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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fort Washington in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

15-inch Rodman Smoothbore

Civil War Defenses of Washington

 
 
15-inch Rodman Smoothbore Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne
1. 15-inch Rodman Smoothbore Marker
This 2019 replacement marker has substantially the same text as the original.
Inscription.  
Monumental in size, these two immense guns stood as sentinels ready to repel an attack on the nation's capital. With their extended range and commanding location above the river, they were the key defensive feature of the fort. Because of their formidable weight, the guns have remained on this site since their installation in 1864. They were re-mounted on new carriages in the 1980s.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 46.076′ N, 77° 1.759′ W. Marker is near Fort Washington, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Fort Foote Road and Jessica Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located inside the Fort Foote Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8915 Fort Foote Road, Fort Washington MD 20744, 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. Northwest Bastion (within shouting distance of this marker); The Defenses of Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); King's Depression Carriage
Rodman smoothbore at Battery Rodgers, Alexandria, Virginia, 1864 image. Click for full size.
By Andrew J. Russell, May 18, 1864
2. Rodman smoothbore at Battery Rodgers, Alexandria, Virginia, 1864
Innovative technology in iron gun-casting made it possible to produce these 49,000-pounder guns. They were named after Brigadier General Thomas J. Rodman, who perfected this new technology shortly before the Civil War.
Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-84372]
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Foote (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Foote (about 700 feet away); A Fine Improvable Marsh (approx. 0.9 miles away in Virginia); Anatomy of a Tidal Marsh (approx. 1.1 miles away in Virginia); A Place to Rest—or Nest (approx. 1.2 miles away in Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Washington.
 
Also see . . .
1. Old Marker at this Location. This marker replaced an older one at this location also titled “15-inch Rodman Smoothbore" (Submitted on April 15, 2019.) 

2. Fort Foote. National Park Service (Submitted on April 15, 2019.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
15-inch Rodman Smoothbore<br>No. 1<br>49392 lb<br>T.J.R.<br>1863 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 18, 2011
3. 15-inch Rodman Smoothbore
No. 1
49392 lb
T.J.R.
1863
"T.J.R" are the initials of Thomas J. Rodman.
Pit, Flask, Mold, Core-Barrel & Water Pipe image. Click for full size.
Harper's Weekly (via the Internet Archive), 1862
4. Pit, Flask, Mold, Core-Barrel & Water Pipe
This illustration of Rodman's innovative method of casting cannon barrels appeared in Harper's Weekly, Aug. 23, 1862.
Major Thomas J. Rodman image. Click for full size.
5. Major Thomas J. Rodman
15-inch Rodman Smoothbore image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne
6. 15-inch Rodman Smoothbore
To propel the massive 400-pound cannonball, the 15-inch Rodman required a powder charge which exceeded 40 pounds. A well organized crew of fifteen men could load, aim, and fire the 15-inch Rodman every 3 minutes.
Close-up of image on marker
15-Inch Rodman Range Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne
7. 15-Inch Rodman Range Map
With a range of three miles the Rodman guns at Fort Foote could easily defend the water approach to Washington.
Close-up of map on marker
 
More. Search the internet for 15-inch Rodman Smoothbore.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on April 5, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   2. submitted on April 15, 2019.   3, 4, 5. submitted on April 15, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on April 5, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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