Browsing articles tagged with "Abraham Lincoln Archives - Historic Fort Lesley J. McNair"
Oct
6

A Great Foundation Deserves a Great Book

By John Michael  //  National Defense University  //  No Comments
marshall hall of national defense university

Marshall Hall of National Defense University

Breaking News…

National Defense University Foundation Gift Shop06 October 2016 – As of this date Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair is now available in Marshall Hall of the National Defense University located on Fort Lesley J. McNair.   Copies of the book which chronicles the history of the third oldest US Army post are available in the gift shop.  They are autographed by the author, John Michael, and sales benefit the National Defense University Foundation.

Images, Photographs, and Maps

The book contains over 200 images that provide insight about the military installation since its founding in 1791.  Over time it’s been an arsenal providing the ordnance for the Civil War, the site of the first federal penitentiary and where the Lincoln assassination conspirators were incarcerated, tried, and hanged.  The Army Corps of Engineers school was here while a major building effort provided the iconic Roosevelt Hall – designed by the architects McKim, Mead and White and other now historic buildings: Officers’ Club and quarters, barracks, stables, hospital, clinic …  stays by the US Army Band and the Music School.

 

National Defense University Foundation Gift Shop

 

More About Fort Lesley J. McNair

For several years Major Walter Reed practiced medicine and determined that the mosquito was the reason for  Yellow Fever while among these acres.  Up until the beginning of WW II, the Army War College occupied Roosevelt Hall until being relocated to Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.  The post also is the headquarters of the Military District of Washington. The US Army’s Center of Military History has called Fort McNair home since the 1990s.  The 3d Infantry – the Old Guard’s Alpha Company – also known as the Commander in Chief’s Guard – was garrisoned in the barracks on the post.

BUY THE BOOK

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

An  Author Autographed copy of the book is available for purchase directly from the author, John Michael.  Buy the Book

Sep
22

Brick, Brick, Wall and a Few Buildings Too! (Part 1)

By John Michael  //  Washington Arsenal  //  No Comments

The Capital City Needs A New Federal Penitentiary – Part 1

charles bulfinchWhen President John Quincy Adams tapped Charles Bulfinch, the architect from Boston, to design the first federal penitentiary on the northern acres of Greenleaf Point, who knew the role this structure would later play in the history of the United States – specifically in regard to the Lincoln assassination.   Bulfinch, as the 3rd Architect of the Capitol, had redesigned that building, incorporating a new central dome to it. He succeeded Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who was the 2nd Architect of the Capitol and Stephen Hallet (a.k.a. Étienne Sulpice Hallet) who was Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant‘s draftsman and the 1st Architect of the Capitol.

It Began in Boston

Bulfinch made his name and reputation in New England, specifically in Massachusetts  and around Boston -designing several buildings. Among these facts were why in 1817 he was named as the Architect of the Capital. In addition to the work done on the Capitol, he designed a prison in Alexandria, Va. (1826) and also designed the Federal Penitentiary (1827-28), Washington DC.

An In-depth Penitentiary Study

To get a better perspective about a penitentiary design,  Bulfinch sought out a variety of prisons both existing  or those being built in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.  Armed with that knowledge, he then prepared a report to the President that highlighted his actions and the conclusions and recommendations for the new penitentiary that would be built for the Capital City located at the northern end of Greenleaf Point.

bulfinch penitentiary report

Results  and Recommendations for the Penitentiary

charles bulfinch on penitentiary

Read a copy of the report bulfinch-report-to-congress

A Penitentiary Design

Based on his report and details in it, the new District of Columbia Penitentiary would be a four-story brick building with twenty cells on each floor or a total of one hundred sixty cells surrounded by a perimeter wall.  The front of the penitentiary would face north.  Within the courtyard would be a separate building – that’s where the kitchen, mess hall and the shoe factory would be.

