. we could not have done this without that support. the alliance is awesome. you have been serving as partners with the national park service and entering into a special partnership agreement soon. these are legal documents. it takes a while to work out the details, but we will sign it soon. for this commemoration, i want to extend my personal thanks to the park services program manager, kim heller. you have seen her before. [applause] >> she has worked so hard. she has all of these forts to worry about. also her staff. there is steve. i do not know if he is around. there is steve. kenya finley. there is kenya. john mccaskill. emme, the intern this summer. she has been working very hard. she is around here someplace. if you cmo, please give her our thanks. emme, please give
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her our thanks. i want to thank and introduce the officers of the alliance. some of them are up and around working. every one of them has a major job today. they work very hard. secretary. marvin, our treasurer. he is right over there. members,ers -- board brian chesebro has been around. he's a non-uniform military civilian person. he organizes our reenactors. it's extremely important what he does. where is brian? there is brian. [applause] >> this afternoon chuck clusen thell be managing exhibitors table. where is bill? he has been a speaker many times. he is speaking this afternoon about lou wallace, who i will
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mention in a moment. marty is back here. she is our volunteer coordinator. all of these volunteers you see is because she figured out what they should do and make sure they did it. they are here. i would not forget my board. we also have advisors here. i always believe people should be thanked and thanked for all the stuff they do. these people work very hard. duane, our bugler. he will be playing. he will be rallying the call when this is open to hear the canon. he will be playing taps at the battleground when we have our services. patricia tyson. where is pat? she is with the freed ladies.
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those are the female reenactors of distinction. african-americans for the most part. wearing wonderful -- wearing wonderful outfits. each represents a real person who was alive. they are so interesting and informative. gary thompson. i will reintroduce him in a minute. linda, where is linda? she is with the afro-american genealogical. she is president of the society. she will be giving a talk this afternoon with marvin jones on how to research your life. she also has a table. we also have susan, a past president. pasts an advisor and president before me. she will be keeping time on speakers. did tersh show up?
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and gary were the founders of the alliance. also, many thanks to dan kerr. from american university. he brought the humanities truck. that is the red truck parked on the green. with the help of dan and his students and our board, it is filled with photos, videos, and artifacts related to fort stevens. do visit it. it is air-conditioned inside. recognizen, i want to the commissioner for this area. some of you from maryland not know there are advising neighborhood commissions. candace nelson, where are you? there is candace. work forso head of the democrats. she is a hard worker. i appreciate her being here. i do not have too much more.
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i also want to thank the barbecue smokehouse and and leto's restaurant. both are located on georgia avenue. we like to support our local establishments. they are providing lunches for our speakers, reenactors and volunteers. the barbecue smokehouse bus truck will be here somewhere. it is a yellow or red truck. it was here last year. they will have a barbecue for sale as well as the park service's official concessioner and they will have food and drink and ice cream. we also have our local and national exhibitors. the african-american civil war museum. the rock creek conservancy. the american battlefield trust. the mennecke c battlefield foundation. the afro-american historical and genealogical society, and the shepherd park citizens association. that is the most exhibitors we have had. i love it because they are both local and national. last but not least, i want to express the deep appreciation for our congresswoman eleanor holmes norton.
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i understand she is on her way. for her continuing support of the civil war defenses for many years. she has introduced legislation in the past and the alliance is hopeful that she will do it again to establish the civil war defenses of washington national historical park. this has helped tremendously to elevate the status of these places that are so important. now i'm pleased to introduce two special guests. first of all, we have president abraham lincoln. come on, abraham lincoln. [applause] portrayed -- does he not look good? he is portrayed by eric and lincoln, who was here twice during the battle of fort stevens. he will be around. the story is that he stood up when he was shot at.
