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

Fort Marcy

 
 
Fort Marcy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
1. Fort Marcy Marker
Inscription. Civil War Defenses of Washington
1861-1865


The earthworks and other visible remnants of Fort Marcy and related batteries still remain.

Fort Marcy was built in 1862 to protect the Chain Bridge approach to Washington, D.C.
 
Erected by National Parks Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Defenses of Washington marker series.
 
Location. 38° 56.05′ N, 77° 7.533′ W. Marker is in McLean, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from George Washington Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Located inside the Fort Marcy Park, at the start of the trail leading from the parking area to the fort. The park is best reached from west bound George Washington Parkway, with no exits from the east bound lanes. Marker is in this post office area: Mc Lean VA 22101, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Marcy, Virginia (a few steps from this marker); Auxiliary Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Pimmit Run and Chain Bridge (approx. half a mile away); The Mouth of Pimmit Run (approx. half a
Interior of the Fort Marcy image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
2. Interior of the Fort Marcy
The fort stands on what is known locally as Prospect Hill. As built, the fort contained two magazines, a four room bomb-proof, and three sets of raised platforms for guns.
mile away); Chain Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away); Original Federal Boundary Stone NW 4 (approx. 0.6 miles away in District of Columbia); Clay and Randolph Duel (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort Ethan Allen (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in McLean.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays a Fort Marcy trail map on the left. On the right is a map showing "Other Civil War fort locations administered by the National Parks Service." 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 . . .
1. Fort Marcy. National Parks Service site. The brochure linked off the site provides several Civil War photographs of the site and a copy of the engineering diagram. (Submitted on October 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Fort Marcy. A different National Parks Service site, this one including more information about
Fort Marcy Trail Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
3. Fort Marcy Trail Map
the defenses. (Submitted on October 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Washington Forts Historic Resource Study. Exceptionally well documented study by the National Parks Service of the ring of forts around Washington. (Submitted on October 21, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

4. Randolph B. Marcy, U.S. Army. ... Marcy’s 1859 book, The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions, with Maps, Illustrations, and Itineraries of the Principal Routes between the Mississippi and the Pacific, written at the direction of the Department of State and published by the U.S. government, has been called one of the most important works in making possible the great Western overland migration of the United States in the last half of the 19th century. (Submitted on May 8, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Fort Marcy Particulars
From "Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington," by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III and Walton H. Owen II:

the fort was originally named for Major General W. F. "Baldy" Smith when built (not to be confused with the nearby Fort C.F. Smith), when built in September 1861. The fort was renamed in honor of Brigadier General
Defenses of Washington Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
4. Defenses of Washington Map
Randolph Barns Marcy, father-in-law and Chief of Staff to General McClellan at the time.

The fort had a perimeter of 338 yards and a total of 18 guns. A tally of those guns included three 24-pdr guns, two 12-pdr howitzers, six 30-pdr Parrott rifled guns, three 20-pdr Parrott rifled guns, three 10-pdr Parrott rifled guns, one 10-inch mortar, and two 24-pdr Coehorn mortars.

Units stationed at Fort Marcy included 4th New York Heavy Artillery, 76th and 152nd New York Infantry, 130th and 141st Pennsylvania Infantry, and 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery.
    — Submitted October 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

 
Additional keywords. Randolph Barnes Marcy
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesNotable PersonsWar, US Civil
 
Fort Marcy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
5. Fort Marcy Marker
BGen Randolph Barnes Marcy image. Click for full size.
By Matthew Brady
6. BGen Randolph Barnes Marcy
Inspector General of the U.S. Army.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,110 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 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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