Lincoln Led Troops to Battle...

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5fish

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Here is a story I found about Lincoln while he was at Ft. Stevens... He led troops to battle and was the target for Confederate Sharpshooters...

Link: https://www.history.com/news/lincolns-battlefield-brush-with-death-150-years-ago

Here:

As the fate of the jittery city hung in the balance, a calm, steady hand held a spyglass from a White House window. With the advancing enemy just five miles away, President Abraham Lincoln peered down the Potomac River, where a warship stood ready to evacuate him, and saw salvation. Rushing to his carriage as artillery shots thundered in the distance, Lincoln rode to the riverside wharves to personally greet the two battle-tested divisions of the Union Army’s 6th Corps that were hastily dispatched by Grant. As a sign of his stiffened resolve, the commander-in-chief personally led his marching troops to the battle that had begun that morning at Fort Stevens. “Give the road for the President,” ordered the cavalry as Lincoln passed dead soldiers being carried away on stretchers and a stream of civilians fleeing for safety in the opposite direction.

Lincoln had always been a hands-on commander-in-chief, even personally test-firing rifles on the grassy expanses around the White House. Still, Confederate sharpshooters probably could not have believed their eyes when during the first afternoon of the Battle of Fort Stevens a lanky, bearded man in a dark suit and stovepipe hat emerged on the fort’s earthen parapets. Discouraged by the elaborate defenses that had been erected and concerned about his tired soldiers wilting in the blistering heat, Early had held back on a major assault, but Confederate snipers trained to hit targets from distances of 800 yards or more were firing shots from perches in trees, cornfields and houses. One of those shots rang out and came close to striking the president, who was standing on the parapet surveying the enemy in the line of fire. As John Hay, Lincoln’s private secretary, noted in his diary that night, ”A soldier roughly ordered him to get down or he would have his head knocked off.” While James Madison was in the vicinity of a battle when the British arrived in the city a half-century before, Lincoln might have been the only sitting American president to come under enemy fire while in office.
 

5fish

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Lincoln goes to Richmond to and... See, Lincoln was in pursuit of the rebel army...

Snippet...

President Lincoln had telegraphed Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in Washington before leaving for the Petersburg front. Stanton had wired back to the President: “I congratulate you and the nation on the glorious news in your telegram just read. Allow me respectfully to ask you to consider whether you ought to expose the nation to the consequences of any disaster to yourself in the pursuit of a treacherous and dangerous enemy like the rebel army. If it was a question concerning yourself only I should not presume to say a word. Commanding Generals are in the line of their duty in running such risks. But is the political head of nation in the same condition.”5 The President wired back: “It is certain now that Richmond is in our hands, and I think I will go there to-morrow. I will take care of myself.”6

Snippet... Lincoln asks for the navy to make history...

The night before Richmond was evacuated by the Confederate forces we were sitting on the Malvern’s upper deck, enjoying the evening air. The President, who had been some time quiet, turned to me and said, ‘Can’t the navy do something at this particular moment to make history?’

‘Not much,’ I replied; ‘the navy is doing its best just now holding in utter uselessness the rebel navy, consisting of four heavy ironclads. If those should get down to City Point they would commit great havoc – as they came near doing while I was away at Fort Fisher. In consequence, we filled up the river with stones so that no vessels can pass either way. It enables us to ‘hold the fort’ with a very small force, but quite sufficient to prevent any one from removing obstructions. Therefore the rebels’ ironclads are useless to them.’

But can’t we make a noise?’ asked the President; ‘that would be refreshing.’

‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘we can make a noise; and, if you desire it, I will commence.’

‘Well, make a noise,’ he said.

I sent a telegram to Captain Breese, just above Dutch Gap, to commence firing the starboard broadside guns of the vessels above, to have the guns loaded with shrapnel, and to fire in the direction of the forts without attempting any particular aim, to fire rapidly, and to keep it up until I told him to stop. The firing commenced about nine o’clock, the hour when all good soldiers and sailors turn in and take their rest.

The President admitted that the noise was a very respectable one, and listened to it attentively, while the rapid flashes of the guns lit up the whole horizon.


There is a lot more to those stories and others so check out the link: http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/civil-war/black-soldiers/entering-richmond/
 

5fish

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This gets better they have the site where the tree was and photos of the tree used by the Confederate sharpshooter. There is a monument there about the tree and the event... at Walter Reed hospital.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/sharpshooters-tree

Her:

A pair of modest plaques on the Walter Reed Army Hospital are all that’s left of an infamous tree that almost brought down a presidency. During the Civil War, Confederate sharpshooters hid among its poplar branches and tried to shoot Abraham Lincoln, the first and only time that a sitting president has come under battlefield fire.

Here:

President Lincoln rode up to the hilltop Fort Stevens to observe the skirmishing that afternoon and was very nearly hit by a lucky shot. A Confederate sharpshooter had hidden himself atop a towering 150 foot poplar near the fort and began popping off shots at Lincoln’s immediately recognizable stovetop hat. Lincoln emerged unscathed, but one of the rounds hit an Army surgeon next to him, causing Mrs. Lincoln to faint and a young future supreme court justice to advise Lincoln to “Get down, you **** fool!”

Here: The confederate did not fair well...

The sharpshooter’s tree was actually hit by a cannon ball during the battle, which it miraculously survived. The sharpshooter, however, was less lucky: Mary W. Standlee’s history of the Walter Reed Medical Center notes that he was “wounded by an equally good Union marksman of his kind, [and] died on the grounds of the Beall farm.”

Check out the link and look at the photos of the tree and monument...