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had he been hit -- i can could have been killed that day. it had, the whole course of the nation would have changed. fortunately, someone told him to get down. he did. he is the only sitting president in the nation's history to come under direct enemy fire. he will be around this afternoon. do you want your picture taken with him? he will be gracious. he will be at the kids and teens tent to have special pictures taken with the kids and talk to them. we also have -- remember the battle of minorca? the general who stopped it for the day was general lew wallace. we have general lew wallace. [applause] this is the second year our board member, gary thompson, has pretrade lou wallace. -- has portrayed lou wallace.
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he looks so fitting. gary grows his beard for the occasion. that is his own beard. he has read every book about wallace. renaissance man. he played the violin. he was an artist. he wrote ben hur, which was the largest selling book along with uncle tom's cabin in the 19th century. he was a renaissance man as well as an excellent general. a presentation about general wallace will be done this afternoon. will connery will be a part of that. tent talk insmall the back. there is another tent in the back. rate,medium-sized at any -- it is medium-sized. at any rate, i want to make sure you all enjoy the activities this afternoon.
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there are too many to list them all. the canon, which will go off at 12:00 and 2:00 do not want to miss that -- and 2:00. you do not want to miss that. there is no cannonball in it. it's just allowed noise. -- it is just a loud noise. of course the musket firing in , between. the military and civilian reenactors. they are fun to talk to. don't miss the victorian dancing. what we do under this tent -- last year was the first time. it was a huge hit. after the second set of speakers, we all helped move the chairs aside. we have the victorian dances association from harrisburg, pennsylvania. they came down. we did not have to pay them. they donated last year $500 before we knew they existed. and then we invited them. i thought, do we pay them?
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they said, we will help you raise money. our congresswoman is here. at any rate at 2:00 p.m., 2:00 to 3:00. he will want to participate. thank you to all for coming today. i want to repeat what i said earlier, we want to thank you for your continuing support of the civil war defenses of washington. i see that brandon todd has come with us too. i have already thank you for your generous donation. you foralready thanked your generous donation. she has introduced in the past legislation that will benefit the park. we appreciate her very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. we are appreciative of the partnership we have with the alliance. we worked year-round for this program. thank you very much. at this time, i have the pleasure of introducing our
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councilmember for ward four, brandon todd, to join us for some greetings. i want to mention that whenever we call the councilmember he is , available to answer questions. the civilr friend of war defenses of washington. particularly, his very own fort stevens. i asked that you help us bring greetings and have the councilman come forward. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. i am thrilled to be here this morning to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the battle of fort stevens. i am just thrilled. i want to thank our federal partners. i will start by thanking our congresswoman who is so supportive of everything across our city. things in all of the ward four that have to do with the national park service in dealing with the federal government.
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thank you, congresswoman, for your support. [applause] workam always thrilled to with our partners from the national park service. kam elder whok works so -- i went to thank kam elder.kimcam ournt to acknowledge superintendent for rock creek. we are so fortunate that the majority sits right here. thank you very much. my good friend, loretta newman, who works tirelessly to ensure that our civil war defenses and washington, d.c. -- that people know about them, that they are protected and that our federal partners and the district government, that we are doing
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everything we can to bring together communities today. it is pretty incredible to see hundreds participating in this event all day. it takes a lot of energy and effort to get the reenactors to participate, to get local businesses to support this. let's give loretta and the alliance to preserve the civil war defenses of washington a big round of applause. it is a big honor to be here with all of you today to commemorate 155 years at the battle of fort stevens. to commemorate this transitional moment in our history. this battle is particularly significant because it is the only civil war battle that occurred in the world capital. it is the first and only time that a sitting u.s. president came under enemy military fire. the battle of fort stevens was an important moment for the history of our city.
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certainly for our country. the district of columbia as the capital of the union and the center of a moral struggle over are -- over who we are and who we ought to be. it was on this ground that residents of the district of columbia stood bravely in defense of the city and our ideals. we have come a long way since 1864. while we are here today, let us all reflect on the progress we've have made as a city. ad as our city's role as leader of growth for the entire country. our declaration of independence opens by stating, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. our nation grappled with the sentiments 155 years ago. we are still working toward the fulfillment of that guided promise. thank you for attending today. thank you to everyone who had a hand in making today a big success. >> thank you very much.
