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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fort Cass

Historical Site

 

— Defenses of Washington 1861 - 1865 —

 
Fort Cass Marker image. Click for full size.
February 2, 2008
1. Fort Cass Marker
Inscription.  During the Civil War, the Union built a series of forts to defend Washington, D.C. By 1865 there were 33 earthen fortifications in the Arlington Line. Fort Cass (1861) was part of this defensive strategy. Built on top of the rise east of this marker, this lunette fort was named for Colonel Thomas Cass, whose regiment constructed the fort.
 
Erected by Arlington County, Virginia. (Marker Number 13.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts or CastlesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Defenses of Washington series list.
 
Location. 38° 53.1′ N, 77° 5.056′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is at the intersection of Arlington Boulevard (U.S. 50) and 10th Street North, on the right when traveling east on Arlington Boulevard. There is a pull-off at this marker. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Arlington VA 22201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John C. McKinney Memorial Stables (about 700 feet away,
Fort Cass Marker image. Click for full size.
February 2, 2008
2. Fort Cass Marker
View to the north.
measured in a direct line); Fort Myer Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); 12th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (approx. ¼ mile away); The Commander in Chief's Oak (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Whipple (approx. ¼ mile away); First Flight of an Airplane on a U.S. Army Installation (approx. ¼ mile away); Famous Firsts in Aeronautics at Fort Myer (approx. ¼ mile away); Thomas Etholen Selfridge (approx. ¼ mile away).
 
More about this marker. In the center of the marker is a map of the Washington Defenses, with a red arrow pointing out the location of Fort Cass.

The original marker was at a different location, near the intersection of 10th Street North and Wayne Street. It was worded: Just to the south stood Fort Cass, a lunette in the Arlington Line constructed in August 1861. It had a perimeter of 288 yards and emplacements for 13 guns.
 
Additional comments.
1. Fort Cass Particulars
From "Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington," by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III and Walton H. Owen II:

Named for Colonel Thomas Cass, of the 9th Massachusetts Infantry that constructed the fort. Built in August 1861, it was first named Fort Ramsay. It was one in a line of lunettes on Arlington Heights defending the approaches to the Aqueduct Bridge (near the site of the present day Key Bridge). The fort stood on present day Fort Myer, on Forest Circle. No visible remains.

Its perimeter extended 288 yards with 12 gun emplacements. Armament included four 24-pdr guns, three 6-pdr guns, five 20-pdr Parrott rifles, and one
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24-pdr Coehorn mortar.

Troops that garrisoned the fort at different times included the 9th Massachusetts Infantry, 16th Maine Infantry, 145th Ohio Infantry, and 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery.
    — Submitted February 4, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 3, 2008. This page has been viewed 2,589 times since then and 85 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week March 2, 2008. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 3, 2008. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 9, 2020