Washington in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Top of the Town
—Tenleytown Heritage Trail —
This unsurpassed vantage brought the Civil War (1861-1865) to Tenleytown. After the Union defeat at Bull Run in July 1861, northern troops took the Dyer farm here to establish Fort Pennsylvania. Soldiers cleared the farmhouse, orchards fields and, as neighbor Ann Forrest Green noted with alarm, "every particle of poultry." The fort, renamed in 1863 to honor Major General Jesse Lee Reno, was one of 68 built to protect the city. In the summer of 1864 Confederate forces knew it was one of the city's strongest defenses, with long-range cannons and a signal tower visible for miles.
On the morning of July 11, 1864, President Lincoln visited Fort Reno. Later that day, lookouts spied the dust of Confederate troops advancing from the north. Some headed this way on Rockville Road (Wisconsin Avenue), but most took the Seventh Street Road (Georgia Avenue), homing in on the apparently weaker Fort Stevens, three miles to the northeast. Luckily, the broiling heat delayed Confederate General Jubal Early's attack. giving defenders time to reinforce Fort Stevens. Fort Reno cavalry meanwhile engaged the advancing enemy only a few block north of here, with both sides suffering casualties. The fort's cannons shelled the enemy nearly
Early's forces lost the ensuing Battle of Fort Stevens, the only Civil War engagement fought in the District of Columbia. Some 30 years later the city erased any remnants of the fort when it constructed an underground water reservoir. The reservoir's red-brick tower -- actually a water tank -- became a tenleytown landmark visible from Virginia.
Erected by Cultural Tourism D.C.
Location. 38° 57.048′ N, 77° 4.647′ W. Marker is in Washington, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Chesapeake Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is along Chesapeake Street east of its intersection with 40th Street on the south edge of Fort Reno Park. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20016, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Civil War Defenses of Washington (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Fort Reno (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Reno (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Three R's (about 800 feet away); Suburban Style (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Touch with the World A Country Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Spirit of Community (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Washington.
Also see . . . Tenelytown Heritage Trail. (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 635 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 7, 2016.