Community Center To Rise Near D.C. Civil War Battlefield

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It was July 12, 1864, and Confederate troops were advancing on Washington, D.C. "Get down, you fool!" Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. reportedly yelled as bullets whizzed by. President Lincoln watched from D.C.'s Fort Stevens, and Lt. Gen. Jubal Early's soldiers were taking aim.

Lincoln remained safe (for the time being), but the battle at Fort Stevens was the closest the Confederate Army ever came to conquering the city. It was also one of only two times a U.S. President came under enemy fire (the other was James Madison in the War of 1812). The Union victory came with a price: 374 Union losses and 500 Confederate casualties.

More than a century later, development encroaches on Fort Stevens battlefield, one of nine capital-area fortifications the National Park Service administers today.

On Feb. 23, 2010, the city's planning office approved a proposal submitted by the Emory United Methodist Church to erect an expansive community center adjacent to the battleground....

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