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we really appreciate the inspirational words. if you don't hear anything after today, fort stevens was the battle to save the nation. -- to save the nation's capital. again, thank you very much. i have the distinct pleasure to briefly, our congresswoman, eleanor holmes norton. miss norton has been very very supportive of all of the programming regarding the civil war defense program and the national park service. we are deeply indebted to that. without the support from the federal as well as the municipal section, we would not be able to do the things we do today. i want to point out that as the park service is moving from the civil war in which we have the commemorations of the civil war into civil rights, it is very
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befitting that congresswoman norton would be here today. as many of you know, she was on the battlefield for the civil rights. we went to thank her for that. , i would like to ask that our congresswoman comes forward. [applause] >> thank you very much. i wasn't at the civil war. [laughter] >> but i am very pleased to be here today and to see so many of you here commemorating a really important occasion. i do not think you have to be a history buff to understand how important today is for those of us in the digit of columbia. i certainly want to thank julia washburn, our superintendent of rock creek park. i want to thank brandon todd,
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who owns rock creek park. [applause] >> it is really remarkable to be councilmember for a part of the district which holds almost all of rock creek park. i certainly appreciate our councilmember being here. kim elder, the national park service, who is a program manager for the civil war defenses of washington. impersonatorsk and all of you with the national park service. it took some doing to do what you have done today, complete with impersonators, trying to make us believe we were there. i appreciate all of the effort that went into this commemoration today. because wespecial
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are at one of those moments that you have every few years. ofs is the 155th anniversary the battle of fort stevens. in the district of columbia, we are accustomed to celebrating many historical buildings. we are bound by them. many historic events. this is a very historic city. in very many ways. there are many historic sites. this is what makes -- one of the things that makes living in the nation's capital so fruitful. today's ceremony is uniquely special. there was only one civil war battle that occurred near our
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city and that was fort stevens. this,ot to over dramatize but it really was dramatic. that the confederacy got so close to the capital. to imagine the history, had they reached the capital. i am completely intrigued by the fact that lincoln and misses lincoln insisted on coming here to fort stevens. they both came. i love the story. . have to believe it is true as they say, it is in the history books. it must be true. wasrently, oliver one homes a captain from massachusetts.
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not yet a supreme court justice. he was at fort stevens. by the way, lincoln apparently looked just like this man. [laughter] looks soerves me he much like him. apparently, lincoln went everywhere with his top hat, including to fort stevens. oliver one homes saw him and yelled, not knowing m was the president of the united states, get down you dam fool before you get shot before recognizing it , was the president of the united states. it says everything about fort stevens that the president of they netted states, apparently being assured, you will be safe, mr. president. he did think he should come himself to this very site.
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i have been enamored of this site. so much so that i have been introducing bills to commemorate this site. by the way, it is not only the site. in order to keep the confederacy from getting here, you had to have the 22 civil war defenses. all of the individual forts in the civil war defenses of washington. that is what they are called. on both sides of the potomac and anacostia river's. they were both involved in stopping the confederate attacks. it culminated right here at fort stevens, which was the second and last attempt of the confederate army to attack washington. last year, i went personally to testify on my bill to recognize
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and per server the civil war defenses of washington and especially fort stevens. --n a member goes herself, remember, you introduce a lot of bills. you are saying, this is important. i really want this passed. i appeared at a hearing of the house natural resources subcommittee on national land. we were not in control of the congress then. i do not mean to imply that republicans don't support civil war defenses, but it is harder to get a bill to the floor if you are not in the majority. this is a non-controversial bill. bill,ill be a nonpartisan i assure you. on the 155th anniversary, this
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very year, i will have a special reason for urging passage of my bill this year as we prepare bill to passage of our make the district of columbia the 51st state. [applause] >> thank you, congresswoman. we appreciate your support and your presence here on this 155th anniversary. at this time, we will have a brief presentation. where is duane. -- where is duane? is he around? here he is. >> he does it at the very end. >> duane is going to do that at the very end.
