|1864--a shot that startled Washington After the shell whirled from the Confederate General Early's gun through the little house outside of Washington City, shortly before this photograph was taken in July, 1864, consternation spread throughout the North, and surprise the world over. A most audacious swoop down the Valley of Virginia, over the Potomac and across Maryland, had carried eight thousand seasoned veterans in gray to the very gates of Washington. A shot struck near President Lincoln himself at Fort Stevens. The capital was without sufficient trained defenders. Half a million Union soldiers were scattered south of the Potomac to the Gulf, but few remained north of the river when Early appeared after forced marches that tested the heroism of his devoted troops. Hastening on the afternoon of July 11th, two army corps arrived from Grant's army. Washington was saved; reluctantly the daring Confederates retreated, and abandoned their last invasion of the North.|
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