Browsing articles tagged with "Washington DC Archives - Historic Fort Myer VIRGINIA"
Mar
13

A Book by Albert J Myer Discovered

wig wag sigflags 150x150 A Book by Albert J Myer DiscoveredAlbert J Myer was a medical doctor by training, yet his contributions went far beyond the realm of medicine.  He was the first Chief Signal Officer of the US Army.  To his credit, he is the reason there is a Fort Myer.

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Sep
25

He Bought the Book

We were sent this message and here in his own words is the reaction to the book about Historic Fort Myer:

Recently I purchased a copy of John Michael’s outstanding book, “Images of America: Fort Myer”, where he is recounting the history of Fort Myer, Virginia, a military outpost, if you will, that is bathed in American Military history.

His work is truly a mini-museum laid out before you on 127 pages, that are filled with photographs, and I mean priceless photographs, and reinforced with factual information relating to the chronological events that not only shaped America, but its Army.

I couldn’t begin to share with you all that I read and saw within the pages of the magnificent book, because I don’t think I could do it it justice. John Michael has truly poured his heart into his prose, and I personally believe that if you are either a history buff, or a Soldier who has once served on this Post of Generals, this book needs to be in your library, with many a “dog eared” page.

Bernie Bernwall (Wilson)
Author of “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?”
And, And, veteran of The Old Guard of the US Army, 3d Infantry Regiment”

Get a copy of Bernie’s book from Amazon:

 He Bought the Book He Bought the Book

Jul
23

Dear General Totten…

naraii Dear General Totten...While working on what would become “Images of America – Fort Myer”, I spent much of my time digging and sorting among the wonderful resources of the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

 The Archives are a vast storehouse of the United States historical items, some more important than others – all in all the location at College Park is only one in their network of “archives”    If you have the chance to visit the Maryland location and do any research, you’ll soon find that you can spend much of your life there pouring over the collections.

“Images of America – Fort Myer” contains over 200 historical photographs.  Many were found among the Signal Corps collection of still photographs stored at the Archives.  When one is presented a box of 50 to 100 photographs, where the selection may have only included one photo in the box,  it’s a wonder just what else is nestled within ….  That curiousity resulted in some outstanding finds of images that have never been published before.   It also resulted in finding for the first time ever a note written to General Joseph Totten by President Abraham Lincoln.  It was written about the older of the Whipple sons, William Whipple, who by virtue of the note was appointed to West Point.  Extending the branch of the Lincoln Legacy Tree that connected what would become first Fort Whipple and ultimately Fort Myer.

The note (which wasn’t supposed to be where it was found) was sandwiched between two photographs protected by a sheet protector.  It now appears for the first time in print on page 015 of the book.   The existence of the note combined with a second note also written about the Whipple sons, this one about the younger one, requested that he be appointed to the Naval Academy.

The contents of the first note appears below:

Executive Mansion

Washtington, DC

‘May 13, 1863 - 

May 14, 1863,

My dear Sir,

I wish to appoint William Whipple, son of the General  who fell in the recent battle on the Rappahonack, to West Point, next Spring, and I wish to file this as a remembrance for the subject.

Your truly,

A. Lincoln

 

Has anyone come across the second note?

Mar
9

Defend the Capital

The year 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the US Civil War.   A few days in April of 1861,  Fort Sumter had surrendered after continual pounding of artillery on the fortification…

Those in Washington DC, when they heard of this, began to make plans to erect fortifications which would “Defend the Capital” in case of attack historic DC map Defend the Capitalby the Confederates.

Jefferson Davis had already been inaugurated as President of the Confederacy and slowly the secession of Southern states had begun.

The two river crossings – Aqueduct Bridge and Long Bridge were among the first to have fortifications put in place.  By the war’s end, 70 fortifications and 90 artillery batteries would surround Washington, DC.   Among those would be Fort Whipple – built in 1863 and named after General Amiel Weeks Whipple, it occupied the high ground at Arlington Heights overlooking the Nation’s Capital.   In essence it was the second line of defense, backing up Fort Cass as part of the Arlington Line.   Arlington House, also known as the Custis-Lee mansion was the headquarters for all the defenses of Washington during the US Civil War.   President Abraham Lincoln would cross the Potomac River to meet here with General Whipple to get briefed on the progress of the actions.

All of the fortifications and batteries are very well located, diplayed and discussed in a book written and recently updated entitled “Mr. Lincoln’s Forts”  by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III and Walton H. Owen II.

In the book – “Images of America – Fort Myer”   you will also find more about this historic time in America and the developments, events, people and views that impacted the US Army, the United States of America and the world.

Mar
5

Clang clang clang went the trolley

horsecar Clang clang clang went the trolley

horsecar trolley

Before the horseless carriage began its domination and surrendered horse travel to more recreational rather than neccessity,  many cities across the United States had an ever growing network of trolleys. 

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Mar
4

The First Lincoln Inauguration

lincoln inauguration 04 mar 1861 300x241 The First Lincoln InaugurationOn the 4th day of the month of March in 1861,  a newly elected Abraham Lincoln stood in front of a Capitol building that was still under construction – the replacement of the dome – in the building  that had been damaged during the war, when the British burned several buildings including  the Capitol and White House. read more

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