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>> oh my goodness. that was not duane. ♪ [laughter] >> hovvdy. if you do not mind, could i ask you one question? have any of you seen a young fella about this tall shouldering a rifle and wearing a union uniform? no? if you don't mind, i will introduce myself. i am jonathan underwood, private, 43rd infantry regiment from the fine state of new york. i fought during the war and i
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toured a lot of different places. vens is important to my heart. even though we lost 23,000 plus at antietam, it is still pressure. in 1861, i volunteered and joined to united states army. they told us at that time that it would not last very long, maybe three months and it would all be over. we would be doing fine again. but we got to 1863 and we were still fighting all over the place. i reupped in december. my baby brother paul joined up too. we fought all over virginia and in may of 1864, we were in spotsylvania, and i took a bullet in my left shoulder and i
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ended up in the hospital here in washington. when i say the hospital in washington, you have to realize that almost every building was a hospital. i ended up at the armory hospital which took up about 2.5 , acres near that smithsonian castle that you may have seen there. at that time, a fellow from my home state of new york was the secretary of the smithsonian, a guy by the name of joseph henry. so anyway, i am there in the hospital. i am lucky because i still have all of my limbs. because a good one third of everybody that was in the hospital did not come away with everything they went in with. part of the problem was they didn't have a -- they didn't have a very sophisticated surgical system. there were only three things that they used back in those days. there was a hacksaw.
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you can figure out what that is for. there was a bottle of whiskey and a bullet. the bottle of whiskey was for the anesthesia. sometimes it went on the wound. sometimes it went down the gullet of the surgeon. the bullet was for the patient to bite on while he was losing something. i'm in the hospital. we got visited by a lot of famous people. clara barton, a fellow with a lot of whiskers by the name of walt whitman. a really nice lady nurse by the name of dorothea dix. a tall lady you always were brown or black. -- a tall lady who always were brown or black. they visited us quite a bit. in the beginning of july we got word that the telegraph had gone down in harpers ferry. that sounded ominous. sure enough, on july the 10th, i
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woke up and saw a sergeant at my feet, and he said, son, are you ready to go back to fight? i said i would love to do that but they told me i'm not capable of doing so. i don't fit the standard. he looks at me for a moment. he said, we have lowered the standard. he moved on to the next bed. before i knew it, we had formulated a group to go to this place called fort stevens at that point. all of the rest of the regular army was in virginia fighting. including the 43rd that i was a member of. my baby brother paul, they were all down there at the time. they formed us into a group that they called the invalid's core. is that a fearful name?
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so we were joined up with the other invalids and the quartermaster corps, which is a bunch of 55-plus aged clerks who were overweight and not in good shape. we came up marching the 7th street. we got here and we settled in, and we looked over, and we saw on july 10, a swarm of gray uniforms coming toward us. it was all dusty. this was led by this fellow. he had already pretty much demolished the villages of rockville and tenley town along the way. so, the great forces came in and hit us. but they did not do much. they pulled back. all of my fellow soldiers said, we licked them.
