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

Parapet and Gun Platforms

Mount Eagle Park

 
 
Parapet and Gun Platforms Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 29, 2019
1. Parapet and Gun Platforms Marker
Inscription.  Battery between Fort O'Rourke and Fort Farnsworth

In the tree line in front of you are visible remnants of earthworks constructed by United States Army engineers in 1862 as a part of the Defenses of Washington. This earthen parapet closed the gap between Fort Farnsworth to the north and Fort O'Rourke to the south. Forts Weed, Farnsworth and O'Rourke were built to strengthen Fort Lyon and command the mount Vernon Road approaches to Alexandria. The forts were connected by rifle-trenches and batteries were placed in the intervals between them.

The battery between Fort O'Rourke and Fort Farnsworth was an "unnamed" battery, originally designed for six guns. The gun platforms stood vacant unless the defenses south of Alexandria were threatened. The parapet was arranged so that its face was almost perpendicular to Forts Weed and Farnsworth. When the battery was manned, the field guns would have provided crossfire, striking the enemy in the flank as they approached the forts.

By the end of the war in 1865 the Defenses of Washington included 93 such unarmed batteries with 401 emplacement for field guns. The arrangement
Parapet and Gun Platforms Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 29, 2019
2. Parapet and Gun Platforms Marker
and construction of the batteries was generally the same as within the forts. Unlike the forts; however, the batteries were open in the rear. Some were constructed with magazines to store ammunition. Earthen gun ramps were built to allow the transportation of heavy field guns onto the platforms which were typically made of durable wooden planks.

Garrison troops at Fort Farnsworth and Fort O'Rourke between 1862 and 1865 included the 34th Massachusetts Infantry, the 2d Connecticut Heavy Artillery, the 142d Ohio Infantry, and the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery.
 
Erected by Fairfax County Park Authority.
 
Location. 38° 47.349′ N, 77° 4.407′ W. Marker is near Alexandria, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Huntington Park Drive east of North Kings Highway (Virginia Route 241), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. On the grounds of Mount Eagle Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2404 Huntington Park Drive, Alexandria VA 22303, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Fort Lyon (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Willard (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Willard (approx. 0.6 miles away); Defenses of Washington (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Defenses of Washington (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Cameron Valley (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fairview – Caught in History's Crossfire (approx. 0.9 miles away); Old Presbyterian Meeting House (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on March 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 29, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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