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

Fort Ethan Allen

Mr. Lincolnís Forts

 

óDefenses of Washington - 1861-1865 ó

 
Fort Ethan Allen Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
1. Fort Ethan Allen Marker
Inscription. Fort Ethan Allen was constructed during the Civil War to provide one of the last lines of defense against possible Confederate attacks aimed at Washington. The fort commanded approaches to Chain Bridge (over the Potomac River) from the south of Pimmit Run. Built by troops from Vermont in September 1861, the fort was named in honor of Ethan Allen, Vermontís famous Revolutionary War commander.

Fort Ethan Allen was a large earthwork garrisoned by as many as 1,000 men. The fortís perimeter was 736 yards with emplacements for 36 guns. The armament included three 6-pounder guns, four 24-pounder guns, three 32-pounder howitzers, three 10-pounder Parrotts, eleven 30-pounder Parrotts, six 12-pounder Napoleon guns, four 10-inch mortars and two 24-pounder Coehorn mortars. Military Road linked Fort Ethan Allen with Fort C.F. Smith to the south. The nearest fighting to Fort Ethan Allen occurred July 11-12, 1864, at Fort Stevens, just six miles to the northeast.

Segments of the south face, gun platforms, one bombproof, traces of a stone magazine and a guardhouse still can be identified. A portion of the original rifle trench can be seen at the south end of Fort Ethan Allen Park adjacent to Glebe Road Park. The officerís quarters, barracks, cookhouses and mess houses—none of which remain—were located to the east of the fort.
The Defenses of Washington Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
2. The Defenses of Washington Map

 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Defenses of Washington, and the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 38° 55.338′ N, 77° 7.506′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is on Old Glebe Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Inside Glebe Road Park, to the north of the tennis courts, behind a gazebo. Marker is in this post office area: Arlington VA 22207, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Ethan Allen (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Walker Chapel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clay and Randolph Duel (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Mouth of Pimmit Run (approx. 0.6 miles away); Pimmit Run and Chain Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away); Chain Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away); Fort Marcy, Virginia (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Marcy (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arlington.
 
More about this marker. The marker displays a map of the Washington defenses as well as a drawing of the design of Fort Ethan Allen. An inset picture shows “Battery M, 2nd New York Heavy Artillery
Plan of the Fort image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
3. Plan of the Fort
at Fort Ethan Allen, August 1865.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Replica 30-Pounder Parrott Rifle Firing. Designed to penetrate and disable ironclad ships, these weapons would have been used to counter enemy artillery firing on the fort. With a range of over 6000 yards, these massive weapons out ranged most anything else used by field armies during the Civil War. (Submitted on September 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Video of 10 in Mortar Firing. The mortars were intended for use against enemy engineers and infantry attempting to build siege lines around the fort. These weapons would drop heavy shells into the besieger's trenches. (Submitted on September 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. Video of 12 pounder Napoleon Firing. The 12 pounder Napoleon was a common field piece used during the Civil War, but at Fort Ethan Allen it would have been used to cover the flanks and blind spots of the approaches to the fort. In particular, used against enemy infantry that penetrated within musket range of the fort. In that role, the Napoleons would have fired anti-personnel cannister rounds, turning the cannon into giant shotguns. (Submitted on September 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional keywords. Defenses
Close Up of the Photograph of Fort Ethan Allen image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
4. Close Up of the Photograph of Fort Ethan Allen
On the platforms in the background are three 30-Pounder Parrott Rifles. On the right foreground is a 10 inch mortar. In the center foreground are two 10-Pounder Parrotts with the gun crews at the ready.
of Washington

 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Marker in Glebe Road Park image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
5. Marker in Glebe Road Park
The marker location is about a block south of the location of Fort Ethan Allen, which is better located by an Arlington County marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 3,638 times since then and 124 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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