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they were just testing the waters. they will be back. we all waited. night, there was a swarm. blue uniforms, marking up the 7th street. 43rds people from the infantry, including my baby brother, paul. the next day, they were in place. us invalid core, we stayed in the fort manning the guns and so forth. the 43rd went out to engage those fine rebels along the way. it was a bloody, dusty, horror of a place at the time. then everything stopped. no more sound. weer the smoke cleared, all could see over there was a bunch of bodies and a few union
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soldiers running around. the rebels had left the scene. i looked around for my brother. i came across osmond. the butcher from endicott. he said i saw your brother and he had a bayonet and he was going after some rebels. that is the last time i saw him. night, we went out and we dug some graves up the road a little bit. we buried about 40 folks in a circle. as we were doing that, this carriage came by, and a fellow with a tall stovepipe hat came riding up and he said i declare this to be the battlefield national cemetery. and you could see the tears
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coming down his eyes. i kept looking for my brother paul, and i did not find him. so what i did do was go ahead and get back into the 43rd and finished out the war with the 43rd infantry along the way. i went home to new york in the lake george area. i kept thinking that i have got to settle this problem. i keep coming back. i keep coming back. can't find him. anyway, if you happen to see that young man, i said, tell the people at fort stevens and i will be around here someplace and they will let me know. thank you. [laughter] [applause]
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>> thank you, very much. we will have a brief musical tribute followed by our keynote speaker. at this time -- >> 155 years ago, america was a different place when it came to
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music. there was music everywhere. people saying. >> you need to use the microphone. >> thank you. they sought comfort from trial and tribulation. it was a sad time. singing was an important part of american culture. i like to think that we can join voices today. i would like you to join me in singing some of the most significant patriotic songs of our country. just have a few songs here. the unofficial national anthem for us was america, my country tis of thee. i would like you to stand if you can, and we will sing my country tis of thee.
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>> ♪ my country tis of thee, liberty, of thee icing. thee i sing land where my fathers died, land where my fathers died, let freedom ring. our fathers, god to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing. long may our land be bright with usedoms holy light protect , great god, our
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king ♪ thank you, that was wonderful. >> there was a tremendous activity of music composition during the civil war years. the composers were talented and wereto the cause, and they prolific. penning these beautiful patriotic songs. one of the most significant of was george root.
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he wrote a number of significant patriotic songs. he wasn't hesitant to advertise himself from one song to another. making mention of previous loans he had written in the lyrics. i do not know of any other composer who has done that. was, in a way, it was a musical turning point for the civil war when this came out in 1861. the union bands would play these songs that often were camped in a position right across the river from the confederates. sometimes, these bands would play back and forth with competing tunes. played case, when they the battle cry of freedom, there
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were testimonies from confederate soldiers -- the fear that came with this tune. one confederate said, i felt my heart go down my boots. we will do battle cry of , freedom. >> ♪ yes, we will rally around the flag, rally once again, shouting the battle cry of freedom., freedom. we will rally from the hills, i ,ill rally from the plains shouting the battle cry of freedom. hurrah.other, hurrah, down with the trader, and up with the star. we will rally round the flag, rally once again, shouting the
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.attle cry of freedom ♪ >> we will rally to the cause, for the other thousands more, shouting the cry of freedom. we will rally to the hills, rally 2 -- rally from the plain shouting the battle cry of , freedom. the union brother, hurrah, hurrah. down with the trader, and up with the star. while we rally around the flag, rally once again, shouting the battle cry of freedom. springing to the fall from the eased and from the west, shouting the battle cry of freedom.
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we will hurl the rebel through from the land we love the best, shouting the battle cry of freedom. the union forever, hurrah, hurrah. down with the tray tour and -- the trader, and up with the star. we rally around the flag, rally once again, shouting the battle cry of freedom. ♪ [applause] >> one more. this one, you have to sing. >> really brief. >> really brief. the marine band appeared, they closed with this song. thank you doodle.
