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

Entrance Gate to Fort Ward

Officers’ Hut

 
 
Entrance Gate to Fort Ward Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
1. Entrance Gate to Fort Ward Marker
Inscription. The Fort Ward entrance gate, completed in May 1865, provided the only access to the interior of the fort. The gate's decorative details include stands of cannonballs and the insignia (castle) of the Army Corps of Engineers which designed and supervised the construction of the Defenses of Washington. The present gate is a reconstruction based on the original Corps of Engineers drawing above.

A ditch, or dry moat, surrounded the entire fort. The fort's earthen walls reached a height of approximately 20 feet from the bottom of the ditch to the arch of the gate. The walls were 12-14 feet thick and could absorb the impact of artillery fire.

The officers' huts, soldiers' barracks and mess hall were located outside the fort, near the present Museum, which is patterned after a Union army headquarters building. These structures were built in a typical board-and-batten style. The above photograph, taken at Fort Ward in 1863, shows the quarters of Capt. Theodore H. Rockwood (seated), of Co. E., First Connecticut Heavy Artillery.

Throughout the war, Fort Ward was manned by companies of the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery as well as units from New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The fort could accommodate a garrison of approximately 1,200 soldiers, although records indicate that only 300-400 men were stationed here at one time.
Fort Entrance Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
2. Fort Entrance Wayside

 
Erected by City of Alexandria.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Defenses of Washington marker series.
 
Location. 38° 49.759′ N, 77° 6.141′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is on West Braddock Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located in Fort Ward Historic Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4301 West Braddock Road, Alexandria VA 22304, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Ward ( within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Ward ( within shouting distance of this marker); Bombproof ( about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Ward ( about 300 feet away); Southwest Bastion ( about 300 feet away); The Oakland Baptist Church ( about 400 feet away); Oakland Baptist Church Cemetery ( about 500 feet away); Powder Magazine and Filling Room ( about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
More about this marker. Above the left side text are front and inside elevations of the original fort entrance gate. On the right is a wartime photograph of the officers' hut. An engineering plan of the fort is captioned,
Entrance Gate to Fort Ward Marker<br>& Officers' Hut image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2014
3. Entrance Gate to Fort Ward Marker
& Officers' Hut
To continue your tour, proceed along the exterior rear wall of the Fort to the stairway ahead. The tour route is indicated with red arrows on the fort plan.
 
Also see . . .  Fort Ward Historic Site. (Submitted on May 8, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Reconstruction of the Front Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
4. Reconstruction of the Front Entrance
Officers' Hut Reconstruction image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
5. Officers' Hut Reconstruction
Officers' Hut image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2014
6. Officers' Hut
Close-up of photo on marker
Fort Ward Entrance Gate image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 13, 2014
7. Fort Ward Entrance Gate
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,244 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 8, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on April 16, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4, 5. submitted on May 8, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   6, 7. submitted on April 16, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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