Black and white photograph overlooking the Washington City Canal; featuring muddy roads, a Civil War hospital, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Potomac River in the background.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-127632.

Civil War Washington on the National Mall

Saturday, October 28, 2023

duration 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
rating Free. For teachers grades K-12.

The city of Washington was a complex, gritty, unfinished and precarious place during the Civil War, and the National Mall was at the heart of it all. Thousands of soldiers lived and trained on the Mall before heading into the first major battles of the Civil War in Virginia. Join Ford’s Theatre and National Mall and Memorial Parks as we explore what Washington, D.C. was like for President Lincoln and how the city has grown and changed over time.

Where: This guided, 1.5-mile walking tour begins at the Washington Monument and ends at the Lincoln Memorial, and includes stops at the Lockkeepers House, Jefferson Pier Stone and an optional add-on to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The route and each stop is accessible.

Parking and Transportation: Limited street parking is available around the National Mall. We recommend participants take public transportation.

What to Bring: Please wear good walking shoes and dress for the weather.

Participants will take away:

  • A packet of primary sources to bring local history to life for your students
  • Resources and contacts to plan your own field trip to these sites
  • Increased content knowledge about our capital monuments, D.C. and Civil War history
  • Practice skills and strategies to engage your students in the current national dialogue about our monument and memorial landscape
  • A letter certifying three hours of professional development