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-- yankee doodle. ♪ father and i went down to camp along with the captain and we saw the men and boys as thick as hasty pudding. yankee doodle keep it up, yankee doodle dandy. mind the music and the steps. up, yankeele keep it doodle dandy. steps andusic and the with the girls, the handy. thank you, everybody. [applause] >> thank you very much. doug and i have been working for a long time. before i arrived here at the civil war defense of washington, i was the superintendent at ford's theater. that is where doug and i had the opportunity to meet. i asked him to come on up. he has been with us for the last
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five years. thank you very much, doug. i have the pleasure of introducing our keynote speaker. dr. johnson is the director of the mccormick civil war institute. located in david's hall. where is that? shenandoah university. he is the auditor and editor of over 1100 books -- over 11 books k. 11 books. he is the author of over 100 books and has appeared on c-span, american history tv, npr and many others. he is a consultant with a variety of public history projects. organizations including the national park service, the civil war trust, and the shenandoah valley battlefield foundation. our very own steve, and many of you know steve, came in contact
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with dr. no alice as a student. we are looking forward to hearing from him because he has a story about an escape from fort stevens. come forth and bring us our keynote presentation this morning. [applause] >> thank you for the introduction. thank you for superintendent washburn and the national park service for the invitation to speak here today. i have been very fortunate to have all sorts of guests. i think this is my first time having a distinguished member of congress, president lincoln, and lew wallace in attendance. when the confederate general withdrew from in front of fort stevens, a range of feelings gripped a man of his command. -- gripped the man of his command. the order to pull out of fort
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stevens came as a great disappointment. he believed his brigade up to the challenge of flinging open the gates to the federal capital. york wrote, the sight of washington's dome and fortification inspired my mend. they would hail the command for the sole. -- for the assault. although some expressed disappointment when so close to washington. early did not see in those terms. his movement from windward and his march northward from the shenandoah valley, crossing over the potomac into maryland, defeating lou wallace and pushed to this point. they were all part of the general's larger objective of creating a strategic diversion. when that would relieve pressure from the army of virginia at petersburg.
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from lee's perspective, the operation throughout the summer had been a great success. he explained that so far, the movement was intended to relieve the territory in that section of the enemy. it has up to the present time been successful. he believed he had carried out his task. as he famously stated to the staff officer, major, we have not taken washington, but we scared abe lincoln like hell. as early's army withdrew from web -- from in front of fort stevens and pulled back into the shenandoah valley through stickers gap, -- through stickers gap, the rank-and-file of the army might not have agreed about what the push to the nation's capital achieved. but they were all in agreement about one thing. they were exhausted and wanted a rest. after the army crossed the shenandoah river, and
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established camps either along the banks of the shenandoah or further west near berryville, his troops had hoped that after a month of marching, maneuvering, and fighting, they would be able to get a much-needed rest. it would not happened. president lincoln would not allow to happen. the day after early's command passed to the gap, a union force commended --00 men commanded by general horatio wright pursued. throughout the day, federal by jamesupported mulligan's infantry made repeated attempts to drive confederate general john b gordon's men from the banks of the shenandoah at castleman ferry. all of those attempts proved futile. the 22ndiewing pennsylvania cavalry failed
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effort, general wright and general george crook now determined to flank the confederate position. by moving a division of about 3500 men, committed by colonel joseph over north threw a pass in the blue ridge mountains and then traversing the 1100 acre plantation owned by judge richard parker. that is the same judge parker who condemned don brown to death in the autumn of 1859 for his attack on harpers ferry. it's the plan was to cross the shenandoah river at island four and flank the confederate position. however, that flank attack never occurred. fire erupted between colonel george wells and elements of the 42nd virgina, jubal early hastened troops to the cool spring plantation. while the events that transpired on the afternoon, evening and
