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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alexandria in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

In Support of American Defense

 
 
In Support of American Defense Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
1. In Support of American Defense Marker
Inscription. Fort Hunt played a key role in military development and defense. It was used as a major fortification during the Spanish-American War, as a logistical/training support center during peacetime, and as a military installation during WWI and WWII.

By 1917, with advances in military technology, fortifications like the ones in front of you became outdated. The military dismantled the fort's guns and sent them abroad to be mounted on railway cars where they could be used in support of WWI operations.

Between the first and second World Wars, military activity continued at Fort Hunt. This included housing troops, hosting a short-lived U.S. Army Finance School, and providing a training area for an African-American Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) unit.

During WWII, the military operated two top-secret programs at Fort Hunt. Enemy prisoners-of-war (POWs) were detained and interrogated on site. The fort was also used as a manufacturing center for secret escape devices sent to American POWs abroad.

Battery Mount Vernon
Endicott Coastal Defense System: In 1885, Secretary of War William C. Endicott led a study which recommended upgrading our Nation's coastal defense system. As a result, batteries (concrete platforms for guns) like the one in front of you were built along coastal waterways.

Completed:
Gun in Operation image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
2. Gun in Operation
A crew is breech-loading a projectile into a disappearing gun at Fort Monroe (VA). This gun is similar to artillery used at Fort Hunt.
August 1898

Dimension: 417 feet wide x 88 feet deep x 23 feet high

Artillery: Three 8-inch breech-loading disappearing guns

Range of Fire: 8 miles

Special Features: The gun carriages could be raised and lowered to "disappear" below the battery's protective wall.
 
Erected by George Washington Memorial Highway - National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 42.912′ N, 77° 3.087′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Fort Hunt Park Loop, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Located in Fort Hunt Park, a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway administered by the National Park Service. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22308, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civilian Conservation Corps (here, next to this marker); People and the Land (here, next to this marker); Fort Hunt Park (here, next to this marker); Beyond What You See Today (within shouting distance of this marker); P.O. Box 1142 (within shouting distance of this marker); WW II: A Battle Fought at Home and Abroad
Plan of Disappearing Gun image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
3. Plan of Disappearing Gun
Ingenious disappearing carriages used recoil energy to lower the gun out of sight of the enemy for reloading and servicing.
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Battery Sater (approx. 0.2 miles away); Protecting America's Legacy (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Alexandria.
 
More about this marker. A photo on the lower left is a Circa 1909 postcard view of the Fort Hunt living quarters.
 
Also see . . .  Fort Hunt Park. NPS site. (Submitted on June 5, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansMilitaryWar, Spanish-AmericanWar, World IWar, World II
 
Markers in Front of Battery Mount Vernon image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
4. Markers in Front of Battery Mount Vernon
Battery Mount Vernon Sign image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
5. Battery Mount Vernon Sign
Battery Mount Vernon image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 26, 2011
6. Battery Mount Vernon
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 461 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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