Monday, January 18, 2016

The Pentagon in 1861

Fort Runyon, named after Brig. Gen. Theodore Runyon, was located astride the important junction of the Washington Alexandria and Columbia Turnpikes, a half-mile south of the Long Bridge. The fort was built in July 1861 on the land of a Washington building contractor.  The largest fort in the defenses of Washington, it covered 12 acres and had a perimeter of 1,484 yards. Construction began on May 24, 1861 and was completed in seven weeks. Fort Albany was built on the high ground to protect the rear of Fort RunyonFort Runyon was a pentagonal earth and timber fort, and was approximately the same size, and shape as the modern day Pentagon (built from 1941-1943).  Interestingly, the Pentagon now stands on almost the exact location of Fort Runyon.  A history marker now identifies where the fort once stood.  

A quick look at women doctors and medicine in the Civil War for the general reader. Technologically, the American Civil War was the first “modern” war, but medically it still had its roots in the Middle Ages. In both the North and the South, thousands of women served as nurses to help wounded and suffering soldiers and civilians. A few women served as doctors, a remarkable feat in an era when sex discrimination prevented women from pursuing medical education, and those few who did were often obstructed by their male colleagues at every turn.