bulfinch penitentiary sketch

 

penitentiary plan

What the Future Held

The penitentiary completed in 1827 and never filled to capacity and the shoe factory didn’t provide enough income to maintain the facility since the combination of types of prisoners along with the number wasn’t sufficient Yet less than four decades later, it would be the site of what would be the incarceration, trial, and hanging of four of the Lincoln assassination conspirators including Mary Surratt – the first woman hanged by the US  federal government.

washington federal penitentiary

 

BUY THE BOOK

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

An  Author Autographed copy of the book is available for purchase.  Buy the Book

 

Brick, Brick, Wall  – Part 2 –

After that fateful day – 07 JUL 1865  what happened Next?   (COMING SOON)

Nov
7

Grant Hall Open House 07 NOV 2015

By John Michael  //  Fort Lesley J McNair  //  No Comments

Historic Fort Lesley J. McNair

Fort Lesley J. McNair - Main Gate

Fort Lesley J. McNair – Main Gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Hall – Where The Trial Took Place

Nearly 500 people braved the chilly rainy weather and ventured out to Fort Lesley J. McNair to learn more about the trial of the Lincoln assassination conspirators from some noted historians.   It was Open House at Building #20 – also known as Grant Hall – one of the remaining buildings from the Federal Penitentiary that once stood on the acres of this historic US Army Post…

Established in 1791 when Major Charles Pierre L’Enfant designed and laid out the new Capital City. it had become by the time the trial was held – Washington Arsenal with the first Federal Penitentiary occupying the northern part of the peninsula known once as Greenleaf Point.

Grant Hall –  Third Floor

Slightly modified over time,  it’ s the only remaining part of the penitentiary – it was originally the deputy warden’s quarters when it was attached to the main cell block of the penitentiary.

Grant Hall - Bldg #20

Grant Hall – Bldg #20

Noted Historians Provide the Details

In 1865, a military commission was established to determine the fate of the assassination conspirators.  After several weeks and hundreds of witnesses, the determination of the fate of the prisoners was made –  four of the conspirators would head to the gallows – among them was Mary Surratt – the first woman to be hanged by the Federal Government.

the courtroom where the trial was held

the courtroom where the trial was held

FUTURE OPEN HOUSE OPPORTUNITIES

FUTURE OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE
Grant Hall Public Open Houses are held quarterly on the first Saturday of the second month of each quarter. During a calendar year, those months are February, May, August and November. The dates in 2016 for Grant Hall Public Open Houses are: Feb 6 (weather depending — will close for snow, so check JBM-HH Facebook), May 7, Aug 6 and Nov 5. Open House hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information please contact the public affairs office on Fort Myer

 

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

Jul
18

FREE BOOKS GIVEAWAY

 

THE GIVEAWAY IS OVER…

OVER 800 people entered to win on GOOD READS …

822 people entered this giveaway

 

However, You can still get something FREE —

FREE SHIPPING on an AUTOGRAPHED COPY of “Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair”   IT MAKES A GREAT GIFT OF HISTORY!

For the first 50 supporters get a copy with FREE SHIPPING

BUY OR ENTER GIVEAWAY

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair is an outstanding book …  after several months of researching – pouring over thousands of photographs, maps and illustrations – and writing – word smithing the proper presentation, it became a reality on 04 MAY 2015.   It chronicles the decades of historic contributions made during those years by names such as Abraham Lincoln, Pierre L’Enfant, Walter Reed, Elihu Root, Theodore Roosevelt and others.

When it was the Washington Arsenal, it provisioned the Union Army during the Civil War. It’s acres are where The Old Guard were garrisoned,  where the Engineer School of the US Army trained new engineers, where the US Army Band  – “Pershing’s Own”  was relocated to after their organization at Fort Hunt, Virginia and before they relocated to Fort Myer, Virginia.  The Lincoln assassination conspirators were incarcerated tried and hanged.   Twenty-one women lost their lives when the gunpowder where they were working exploded.  Their group grave is at Congressional Cemetery.

