Report: Trump Battles Historians over the Civil War
Virginian Civil War historians are taking offense to Donald Trump’s recent comments that his golf course is located on the site of a major battle.
“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot,” a plaque between the 14th hole and 15th tee states, it said.
“The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood,’ ” it reads, alongside Trump’s full name and his family crest.
“It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River,” the sign adds.
According to the New York Times, several notable Virginian historians have denied Trump’s version of the story.
“No, uh-uh, no way,” said Richard Gillespie, executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, a historical preservation and education group which documents an 1,800 square mile section of the Virginia Piedmont, including Lowes Island.
“Nothing like that ever happened there,” he continued. “The River of Blood? Nope, not there.”
Gillespie suggested that Trump is confusing the location for the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, which occurred 11 miles up the Potomac River.
The Hill reports:
The 1861 battle, he added, took place 11 miles up the Potomac River and involved the death of several hundred Union soldiers during a retreat there.
Alana Blumenthal, curator of the Loudon Museum in nearby Leesburg, Va., also disputes Trump’s plaque, The New York Times said.
The newspaper added that a third source confirmed the marker is inaccurate, but requested anonymity so as not to anger the Trump Organization.
Trump waved off the historians’ criticisms in his own interview with The New York Times Tuesday.
“How would they know that?” he asked of regional experts. “Were they there?
“That was a prime site for river crossings,” Trump said. “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.”
Trump then refused comment on the identity of “numerous historians” who had discussed Lowes Island with his staff, The New York Times said.
He also would not let the publication speak with any of his “people” over the matter, it added.
“You don’t have to talk to anybody,” Trump said. “It doesn’t make any difference.
“But many people were shot,” the outspoken billionaire added. “It makes sense. Write the story the way you want to write it.”
The New York Times said Tuesday that Trump’s club is near Rowser’s Ford, the site of a major crossing by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and 5,000 confederate soldiers.
No one died during the event, it added, noting that Stuart’s force was heading toward the Battle of Gettysburg.
Photo credit: Telegraph.co.uk.