Past Event

Civil War Walking Tour Starting at The Parks 

Learn more about the Civil War battle – here at Walter Reed – that Saved the Nation’s Capital! On Saturday May 11 at 10am, join the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington for a special presentation and tour by experts on the Battle of Fort Stevens, which was fought on July 11-12, 1864 largely on the grounds of what is now The Parks at Walter Reed. Union forces within nearby Fort Stevens, where President Lincoln himself was present, fired artillery northward against the invading Confederate Army of Jubal Early, and then moved troops into the field to drive the rebels away.  The Battle saved the Capital, if not the Union itself, and was an important event in the ultimate American victory.  The experts will also explain and offer context for the plaque on Butternut Street NW about the “sharpshooter tree” where Rebel soldiers fired shots that nearly killed Lincoln.

Participants will meet at the plaque (right in front of what is known as Building 12) for a short presentation, then walk together to nearby Battleground National Cemetery where some of the Union dead are buried.

Date: May 11, 2024
10 am to approximately 11 am. The tour will take about an hour. It will mostly be a standing experience, with a short walk to the cemetery, and an optional longer walk to Fort Stevens. 
Meet outside of Building 12, the first historic building on your right as you enter at the Butternut Street NW gate. Building 12 is closest to the playground fronting Georgia Avenue. Map 1010 Butternut Street NW, and stop right after the playground.
There is no RSVP for this tour. Please just show up!

Sponsored by the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington ( This year is the 160th anniversary of the July 1984 Battle of Fort Stevens. View this flyer for more events and the annual celebration on Saturday, July 13, 2024.

  • Battle of Fort Stevens showing tree
  • cannonball plaque re: the battle of Fort Stevens
  • tree from the Battle of Fort Stevens
  • Walter Reed map