The Civil War touched just about everyone who lived in the United States at that time. Whether it was wives who watched their husbands march off to war, or children who waited in vain for their fathers to come back. The Civil War stamped both people and places with its mix of bravery and cowardice, elation and sorrow, hatred and forgiveness.
In 1861 Georgetown was primarily considered a Southern town. Slavery was legal and 90% of the population was from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. After the fall of Fort Sumter, President Lincoln took quick steps to ensure Georgetown's southern aspirations would not be realized, especially considering its proximity to the Capitol.
With the arrival of northern troops, many of Georgetown's southern sympathizers, or "secesh", crossed over into Virginia. By July of 1861, many thought the first battle, about to be fought in Manassas, Virginia, would end the war. The citizens got caught up in the carnival atmosphere that arose around the battle. Merchants seized the opportunity by selling spyglasses, maps, and even canes that turned into chairs to the people that wanted to see the skirmish.
The realization set in that this was not going to be a quick war. The government turned several Georgetown houses and businesses into hospitals and morgues. Georgetowners were divided into Northern and Southern sympathizers. Each side lived in fear of retribution for its loyalties. The following tour will point out some of the sites involved in the famous clash between North and South.
Reference address: 2929 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 Walking directions: From the Visitor Center turn left onto 30th street. Take 30th Street a half block up to M Street. Cross M Street heading up 30th street. Pause on the corner across from the Bank.
Reference address: 3116 O St NW, Washington, DC 20007 Walking directions: From Wheatley Row, walk towards 31st St NW. Walk along 31st St NW towards Dumbarton St NW. Cross Dumbarton St NW and continue walking along 31st St NW until you get to the corner of O St NW and 31st. You'll see the brick building of the church.
Reference address: 1258 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007 Walking directions: From the Christ Episcopal Church, walk back towards the intersection of 31st St NW and N St NW. Turn right onto N St NW and begin walking towards Wisconsin Ave. You'll see a gray building towards the left on Wisconsin Ave. It is currently the department store, the GAP. This is the former Forrest Hall.
Reference address: 3133 Dumbarton St NW, Washington, DC 20007 Walking directions: From the Forrest Hall building on the corner of Wisconsin Ave NW and N St NW, walk north towards Dumbarton St NW. Turn right onto Dumbarton St NW. After walking a few feet, look to your left for the church.
Reference address: 3108 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007 Walking directions: From Dumbarton United Methodist Church, continue walking along Dumbarton St NW towards 31st St NW. Turn left onto 31st St NW and continue north towards O St NW. Cross O St NW and continue walking north on 31st St NW towars P St NW. At the intersection of P St NW and 31st St NW, turn left onto P St NW. After walking a few feet, you'll find 3108 P St NW.
Reference address: 1644 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007 Walking directions: Walk back to the intersection of 31st St NW and P St NW. Continue north onto 31st St NW. Cross Q St NW until you see the gardens to your left. You'll find the entrance of Tudor Place at the black steel gates. Tudorplace.org
Reference address: 3238 R St NW Washington, District of Columbia Walking directions: From Tudor Place, continue walking north on 31st St NW towards R St NW. Turn left onto R St NW and continue walking west. Continue walking past 32nd St NW on R St NW. You'll see the large house and property of 3238 R St NW on the left.