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

Fort Willard

Fort Willard Park

Fort Willard Marker image. Click for full size.
October 8, 2011
1. Fort Willard Marker
Inscription. Fort Willard Park contains significant earthworks and archaeological remains of a fort built in 1862 by the Union Army. It was one of 63 forts that were built surrounding the District of Columbia during the Civil War as part of the Defenses of Washington. Fort Willard is located on a high point overlooking low ground along the Potomac River. When the landscape was cleared of trees the fort commanded a clear view to the Potomac River.

Fort Willard was constructed at the end of 1862 as Redoubt “D” to Fort Lyon by detachments of the 34th Massachusetts Infantry. It was later named in honor of Colonel George L. Willard, who was killed at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Fort Willard was the southernmost fortification in the Defenses of Washington.

Major John Gross Barnard of the Corps of Engineers was in charge of construction of the Washington defenses. Fort Willard was built as lunette with a ditch and parapet facing to the south and open to the rear with no ditch on the north side. Today you can still see the earthen fortifications, cannon platforms and the remains of a bombproof (bomb shelter) and magazine (arms and gunpowder storage). The ten support buildings including the cookhouse, officer’s quarters, and barracks were to the northeast and no longer exist.

After the Civil War, the site lay fallow for many
Fort Willard Marker image. Click for full size.
October 8, 2011
2. Fort Willard Marker
The right of two historical markers at the Fort Willard Park plaza.
years. In the 1930s the Belle Haven subdivision began to be developed and the fort site was reserved in an area that eventually became Fort Willard Circle. The relative isolation of this site within a quiet residential neighborhood has allowed for the archaeological and cultural features at Fort Willard Historic Site to remain relatively undisturbed and only subject to the natural processes of erosion and tree growth.

Regiments garrisoned at Fort Willard included:
• 34th Massachusetts Infantry
• 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery
• 10th New York Heavy Artillery
• 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery

Erected by Fairfax County Park Authority.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Defenses of Washington marker series.
Location. 38° 46.981′ N, 77° 3.959′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker can be reached from Fort Willard Circle. Click for map. The marker is located at the Fort Willard Historical Site which is owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6625 Fort Willard Circle, Alexandria VA 22307, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Willard (here, next to this marker);
Fort Willard Earthworks image. Click for full size.
October 8, 2011
3. Fort Willard Earthworks
Defenses of Washington (here, next to this marker); These Trees (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Defenses of Washington (approx. 0.7 miles away); Historic Jones Point (approx. 0.8 miles away); Colonial Fort (approx. 0.8 miles away); Fort Lyon (approx. 0.9 miles away); Wasteland or Wetland? (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Alexandria.
More about this marker. The right side of the marker displays three graphics captioned Plan of Fort Willard, U.S. Army, Office of the Quartermaster. Courtesy National Archives & Records Administration, Engineering Drawing of Fort Willard. Courtesy National Archives & Records Administration and Captain Patrick H Ray of the 1st Regiment Wisconsin Heavy Artillery ordered a uniform jacket, reinforced pants, and one set of rank insignia from a military supplier on King Street in Alexandria. Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.
Also see . . .  Fort Willard Historic Site General Master Plan
Reproduction Cannon image. Click for full size.
October 8, 2011
4. Reproduction Cannon
At the Fort Willard Historic Site
. .pdf (Submitted on October 8, 2011.) 
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 590 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on . • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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