18 Aug

Donald Trump’s Golf Course Plaque Honors Fake Civil War Battle

Donald Trump’s Golf Course Plaque Honors Fake Civil War Battle

“How would they know that? Were they there?” Trump challenged local historians in 2015

A plaque along the Potomac River near the 15th green is shown during Round 3 of the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club on May 27, 2017 in Sterling, Virginia. Rob Carr/Getty Images

A 2015 report about a factually inaccurate plaque featured at Donald Trump‘s Northern Virginia Trump National Golf Club has resurfaced this week in light of the president’s controversial remarks about the violent weekend in Charlottesville – and his tweets about preserving Civil War memorabilia Thursday.

The New York Times story, published with the headline “In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History,” historians disputed the veracity of a plaque that sits between the 14th hole and the 15th tee of one of the club’s two courses.

The plaque, which is attached to a flagpole on a stone pedestal overlooking the Potomac, 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.’ It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!”

A Trump family crest appears under the inscription, along with Trump’s full name. The plaque purportedly designates that portion of the Potomac as “The River of Blood.”

According to the Times story, three historians asserted that no such battle or designation has ever been given to that spot.

“No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,” Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, told the Times. “The only thing that was remotely close to that” was something that took place 11 miles up the river. The conflict there was known as the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, took place in 1861 and involved several hundred deaths on the Union side.

Trump was adamant about the accuracy of the plaque, however, and told the publication that he was certain the area 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.”

The closest historic spot where crossings took place during the Civil War is indeed not too far from Trump’s club, but according to the historians, no one died in a crossing at that point, or in any other notable battle in the nearby area.

Retorted real estate mogul: “How would they know that? Were they there?”

Trump, a self-professed “big history fan,” was unable to name the historians he claimed had told him the site was known as the River of Blood.

On Tuesday, Trump issued a trio of tweets denouncing protesters attempting to fell statues and monuments of Confederate leaders from the Civil War era.

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