Bethesda in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Col. Guilford Dudley Bailey
—The Fallen Union Oﬃcer for Whom the Battery Was Named —
Born June 4, 1834, in Martinsburg, New York, this 1856 West Point graduate returned to his alma mater as an instructor following a tour of duty in the west and midwest. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Bailey organized the First New York Light Artillery and was appointed its colonel on September 24, 1861. During the Battle of Seven Pines near Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 31, 1862, Colonel Bailey was killed instantly at the tragic young age of 28.
Artist's Conception of Battery Bailey, Circa 1862.
Defending the City of Washington
During the Civil War between 1861 and 1865, the Army of the Potomac had a two-fold mission: to defeat the Confederate Army and to defend the City of Washington against enemy attack. To prepare for the possibility of enemy attack, military fortifications connected by lines of earthworks or batteries were constructed on hastily chosen sites around the perimeter of the City at approximately one half mile intervals. By 1864, the Defenses of Washington consisted of over 150 enclosed forts and batteries.
The most westerly fort of the line was Fort Sumner, named for General Erwin Vose Sumner. Corps Commander, Army of the Potomac. Forts Sumner, Mansfield and their connecting batteries, including Battery Bailey, were
By the end of the War, lest History repeat itself, Army engineers recommended that Washington keep some of the defenses in order. Initially some 24 installations, including Fort Sumner, were deemed worthy of retention with the possibility that the list be further shortened in the future. As the list continued to dwindle and properties returned to rightful owners, time and weather worked to diminish the batteries.
What is a Battery?
Battery - a fortification formed by moving earth or other materials into hill-like formations to protect artillery, having the following components:
Parapet - an elevation of earth that protects soldiers from attack.
Terreplain - the level ground area on the interior of a battery.
Banquette - a step on the inside of the parapet where a soldier can stand to fire a weapon.
Embrasure - an opening in the parapet usually with a platform to permit the stabilization and firing of a large weapon.
Barbette - a raised platform that allows weapons to be fired over the parapet.
Erected by Montgomery County Park Commission, Department of Parks.
Marker series. Defenses of Washington marker series.
Location. 38° 57.135′ N, 77° 6.582′ W. Marker is in Bethesda, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Elliot Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Elliott Road ends at the entrance to Westmoreland Hills Community Park, and the panels are off the paved foot path from the north edge of the parking area, adjacent to the restored earthworks. Elliott Road is accessible from Massachusetts Avenue (MD 369) via Duvall Drive in southern Bethesda, a few blocks northwest of Western Avenue/Dalecarlia Resevoir Parkway, NW, across the District of Columbia border. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5315 Elliott Road, Bethesda MD 20816, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battery Bailey (a few steps from this marker); Fort Sumner (approx. 0.7 miles away); A Canal Home (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fort Bayard (approx. one mile away in District of Columbia); Original Federal Boundary Stone NW 4 (approx. 1.1 miles away in District of Columbia); John Wesley (approx. 1.3 miles away in District of Columbia); Auxiliary Battery (approx. 1½ miles away in Virginia); Fort Marcy (approx. 1½ miles away in Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bethesda.
More about this marker.
Additional keywords. Westmoreland Hills
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 4, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,493 times since then and 97 times this year. Last updated on April 6, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 4, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.