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The Civil War Defenses of Washington: 1861

Friday, April 26, 2024, 1:30 PM until 2:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW

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With Washington, DC—The National Capital—situated below the Mason-Dixon Line and surrounded on all sides by slaveholding states, the prospects for Union defeat were very real. Many people are aware of the Civil War Defenses of Washington (CWDW) and that it was composed of 68 forts and 93 batteries. But this was the strength of the defenses in 1865, at the end of the war. How did it all begin? Which were the first forts built? Which was the first fort? And was a Confederate invasion of Washington, DC possible? This presentation will look at these and more questions.

Bryan Cheeseboro is a historian of the American Civil War. His activities include being a reenactor with Company B, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He has been featured on American Battlefield Trust’s Zoom Goes the History series and Antietam Live! programs. He has written for the Emerging Civil War blog. His presentations to the Rock Creek, DC Civil War Round Table include the programs Outside of Lincoln's White House: Civil War Men and Women of the DC Metro Area; The Grand Reviews of the Civil War; and The 1st United States Colored Infantry. He was the subject of the article “The Hands-On Historian” in the Spring 2021 issue of Civil War Monitor magazine. In February 2022, he was the guest of John R. Heckman’s (The Tattooed Historian) YouTube channel to discuss his presentation Volunteers, Substitutes, & Drafted Men: Enlisting in the Civil War. He is a Park Ranger with the National Park Service. His site is the Civil War Defenses of Washington.
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