Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
A Defensive Stronghold, Heavily Armed
A half-mile perimeter of earthen walls and deep ditches enclosed the fort. Inside, as many as 1,000 soldiers manned the fort's 36 gun emplacements. Some pieces of artillery had a range of several miles. A rugged, steep ravine between the fort and the Potomac River near Chain Bridge also deterred an attack. The closest fighting to Fort Ethan Allen occurred in July 1864 at Fort Stevens, six miles to the northeast in Washington, D.C.
You are looking at a replica 20-pounder Parrott rifle positioned at the reconstructed gun platform #23, behind the surviving rampart.
Loading a Cannon, 1862
When firing artillery soldiers stood on a level earthen platform behind the fort's steep, thick walls.
Defending an Attack
Fort Ethan Allen never came under Confederate attack. If it had, Union riflemen—concealed in deep trenches and firing from higher ground—would have had the advantage over Confederate troops moving across open terrain. Further, the fort's soldiers would have
Sections of the Fort Remain
Parts of the south face of the fort are visible. A rampart—the fort's main earthen wall—rose behind a deep ditch that surrounded the fort to impede enemy access. Cannons fired through embrasures (gunports) in the fort's wall.
The Face of the Fort
The red line indicates the locations of the gun ports and the height of the rampart before it eroded. Trees now grow in what was a steeply sloped, 6-foot ditch.
The Fort in Profile
The red line superimposed on an 1871 engineer's drawing shows subsequent changes in the profile of the landscape.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1864.
Location. 38° 55.42′ N, 77° 7.463′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is on North Strafford Street east of North Old Glebe Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3829 North Strafford Street, Arlington VA 22207, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other A Bastion-Style Fort Is a Mighty Fortress (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Fort Ethan Allen (here, next to this marker); A Defensive Artillery Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); The View in 1865 (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Ethan Allen (within shouting distance of this marker); Protecting the Fort (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lives of the Soldiers (about 400 feet away); Saegmuller Public School (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 25, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 189 times since then and 2 times this year. Last updated on April 23, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 21, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 6, 7. submitted on April 23, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.