When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spent millions of dollars on renovations to his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, perhaps his most off-the-wall addition was a historical marker commemorating a Civil War battle on site. But historians told The New York Times for a story published Tuesday that the battle Trump memorialized never happened.
After Trump bought the golf course, which the Times described as a “fixer-upper,” he chopped down trees so golfers could see more of the Potomac River and graced the course with his brand name. But it apparently wasn’t enough for the real estate mogul: he gave it a place in American history by installing a marker between the 14th and 15th holes with a plaque dubbing the spot “The River of Blood,” according to the report.
“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot,” the inscription read, according to the Times. “The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’”
Trump told a Times reporter that there were “numerous historians” who told him the golf course was called “The River of Blood,” even though he couldn’t remember their names.
Multiple historians told the Times that the marker was inconsistent with historical record. While Civil War battles did take place several miles away from Trump’s golf course, none occurred on site, the historians said.
When the Times pressed Trump for evidence to support the “River of Blood” inscription, the billionaire responded: “Write your story the way you want to write it. You don’t have to talk to anybody. It doesn’t make any difference. But many people were shot. It makes sense.”
Read the full report here.