“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brightwood in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Fort Slocum

Civil War Defenses of Washington



Fort Slocum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
1. Fort Slocum Marker
No visible evidence remains of Fort Slocum, which stood here and across Kansas Avenue to your left.

Cannon mounted at Fort Totten helped repulse a Confederate attack on Fort Stevens, July 11-12, 1864.
Erected by National Parks Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Defenses of Washington marker series.
Location. 38° 57.587′ N, 77° 0.768′ W. Marker is in Brightwood, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Kansas Avenue and Nicholson Street, on the right when traveling south on Kansas Avenue. Click for map. Located in the Fort Slocum Park unit of the Rock Creek Park. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20011, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Original Federal Boundary Stone NE 3 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Hold the Mayo! (approx. 0.8 miles away); Crossroads Create Community (approx. 0.8 miles away); Build It And They Will Come (approx. 0.8 miles away); Mayor Emery and the Union Army (approx. 0.8 miles away); A Streetcar Named Brightwood
Engineering Drawing and Defenses Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
2. Engineering Drawing and Defenses Map
On the map of Washington Defenses, Fort Slocum is indicated by the red dot.
(approx. 0.8 miles away); Fort Totten (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Rock on Brightwood Avenue (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Brightwood.
More about this marker. The marker displays a diagram of "Fort Slocum from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drawing," on the left. On the right is a map showing "Other Civil War fort locations administered by Rock Creek Park," with Fort Slocum indicated with a red dot. The lower portion of the marker is a photograph from the war of a cannon mounted at one of Washington, DC's forts, "During the Civil War, Washington's forts overlooked farm land." The photograph is of a 100-pdr Parrott Rifled Cannon in place at the nearby Fort Totten during the war.
Also see . . .  Col. John S. Slocum. (Submitted on March 13, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional comments.
1. Description of Fort Slocum
From "Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington," by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III and Walton H. Owen II:

Fort Slocum was named for Colonel John S. Slocum, killed at First Manassas, from the 2nd Rhode
Fort Slocum Park image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
3. Fort Slocum Park
Behind the marker are the remains of an outer battery and rifle pits that extended out from the fort.
Island Infantry, the unit that built the fort. The fort perimeter was 653 yards and covered the Rock Creek Church Road (modern Blair Road and New Hampshire Avenue). The fort contained one 8-inch siege howitzer, two 24-pdr siege guns, two 24-pdr seacoast guns, four 24-pdr howitzers, seven 4.5in rifled cannon, six 10-pdr rifled Parrott cannon, one 10-inch siege mortar and two 24-pdr Coehorn mortars.

Had they been completed, batteries on the east and west of Fort Slocum would have added ten more cannons to the overall firepower. While the earthworks were constructed, no cannon appear to have been mounted. Much of the fort and it's outer works were damaged during World War II when Victory Gardens were planted in and around the area.

During the Civil War, elements of the 76th New York Infantry, 1st New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, 150th Ohio National Guard, 14th Michigan Battery, and Knapp's Pennsylvania Artillery garrisoned the fort at different times.

When the Confederates demonstrated against Fort Stevens, to the west, Fort Slocum had the honor of opening the engagement by firing its long range guns. During the battle, some 1,500 employees of the Army Quartermaster office, led by General Montgomery Meigs, assisted the fort's garrison. In addition some 2,800 convalescents, commanded by Colonel Francis Price, from nearby hospitals also augmented the fort's defenders.
Location of Fort Slocum image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
4. Location of Fort Slocum
No remains exist of the original fort, but it occupied the high ground bordered by Kansas Avenue, Blair Road, and Nicholson Street. This view is from Kansas Avenue looking east.
    — Submitted October 16, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
Portions of the Remaining Outer Works image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 4, 2007
5. Portions of the Remaining Outer Works
One can make out faint traces of the earthworks, now covered by trees and underbrush. The battery located here was never occupied, and only lightly used by garrison troops.
Col. John S. Slocum image. Click for full size.
Library of Congress
6. Col. John S. Slocum
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,474 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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