At the Trump National Golf Club, in Sterling, Virginia, not far from D.C., the New York Times reports that there is a plaque on a stone pedestal right after the 14th hole. The course, renovated and re-opened this year, is on the Potomac River, and the plaque, according to the Times, reads:
“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’”
There is no evidence that this is true, outside Trump’s statement that a number of historians told Trump employees about this piece of history. Also, he told the Times:
“That was a prime site for river crossings. So, if people are crossing the river, and you happen to be in a civil war, I would say that people were shot—a lot of them.”
But, as far as anyone else can tell, no one died here. There were no casualties. The water did not turn red. It was not known as the River of Blood. The signage was installed by the golf course, not any officially recognized historical (National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Register of Historic Places) or governmental body.
The plaque itself, though, appears to be real. It is a plaque.
Bonus finds: A very old fence
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