My hubby found some fun historic facts this week. As many of you may know, the Army is shutting down Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital this September and moving the various medical groups to either Bethesda (which will have an even LONGER name) and Fort Belvoir.
Any time the Army shuts something down there are various ceremonies that must be had to ‘retire’ the parts of this long traditional hospital. This week the ceremony had a delightful history to tell.
Shortly after the Battle of Monocacy near Frederick MD, the Confederate Army marched down in another attempt to take DC. This happened in the summer of 1864, General Jubal Early was sent on a ‘decoy’ mission through the Shenandoah Valley, up through Frederick and his final destination was an attempt on DC. The theory was twofold: cause a race of the Union troops away from the fighting in VA against General Lee and alleviate his battle burden, and to make another attempt at taking the Nation’s Capital. After the battle at Monocacy, the Confederate Army weary but victorious, marched on to Fort Stevens to engage the Union Army.
Fort Stevens was the meeting point of this battle. Abraham Lincoln chose to view the battle from what he thought was a safe distance (ignoring advice to flee to a safe place). From a tree on Fort Stevens, a confederate sharpshooter took aim at the tall President and fired… killing the doctor standing next to Lincoln.
After the Civil War, a Union surgeon chose the Fort Stevens post for his Army Medical School. That surgeon was named Walter Reed. Today my hubby offered the benediction for the ceremony marking the anniversary and spot of this historic moment.
Ain’t history fun folks???