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night of july 18, 1864 did not go as they imagined, the battle of cool spring, the largest and for inst engagement clark county, virginia, a battle which involved 13 thousand troops and resulted in 1000 combined union and confederate casualties has been regarded by some as a footnote to jubal early's operations in the summer of 1864. i occasionally here folks who come out to cool spring, discount the battle's importance because it was not statistically large in terms of numbers of troops engaged were casualties suffered. while cool springs does not compare statistically to notable engagements as antietam, shiloh, gettysburg, chickamauga, or
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petersburg, what happened at cool springs on july 18, 1864, including colonel joseph uber and being outnumbered by almost a margin of 2-1, putting on display his remarkable technical abilities as he shuffled troops to meet repeated attempts by confederate general robert rose division to crack the northern flank or the refusal of james ricketts to cross the shenandoah over the river to support him. and of course, the dogged persistence of roads command to not relent. a persistence that resulted in his tactical victory at cool springs. all of these things and more proved important to the union and confederate soldiers who followed at cool springs and their families. orularly those killed
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wounded -- particularly those killed or wounded in the battle. it is those stories like those in any civil war battlefield that give cool spring greater meaning. while forgotten today by some, there is no doubt that individuals such as colonel james washburn thought about cool spring for the remainder of his life. on the late afternoon of july 18, just as washburn had finished his task of hastily moving his buckeyes from the force of an end to the northern flank to help stem the attack, confederate bullet passed through washburn's left eye and exited the back of his head. on the ground in agony, his men believed him a goner before his body was carried to the shenandoah river's eastern
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shore. his men shed tears and kissed his hand because they believed his time nearly up. washburn too believed he would not survive. he handed over his personal effects and requested they be sent home to his family. remarkably, washburn survived his wounds. although he survived, the pain from it, not to mention the facial disfigurement he saw every time he looked in the mirror until his death in 1898 took him back to that late afternoon of july 18, 1864. although the fourth carolina infantry john alexander psych of the fightout unscathed, the
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regimental color barrier had been troubled the remaining years of his life by the images of his friend, martin snow, serving in the colorguard with him being shot in the neck and killed instantly. years after the battle, he wrote, when i come to think of martin snow, i feel i am treading on thicker ground. he was my friend and i love him like a brother. unscathed, the today, i cherish his memory with a pleasure home -- a pleasure known only to myself. of thousandsre two of stories of cool springs that give the battlefield meeting. there's the battlefield meaning. -- the battlefield meaning. they are reminders of not only the human side of war and the toll that that takes on humanity, but those stories serve as does the entire civil war and the 750,000 americans who perished in it, and the millions more who came home maimed physically who were carrying the psychological trauma. all of that collectively serves as a reminder to us in the
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present of the catastrophic consequences that occur when people become divided into an unbridgeable point. as we gather here on this 155th anniversary commemoration, and reflect on the battle of fort occurrednd clash that less than a week after and cool spring, let us ever be mindful that a battle's importance should never be assessed by statistic. callous,ery cold, unfeeling measuring stick. if we do that we cheapen the , lives of those who suffered and sacrificed, and we miss out on a robust understanding of the conflict that transformed us from a mere conglomeration of states into a nation. however statistically large or small a bottle was it is always , important to remember that to those wounded in particular battle to the families and
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, friends left behind to pick up the pieces after a loved one was killed in combat, that engagement proved the civil war's most significant moment. as we gather on this anniversary and reflect on fort stevens and cool springs, i think it is instructive to keep in mind and observation that mark twain made about history. i will close with this thought. in the early 1880's as mark twain labored in his study at his home in hartford, connecticut to develop a game to help his daughters better than history he thought about how , individuals should weigh those great moments of history with the ones of lesser historic significance. after ruminating for a while, he concluded that although the minor events of history are not
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always show and picturesque they , are nonetheless valuable. thank you very much. [applause] >> how informative. we are always talking about what happened in fort stevens but what happened after fort stevens? thank you very much. we really appreciate that. we are wrapping up because those soldiers are revving up. we are wrapping up our program shortly. washingtons that the comes jubilee voices forward now. they're going to ask that we'll stand as we all saying, -- we all saying, lift every voice and sing. we have the insert here in your program.
