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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fort Washington in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Capital Guardian

The Endicott System

 
 
Captial Guardian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
1. Captial Guardian Marker
Inscription. Coastal fortifications moved into the 20th century with the development of the Endicott System. At Fort Washington, eight reinforced concrete batteries were constructed near the old fort to mount modern artillery. Many support buildings were erected including officer and enlisted quarters. In 1921, after the fort was no longer needed as a coastal defense, it housed part of the 12th U.S. Infantry Regiment.

The Endicott System consisted of several types of weapons designated to repel all classes of enemy naval vessels. It worked like this at Fort Washington:
- 6-inch and 10-inch disappearing rifles could reach enemy battleships and cruisers 6 to 7 miles downriver.

- Searchlights were added to the system in the early 1900s to spotlight enemy vessels attacking at night.

- Eight, 12-inch seacoast mortars could lob 700-pound shells almost vertically through the lightly armored decks of enemy battleships and cruisers.

- Submarine mines anchored in a predetermined pattern in the river could be fired electrically from the shore

- Small caliber rapid fire guns mounted near the river could protect the minefield from enemy destroyers and minesweepers.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location.
Close up of the Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
2. Close up of the Map
Details the positions of the Endicott System fortifications.
38° 42.74′ N, 77° 1.978′ W. Marker is near Fort Washington, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Fort Washington Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located in Fort Washington Park, just outside the visitors center / museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13551 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington MD 20744, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Capital Guardian (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Capital Guardian (here, next to this marker); Battery Decatur and Disappearing Guns (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Washington Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Main Gateway (about 400 feet away); The Northwest Demi-Bastion (about 400 feet away); The Water Battery (about 700 feet away); Caponiere (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Washington.
 
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker are drawings showing a coastal artilleryman in a typical garrison uniform circa 1906, a 10-inch disappearing gun, a searchlight, a rapid firing gun, a mine, and a 12-inch seacoast mortar.

On the right a map of the fort details the locations of the batteries and their armaments:
Battery White - Two 4" rapid-fire
Captial Guardian Markers image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
3. Captial Guardian Markers
From left to right the "First Fort", "Fort Washington", and "The Endicott System." In the background is the entrance to Fort Washington, the masonary fort.
guns [Model] 1888 - [range] 6 miles (9.6K)
Battery Many - Two 3" rapid-fire guns [Model] 1902 - [range] 5 miles (8K)
Battery Decatur - Two 10" guns [Model] 1888 - [range] 7 miles (11.2K)
Battery Meigs - Eight 12" rifled mortars [Model] 1890 - [range] 9 miles (14.5K)
Battery Emory - Two 10" guns [Model] 1888 - [range] 7 miles (11.2K)
Battery Humphreys - Two 10" guns [Model] 1888 - [range] 7 miles (11.2K)
Battery Smith - Two 3" rapid-fire guns [Model] 1902 - [range] 5 miles (8K)
Battery Willdn - Two 6" guns [Model] 1897 - [range] 6 miles (9.6K)

 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Coast Defenses of the Potomac. National Park Service page detailing the post-Civil War defenses of the nation's capital. (Submitted on May 26, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Board of Fortifications. (the Endicott Board), Wikipedia. (Submitted on December 10, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryWar, Spanish-AmericanWaterways & Vessels
 
Capital Guardian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
4. Capital Guardian Marker
Fort Washington in the Distance
Fort Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
5. Fort Map
A fine relief map of the fort is featured in the park's museum.
Coast Artilleryman, 1906 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
6. Coast Artilleryman, 1906
Close-up of image on marker
Searchlight image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
7. Searchlight
Searchlights were added to the system in the early 1900s to spotlight enemy vessels attacking at night.
Close-up of image on marker
Disappearing Gun image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
8. Disappearing Gun
6-inch and 10-inch disappearing rifles could reach enemy battleships and cruisers 6 to 7 miles downriver.
Close-up of image on marker
Seacoast Mortar image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
9. Seacoast Mortar
Eight, 12-inch seacoast mortars could lob 700-pound shells almost vertically through the lightly armored decks of enemy battleships and cruisers.
Close-up of image on marker
Small Caliber Rapid Fire Gun image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
10. Small Caliber Rapid Fire Gun
Small caliber rapid fire guns mounted near the river could protect the minefield from enemy destroyers and minesweepers.
Close-up of image on marker
Submarine Mine image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
11. Submarine Mine
Submarine mines anchored in a predetermined pattern in the river could be fired electrically from the shore.
Close-up of image on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,101 times since then and 5 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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