 

Now an author autographed copy can be yours for free … OR you can support the author’s work and purchase one for yourself and your friend and your local library … BUY THE BOOK

 

For those of you who like to play the odds and might get a free one… the author has placed a giveaway on GOOD READS where THOUSANDS of members are vying for the same free books only a few copies.   Either way you win… in the former, it’s a win win win for you, the author and military history.

 

GOODREADS FREE BOOKS GIVEAWAY

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair by John Michael

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

by John Michael

Giveaway ends September 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

 

Jul
7

The Lincoln Conspirators Hanged

First Woman Hanged by the Federal Government

The Lincoln Conspirators Hanged…

After weeks of listening to testimony of hundreds of “witnesses” the military commission’s came to a consensus and the orders were carried out. On July 7, 1865, four conspirators – Lewis Powell, David Herold, George Atzerodt, and Mary Surratt – were hanged by the neck at Federal Penitentiary at Washington Arsenal in Washington D.C.  The remaining conspirators: Dr. Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlen, and Edmund Spangler received other sentences or were later freed when President Andrew Johnson pardoned them.  John Surratt, the son of Mary Surratt who had become a fugitive and first went to Canada then to Europe then Africa was later captured and tried, but got set free on a technicality.

 

 

Lincoln Conspirators

Mary Surratt

Mary Surratt

George Atzerodt

George Atzerodt

David Herold

David Herold

Lewis Powell

Lewis Powell

Gallows Constructed in the Courtyard

While the trial was being held preparations were made for the outcome with gallows built in the courtyard of the penitentiary to carry out the sentence of the military commission. The actual assassin, John Wilkes Booth, already dead was buried temporarily within the penitentiary grounds.

 

 

 

 

Conspirators on Scaffold

Conspirators on Scaffold

The Lincoln conspirators hanged at the gallows…

hanged to death

hanged to death

 

Their bodies were then placed in coffins and buried temporarily in shallow graves near the gallows.  Within days the gallows were removed and later the entire penitentiary was also  dismantled save for one part of the building that stands until today,  Grant Hall, where the trial took place. After the rest of the buildings came down,  the bricks were then used for the walls that now surround Fort Lesley J. McNair.

 

coffns and graves

\coffins and graves

 

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

JOHN MICHAEL CREATIVES    —   JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

May
4

A Slain President is Honored – Lincoln in Springfield

By John Michael  //  Washington Arsenal  //  No Comments

PRESIDENT JOHNSON CLOSES THE GOVERNMENT

Lincoln's Funeral Train

Lincoln’s Funeral Train

 

The body of Abraham Lincoln, slain president of the United States reached Springfield,  Illinois by train.  On 04 MAY, 1865 he was laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery.  This was after a 1,500 miles passing through 180 cities along the way that began on 21 APR 1865 in Washington, DC.

President Andrew Johnson issued an order to close down the United States government to honor the slain president.

THE WAR DEPARTMENT CLOSES –

MINUTE GUNS ORDERED

The War Department also issued an order to close on that day.  Also, at Washington Arsenal, minute guns would be fired from noon until sunset to honor the slain president.

These orders appeared in the 04 MAY 1865 issue of the Washington Star newspaper.  The excerpt is below.

1865 MAY 04 - Minute Guns fired at Washington Arsenal honoring slain President Abraham Lincoln Washington Star

1865 MAY 04 – Minute Guns fired at Washington Arsenal
honoring slain President Abraham Lincoln
Washington Star

 

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations. They chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN MICHAEL CREATIVES    —   JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

 

 

 

Apr
15

O Captain My Captain

By John Michael  //  Washington Arsenal  //  No Comments

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on 14 APR 1865 at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.  Some call him the last casualty of the US Civil War.  In response to the death of the President,  Walt Whitman, America’s Poet, wrote a poem that was a tribute to Lincoln and his efforts to see the country through the war.

