20 July 2008 by Published in: Battlefield stomping 7 comments

On Wednesday afternoon, I leave for Ted Alexander’s Mother of All Gettysburg Seminars in Chambersburg. On Thursday, J. D. and I are leading an all-day tour of Stuart’s Ride, beginning at Westminster and then heading to Union Mills to Hanover, on up to Carlisle, and then to Hunterstown before calling it a day. On Saturday, I’m leading a walking tour of Farnsworth’s Charge (which is going to be interesting: I have a relative in the group, and I also am dealing with a very painful case of Achilles tendonitis in my right leg, and going up hills is a new adventure in pain just now). We have Friday completely off. There’s a whole day of lectures, but neither of us feels much like spending the day listening to lectures when there are things to be seen. We were supposed to do some battlefield stomping on the first day’s battlefield at Gettysburg with former Licensed Battlefield Guide Keith Toney on Friday, but Keith had something come up which will prevent him from making it, so we had to identify and embrace Plan B.

Consequently, J.D. and I have decided we’re going mobile. We’re going to head to Fort Stevens and we’re also going to visit President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldier’s Home, since the Johnson-Gilmor Raid had intended to try to kidnap Lincoln there. Time permitting, we may also try to visit the Confederate cemetery and memorial at Point Lookout State Park, since it was the ultimate objective of the Johnson-Gilmor Raid.

Given all of that, it should make for a very interesting day indeed.

Scridb filter


  1. Todd Berkoff
    Sun 20th Jul 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Eric. I checked out the Lincoln Cottage today for the first time. They did a nice job preserving the cottage — original woods paneling, etc — but there is not one piece of original furniture or one piece of original Lincoln memorabelia in the house or in the museum. In fact, most of the rooms don’t include any furniture except for modern black leather benches for visitor’s to sit on during the house tours. If you get a chance, check out the 1850s-era hospital building that looks like medievil castle next door to the cottage. Also, Generals Henry Hunt, John Logan and David S. Stanley are buried in Soldier’s Home National Cemetery (all buried next to each other). When visiting Point Lookout, make sure to check out Fort Lincoln — the fortified barracks area for the Union guards — the fort is nearly pristine with excellent recreated barracks and officer huts. Nothing survives of the massive hospital complex and about 70 percent of the prison stockade lies under the Bay. Historians have mapped out the surviving portion of the stockade but is heavily wooded today. The recreated stockade is NOT where the original stockade stood. Happy Travels!!

  2. Todd Berkoff
    Sun 20th Jul 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Finally, 1/2 mile from Fort Stevens is one of the nation’s smallest national cemeteries — Battleground National Cemetery that Lincoln personally dedicated after the battle on Georgia Avenue. 41 Union soldiers killed at the battle are buried at this location.


  3. Fred Ray
    Sun 20th Jul 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Ft. Stevens is definitely worth a visit. I would also take in Old Fort Ward (say hello to Wally Owen if he’s there, he knows a lot about the forts) and Rock Creek Park, where some of the fighting took place. If Walter Reed is open go see the location of the sharpshooter’s tree. And the battleground cemetery.

    Nearby is a small church with some Confederate dead and a stained glass window of Jubal Early (not making that up).

    Frankly I would not waste my time on Point Lookout, not a lot there.

  4. Steve Basic
    Mon 21st Jul 2008 at 1:42 am


    Wish I could join you both, as I have wanted to visit the Cottage at the Soldier’s home ever since we did a book chat on Matthew Pinsker’s book about the place.

    Going mobile..:) Have a great trip Roger and Pete. 🙂

    Regards from the Garden State,


  5. Bill
    Mon 21st Jul 2008 at 8:30 am

    Hi Eric,

    I am attending the Chambersburg conference this week and hope to see you there. Coincidently, I too am skipping out on Friday to do some battlefield stomping and have reserved a guide to take me through …..The First Day ! I purchased your book this week on Lee’s retreat and hope to run into you for an autograph at the seminar.


  6. Mon 21st Jul 2008 at 9:06 pm

    The Cultural Tourism DC organization is nearly complete with a series of markers through the Brightwood area, including Fort Stevens. The focus of the interpretation is to detail how the community grew from the pre-war rural setting, through the Civil War, into a thriving community.

    Still I recommend a stop by Walter Reed for the medical exhibits, and the “sniper tree.”


  7. kevin a kearns
    Tue 29th Jul 2008 at 8:38 pm

    mr wittenberg, the plan for the johnson -gilmor raid was to cut communications north of baltimore thus cutting off washington,gain info on reinforcements going to DC , to gennerally create havac and then ride into southern maryland to try to release the pows.i dont think lincolns capture was part of the plan. bradley mentions in s.h.s.p.his idea for his capture and confed military hist, mentions the maryland line possible plan in winter of 63-64 it says by lee himself it all sounds like wishfull thinking and i wonder how true thease plans really were.for the raid itself check out brad johnsons papers at duke university there are accounts in his own hand about earlys advance to MD the raid itself plus other notes on the marylanders in 1862.maryland historical society had a scrapbook on harry that had good info including his report of his part in the raid,their magazine published it in the 1950’s. plus dont forget about john taylor wood and his part .GA historical society has one paper i know of with info on how his men will be paid[ if i rememember it right] wilkenson’s bio had info and rebel leathernecks has more rererences to the raid.wood’s ships were THE FLORRIE,and the LETTER BE not the tallahassee as confed vet mag says.any way i have extensive note on the raid [i grew up in owings mills md,and lived not far from ish days house,who you will get to know as you research the raid] if i can help please contact me at skearns1@netzero.com check out the small but proud baltimore county hiistorical society they had info.

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