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we have many songs today that tell stories. two brothers, one wrote a poem and the other set it to music. 120 years ago, and told our story, "lift every voice and ing." it was first sung by 500 schoolchildren on february 12, 1900 at the segregated school where james weldon johnson was principal. so many stories. now, a part of america's story. lift every voice and sing. >> ♪ lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring ring with the harmonies of
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liberty let our rejoicing rise, high as the list'ning skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea sing a song full of faith that the dark past has tought us, sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won. stony the road we trod,
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bitter the chast'ning rod, felt in the day that hope unborn had died; yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet, come to the place on witch our which our fathers sighed? we have come over a way that with tears has been watered, we have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, out from the gloomy past
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laste stand at where the white gleam of our star is cast. god of our weary years, god of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far on the way; thou who has by thy might, led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray lest our feet stray from the places, our god, where we met thee, least our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee, shadowed beneath the hand,
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, y we forever stand true to our god, true to our native land ♪ [applause] >> thank you again. we want to thank each and everyone of you well. we have a crowd that continues to grow, and not only is it crowded here, but the field is crowded with the children waiting for the cannon firing. know,ose that did not we fired the cannon here five years ago on the anniversary, the first time i can and has been fired in the nation's 1864.l since
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today, we are going to fire it again one time. we ask you to come over and join us on the field as we fire it. we will also have some musket fire as well today. this will conclude our program. again, we thank you all very, of thech on behalf alliance and the national park service for joining us for this 155th anniversary. we will go over for the firing and we thanknon, you all so very much for joining us this afternoon. [applause] ♪ >> this is american history tv on c-span3, where each weekend we feature 48 hours of programs
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exploring our nation's past. inthis was declassified 1996, so not a lot of people know about it. my grandfather was a part of it, -- it is awhy combination of getting to know my family history and telling the story about these men who that iot recognized really wanted to do a project and get that story out there. >> what is the ghost army? an army unit in world war ii that used decoy tanks, and sonic messages, sounds, recorded sounds of activity, to fool the germans. they shortened the war and save the lives by preventing conflicts.
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quote says it all, but they really had a dignity to their service and they drew attention to themselves without wanting to just massacre the germans. they were not trying to pull attention to kill all the germans, they were pulling it away to save american lives and by doing that, saving german lives by not having them fight the americans. they are so humble about it, but they did it and only three men died out of 1100, almost on the front lines all the time, calling enemy attention to themselves with rubber tanks, never fired a shot, basically, and they only had three men died. one of them was more of an accident been intentional, and the other one was a stray shell rather than getting in the front lines and fighting. , and it not kill anyone was amazing what they did. >> thank you very much.
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>> madelyn christensen's exhibit on the ghost army won the senior-level world war ii history prize at national his three-day. mcadams of utah recently entered the story of madeleine's great-grandfather into the official congressional record. the is video as he reads entry to world war ii veteran sergeant stanley manz. in may 1940 4, 1 thousand 100 u.s. military men joined ranks to form what would be called the ghost army. composed largely of artists, this unit had unusual orders, not to avoid detection by enemy forces, but to actively attract detection through an ingenious optical illusion. one of them was staff sergeant stanley mann, signal sergeant of the special troops. the tactics were to impersonate other allied use it's using inflatable tanks and jeeps made of sticks and burlap to make the enemy believe that large factions of soldiers were
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running up omaha beach and surrounding areas. were mounted on the back of military vehicles, blasting the noises a larger unit. it is like they were coming from the battlefield, but it had been recorded months ago in fort knox, kentucky. secret until 1945, the story of the ghost army and its ranks serves as a heroic tale for a bold action to defend free when -- freedom. nance'ster, sergeant granddaughter told the story through a project, which won and award at the national history competition. her project is an amazing re-creation of a story of skill, courage, and triumph unique in history. to celebrate independence day 2019, we honor to extraordinary generations of utahans.
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defeatdier that helps tyrrany during world war ii, and his great-granddaughter, who is keeping the story of hero is alive. [applause] >> you can watch this and other american history programs on our website, where all our video is archived. that's next on lectures in history, indiana university professor michael mcgerr talked about women and feminism in 1960 and 1970's popular music. this class was from his course titled "rock, hip hop and revolution: popular music in the making of modern america, 1940 to the present." this program contains language and images some viewers may find offensive. dr. mcgerr: good afternoon. here we go. hope you are doing well. this is almost too nice a day for education.


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