 

O Captain My Captain by Walt Whitman

by Walt Whitman

Apr
4

A 1972 Tour of Fort Lesley J McNair – Part II

By John Michael  //  Fort Lesley J McNair  //  No Comments

PART II

SELECT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1972 DISCOVERED

This short tour of Fort Lesley J McNair provides only a small glimpse of what many call “A most beautiful US Army Post”

Roosevelt Hall  – a design by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White – first contained the Army War College.  The first graduating class that did their work within this beautiful building was the Class of 1909-10.  It stands as a tribute to them and those who followed.   After World War II,  the Army War College moved to Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania (taking their statue of Frederick the Great there too!).  The National War College now is located in Roosevelt Hall providing instruction to members of all branches of the military and other US government agencies such as the Department of State.   One graduate from more recent times is Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens,

 

Roosevelt Hall from the Northwest

Roosevelt Hall from the Northwest

“TEMPOS” – temporary buildings, built / erected to meet a pressing need and among those needs were the need for additional quarters – there’s never enough space for housing.   These barracks, which were located on the east side of post, down the road  a bit from Roosevelt Hall, provided much needed housing.

"Tempo" - Temporary Barracks on the East side

“Tempo” – Temporary Barracks on the East side

What is in present day called Grant Hall, was in 1972, housing for married military officers.  The building is the last remnant of the federal penitentiary that once occupied many more of the acres – it was built before the US Civil War.  The notoriety of the penitentiary is that’s where the Lincoln assassination conspirators were incarcerated.  Their trial took place on the third floor of this building seen below.  The gallows where they were later hanged on 07 JUL 1865 were erected just to what would be the left side of the building.   Tennis courts now occupy the space where the gallows stood.

Site of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators Trial The Federal Penitentiary Building - later Grant Hall

Site of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators Trial – The Federal Penitentiary Building – later Grant Hall

 

The US Army has its share of talented people.  The branch that is one of the work horses of the US Army is the Corps of Engineers.  The Engineering School once occupied the barracks shown below.  It also is where the US Army Music School later trained the musicians for all the US Army regimental bands.

 

Inter American Defense College

Inter American Defense College

 

There are two other sets of photographs from this group which can be seen –  PART I   and PART III.

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN MICHAEL CREATIVES    —   JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Jan
10

Where Lincoln Walked – in Richmond

By John Michael  //  Washington Arsenal  //  No Comments

Rocketts Wharf – Where Lincoln Walked…

Rocketts Wharf Richmond

Rocketts Wharf
Richmond

#historicfortmcnair — It is rather serendipitous that the cover of the book shows Washington Arsenal after the Civil War. – “Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair” contains a row of artillery – Confederate artillery – Napoleons which were captured from the arsenal in Richmond.  Their journey began  at Rocketts Wharf they were brought for shipment.  The same place where President Abraham Lincoln disembarked and walked to the Confederate White House.

It is actually close to 2 miles away. The State Capitol is about 5 blocks above the river, (the Confederate White House a few more blocks north), but that point is at the falls of the James, which is not navigable. That is why Lincoln had to disembark and go ashore downriver from the Capitol, and walk through town. He had come up the James River from City Point near present-day Hopewell, where the Union troops were based.

The photo taken in May 1865, shows the assembled cache of captured ordnance that was  destined to end up at Washington Arsenal and on the cover of the book…

“Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair” contains over 200 historical and contemporary photographs which highlight some of the people and events of this historical US Army Post. It is the site of the incarceration, trial and hanging of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. Familiar names such as Walter Reed, Theodore Roosevelt along with Abraham Lincoln walked among the acres which has become an Army post in tribute to one of the highest ranking officers killed in action during World War II.  Current home to the headquarters of the Military District of Washington, the post is also shared by National Defense University along with several of its colleges.   The US Army’s Center for Military History also occupies one of the historic buildings on post which originally was the quartermaster stables then the post exchange… perhaps a good place to “horse around” … don’cha think?

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN MICHAEL CREATIVES    —   JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

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