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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sandy Hook in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Exterior Fort

 
 
Exterior Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
1. Exterior Fort Marker
Inscription. Built in 1863 to strengthen a double row of rifle-pits and to protect against attack from the north, the Exterior Fort consisted of two parallel rock walls, or breastworks, about 530 feet apart. The south line, visible in front of you, extended 520 feet down the mountain's steep western slope. The north defensive work extended 560 feet. Together they enclosed about 3 acres, including a campground.

Typical of such breastworks, these lines consisted of a thick, dry-laid stone wall that stood about breast high. A mounded, earthen embankment covered the north side of each wall. Along the base ran a shallow ditch. Described as a "double line of rifle-pits," these embankments provided protection for soldiers firing toward the north.

The opening here in the south breastwork is the only entrance into the Exterior Fort. About 20 feet south are stone remains of the blockhouse which guarded this entrance.
 
Location. 39° 20.488′ N, 77° 43.207′ W. Marker is in Sandy Hook, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Sandy Hook Road. Touch for map. Located on the Stone Fort Trail loop of Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: Knoxville MD 21758, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Maryland Heights Fortifications Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
2. Maryland Heights Fortifications Map
are within walking distance of this marker. Interior Fort (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stone Fort (about 500 feet away); Civil War Campgrounds (approx. mile away); Charcoal Making on Maryland Heights (approx. half a mile away); 100 - Pounder Battery - Heaviest and Highest (approx. half a mile away); Making a Mountain Citadel (approx. 0.6 miles away); 30-Pounder Battery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Hiking Maryland Heights (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sandy Hook.
 
More about this marker. On the lower portion of the marker is a map of "Defenses of Maryland Heights, by Maj. Nathaniel Michler, from August through September 1863. The Exterior Fort, with its extensive parallel walls, is located next to the Stone Fort.
 
Regarding Exterior Fort. This marker is one of a set along the National Park Service's trail to the top of Maryland Heights. You can see the other markers in this set through the Maryland Heights Virtual Tour by Markers link below.
 
Also see . . .
1. Maryland Heights. National Park Service details about the heights and the hiking trail. (Submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Maryland Heights Virtual Tour by Markers. A set of markers
Exterior Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
3. Exterior Fort Marker
relating the history of Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. (Submitted on February 2, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Section of the South Wall of the Exterior Fort image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
4. Section of the South Wall of the Exterior Fort
Ditch and Earthwall at the South Wall image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
5. Ditch and Earthwall at the South Wall
The North Wall image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
6. The North Wall
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,258 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 27, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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