A House Divided: A City Transformed
A Ring of Forts
A protective ring of forts was built around Washington in an effort to keep the capital city safe, because of its proximity to Confederate states.
When President Lincoln visited Fort Stevens on July 12, 1864, he was the first sitting U.S. president to come under fire—at the only battle fought within the District’s lines. Among the Union defenders during the two-day battle were Jewish members of the 122nd New York Volunteer Infantry, including Max Friedlander, Israel Mannheimer, and Jacob Sax. The battle ended in Union victory.