Here is another link with other photos... http://allenbrowne.blogspot.com/2011/06/monument-to-tulip-tree.html
 
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5fish

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Something else to add... to the tale ... can not find the name of the Confederate soldier that took the shoot...

From hundreds of yards away, a Confederate sharpshooter carefully aimed his prized Whitworth, the crosshairs of its Davidson telescopic sight outlined against the ramparts of Fort Stevens in Washington, D.C. Through the scope—fitted to the left side of the stock—his eye scanned the ample crowd of Union soldiers and plucky civilians who had ventured by, hoping to observe warfare up close. Suddenly, the shooter’s attention shifted to a tall bearded man wearing a stovepipe hat, realizing it was that Yankee president, within easy range of his English-made precision rifle. As he prepared to fire, though, a Federal officer dragged Abraham Lincoln out of view.

This isn’t fiction. Lincoln actually came under fire on July 12, 1864, when Confederate Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Raid of Maryland reached Fort Stevens on the outskirts of the Union capital. Spent Whitworth bullets have been discovered in the vicinity, and we know sharpshooter rounds killed an officer a few feet away from the president. Had Lincoln been brought down, the Civil War may well have come to an entirely different conclusion, and an imported muzzle-loading rifle pressed into service by the Confederacy was the deadly tool that could have accomplished the job.



Here is the link it talks about the Whitworth rifle that took that almost fatal shoot at Lincoln...

https://www.historynet.com/sure-shot-confederate-sharpshooters-whitworth.htm
 

5fish

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There a monument at Ft.Stevens to the day Lincoln visited it....


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lincoln-stone-story_0.gif
In 1920, veterans of the Battle of Fort Stevens erected a stone marker paying tribute to President Lincoln's presence at the battle. (Photo source: National Park Service)
 

wbull1

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That was not the only time Lincoln was actively involved in a Civil War Battle. On May 7, 1862, Lincoln visited General McClellan forces outside Northfolk, Virginia. While McClellan was off dealing with a counterattack, Lincoln organized and personally scouted an amphibious assault. He told skeptical Union leaders what kind of boats to use in the shallow river. At one point the tug he was on got chased away by the iron-sided Virginia (formerly the Merrimack.) On the 10th, he observed the start of the operation as from a ship Union forces landed. By 10:00 PM he learned that the town had surrendered and Confederates scuttled the Virginia to prevent it from being captured. Lincoln is the only United States President to personally direct the army on a battlefield.
 
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5fish

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I found a site that gives more details on those days Lincoln was hanging out at Ft Stevens... much better details...

Link: http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/washington/the-war-effort/war-effort-fort-stevens/

Here:

“Oh, no, but there is excitement among our boys, and I go out to encourage them.”7 The President observed Early’s attack on Fort Stevens on the outskirts of the city, as recorded by John Hay in his diary on July 11, 1864:
The President concluded to desert his tormentors today & travel around the defenses. [Quincy] Gillmore arrived & reported. Wright & staff also came in.
At three o’clock P.M. the President came in bringing the news that the enemy’s advance was at Ft Stevens on the 7th Street road. He was in the Fort when it was first attacked, standing upon the parapet. A soldier roughly ordered him to get down or he would have his head knocked off. I can see a couple of columns of smoke just north of the White House. It is thought to be Silver Spring in flames — I was at Mr. Blair’s this evening: Fox says Gen. Wright tells him that Silver Spring is not burnt.
The President is in very good feather this evening. He seems not in the least concerned about the safety of Washington. With him the only concern seems to be whether we can bag or destroy this force in our front.
Part of Canby’s troops are here.
Gillmore has been placed in command of them. Aleck McCook is in charge of the defences. There is a great plenty of Generals. Meigs has gone out for a spurt.8
Here:

Aide John Hay’s July 12, 1864 diary entry read:
The President seemed in a pleasant and confident humor today. The news from Sherman, if confirmed, is good — that the enemy intend to desert Atlanta.
The President again made the tour of the fortifications; was again under fire at Ft Stevens; a man was shot at his side.
The militia of the District are offering their services and the Department clerks are also enrolling themselves. In Judge Lewis’ office 87 men enlisted and organized themselves in 15 minutes.
Last night the President’s guard of Bucktails was sent to the front.
Mr Britton A. Hill called this evening, in great trepidation, and said he was apprehensive of a sudden attack on the Navy Yard.1
The link has more details... of the story...​
 
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President Lincoln rode up to the hilltop Fort Stevens to observe the skirmishing that afternoon and was very nearly hit by a lucky shot. A Confederate sharpshooter had hidden himself atop a towering 150 foot poplar near the fort and began popping off shots at Lincoln’s immediately recognizable stovetop hat. Lincoln emerged unscathed, but one of the rounds hit an Army surgeon next to him, causing Mrs. Lincoln to faint and a young future supreme court justice to advise Lincoln to “Get down, you **** fool!”
The surgeon standing next to Lincoln, Dr. C. C. V. A. Crawford, 102nd Pennsylvania, was shot through the leg. The book though, makes no mention of Mrs. Lincoln having been present.
Source - Desperate Engagement, Marc Leepson, pg. 200
 
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The surgeon standing next to Lincoln, Dr. C. C. V. A. Crawford, 102nd Pennsylvania, was shot through the leg. The book though, makes no mention of Mrs. Lincoln having been present.
Source - Desperate Engagement, Marc Leepson, pg. 200
Correction to the above. On page 203 of Leepson's book, two different accounts place Mrs. Lincoln with the President at Fort Stevens on July 12, 1864.
 
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