"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Friday, July 14, 2017

Abraham Lincoln

under fire at Fort Stevens, July 12, 1864.

This 1920 bas-relief of Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens designed by James Kelly and sculpted by Jakob Otto  Schweizer is attached to the Lincoln Boulder marker the place where Lincoln stood on the parapet of the fort exposed to enemy fire.

General Horatio Wright is shown begging the president to come down from his dangerous position,

as surgeon James Crawford is shot by a Confederate Sharpshooter,

and an artilleryman looks on.

Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens,
July 12, 1864
Erected by the Associated Survivors
Sixth Army Corps Washington D.C.
July 12, 1920.

 J. Otto Schweizer, Sc.

Kelly Des,

Kelly's sketch of the scene appeared in various newspapers in 1939 in an article released by the Western Newspaper Union, by Elmo Scott Watson, headlined: Lincoln the Only President Ever Under Fire While Holding Office of Chief Executive. It Happened at Fort Steven Just 75 Years Ago.

President Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens (From sketch by James E. Kelly in the Kelly collection owned by Dr. George Hope Ryder of New York City, reproduced by courtesy of the United States Army Recruiting News. )
This photo of the plaque appeared in an article on the restoration of Fort Stevens in 1937.

The plaque even shows up on a 150th anniversary coffee cup for sale at the NPS visitors' center.

The Lincoln Boulder was fished form Cameron's Creek on the Lay Farm, until recently the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and placed on November 7, 1911 on the spot identified by General Wright as the place where Lincoln  stood under fire.  Four 32 lb cannon balls were placed at the four corners of the monument. The Kelly/Schweizer plaque wasn't placed until 1920.

Before 1911, a small sign tacked to a tree identified the place. This photo of the sign appeared in the Sunday Washington Star July 20, 1905.

Where Lincoln Stood
During Battle

Today the boulder and plaque sit on the CCC reconstructed parapet of Fort Stevens at 13th and Rittenhouse in Washington, DC.

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