Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Water Battery

 
 
Water Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
1. Water Battery Marker
Inscription. Construction of this inverted V-shaped outerwork began in 1814. Traces of its shape are visible today. Surrounded by a dry ditch, the Water Battery mounted 24-pounder guns that provided an additional level of firepower to the fort.

The Water Battery underwent two major changes after 1872. The gatehouse and other buildings were removed and construction of earthworks to surround the fort began. Four platforms for 15-inch Rodman guns and three magazines were completed before the government interest and funding waned.

The Endicott System in the 1890s brought the construction of Battery White, the concrete structure that is visible now.

Ricochet Firing
Guns in the Water Battery could ricochet, or bounce, shot across the river surface and hit a ship near the waterline causing severe hull damage.
 
Location. 38° 42.663′ N, 77° 2.108′ W. Marker is near Fort Washington, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Fort Washington Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located in Fort Washington Park, overlooking the riverside face of the fort and the water battery. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13551 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington MD 20744, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Water Battery Wayside image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
2. Water Battery Wayside
are within walking distance of this marker. Shot and Shell (a few steps from this marker); Caponiere (within shouting distance of this marker); Minefields (within shouting distance of this marker); Counterscarp Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cisterns (within shouting distance of this marker); New Guns for an Old Fort (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Northwest Demi-Bastion (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named The Water Battery (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Washington.
 
More about this marker. The lower portion of the marker displays an example of ricochet firing against a sailing ship and a drawing of a 15-inch Rodman.

In the upper right is a diagram of the water battery with several important points indicated:
The Water Battery held many structures to support the Fort's operation:
(1) Magazines - stored ammunition
(2) Storehouse - housed gun carriages in peacetime
(3) Stables - housed workhorses
(4) Saddlers shop - where leather equipment was repaired
(5) Shot furnace - a furnace for heating solid cannon balls. A red hot shot lodged in a ship's timbers could start a disastrous fire.
(6) Blacksmith shop - where metal items were repaired and manufactured
(7) Gatehouse
Water Battery Seen from the Marker Location image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
3. Water Battery Seen from the Marker Location
- included two guard rooms and a bridge over the ditch

 
Also see . . .  Fort Washington. National Park Service site. (Submitted on May 31, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Forts, Castles
 
Front Sally Port image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, March 1, 2008
4. Front Sally Port
The garrison accessed the Water Battery from this port on the water side of the fort.
The Water Battery image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
5. The Water Battery
(1) Magazines - stored ammunition
(2) Storehouse - housed gun carriages in peacetime
(3) Stables - housed workhorses
(4) Saddlers shop - where leather equipment was repaired
(5) Shot furnace - a furnace for heating solid cannon balls. A red hot shot lodged in a ship's timbers could start a disastrous fire.
(6) Blacksmith shop - where metal items were repaired and manufactured
(7) Gatehouse - included two guard rooms and a bridge over the ditch
Close-up of image on marker
15-inch Rodman Gun image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
6. 15-inch Rodman Gun
Close-up of image of image on marker
Ricochet Firing image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 7, 2013
7. Ricochet Firing
Guns in the Water Battery could ricochet, or bounce, shot across the river surface and hit a ship near the waterline causing severe hull damage.
Close-up of image on marker
Water Battery image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 12, 2014
8. Water Battery
Endicott era Battery White occupies the location of the original 1814 water battery and the site of Fort Warburton built in 1808.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 853 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 31, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 24, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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