Rock Creek Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Rock Creek Park
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Built in 1861 to protect the Rock Creek Valley during the Civil War, Fort DeRussy's cannon fired a total of 109 projectiles into the northern countryside as 12,000-15,000 Confederate soldiers attacked the city under the command of Confederate General Jubal Anderson Early on July 11-12, 1864. During this two day battle (known as the Battle of Fort Stevens) Fort DeRussy aided the surrounding forts by providing the main suppressive fire to ensure a Union victory on the battlefield.
The largest piece of armament which Fort DeRussy utilized was the 100-Pound Parrott Rifle. This cannon, shown above at nearby Fort Totten, could hurl 100 pound projectiles several miles into the Maryland countryside. During the Battle of Fort Stevens, Fort DeRussy halted the Confederate advance into the city by firing this deadly and accurate cannon a total of 28 times.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, US CivilDefenses of Washington series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1861.
Location. 38° 57.782′ N, 77° 3.039′ W. Marker is in Rock Creek Park in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Oregon Avenue Northwest and Military Road Northwest, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located about 200 yards northeast of the intersection and is accessed by a trail through the woods. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20015, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort DeRussy (here, next to this marker); Fort De Russy (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Herring Highway (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Garden Protecting Rock Creek (approx. ¼ mile away); Tupelo Tree (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Herring Highway (approx. ¾ mile away); Forest Hills at Home (approx. 0.9 miles away); An African American Enclave (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rock Creek Park.
More about this marker.
[image Parrott Rifle at Fort Totten]
Members of the 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery by 100-Pounder Parrott Rifle inside Fort Totten, 1865.
[photo of Private Samuel Strawser]
Private Samuel Strawser, a member of the 151st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was stationed at Fort DeRussy during the Battle of Fort Stevens.
[photo of General Jubal Early]
"On the right was Rock Creek, running through a deep ravine which had been rendered impassable... every appliance of science and unlimited means had been used to render the fortifications around Washington as strong as possible." - General Jubal Anderson Early, Commander of Confederate forces during the Battle of Fort Stevens.
You can download a podcast of Fort DeRussy at www.nps.gov/rocr.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 14, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,293 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on April 9, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 26, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4. submitted on July 14, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 9, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.