“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Fort Washington, Maryland

Clickable Map of Prince George's County, Maryland and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Prince George s County, MD (592) Anne Arundel County, MD (439) Calvert County, MD (153) Charles County, MD (149) Howard County, MD (140) Montgomery County, MD (705) Washington, DC (2271) Alexandria Ind. City, VA (344) Fairfax County, VA (686)  PrinceGeorge'sCounty(592) Prince George's County (592)  AnneArundelCounty(439) Anne Arundel County (439)  CalvertCounty(153) Calvert County (153)  CharlesCounty(149) Charles County (149)  HowardCounty(140) Howard County (140)  MontgomeryCounty(705) Montgomery County (705)   D.C.(2271) Washington (2271)  (344) Alexandria (344)  FairfaxCounty(686) Fairfax County (686)
Upper Marlboro is the county seat for Prince George's County
Fort Washington is in Prince George's County
      Prince George's County (592)  
      Anne Arundel County (439)  
      Calvert County (153)  
      Charles County (149)  
      Howard County (140)  
      Montgomery County (705)  
      Washington, D.C. (2271)  
      Alexandria, Virginia (344)  
      Fairfax County, Virginia (686)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — “Warburton Manor”Patented 1661
Home of the Digges Family (descendants of Edward Digges, governor of Virginia, 1652–1668) The most intimate friend of George and Martha Washington in Prince George’s County, where they visited many times. . . . Map (db m3663) HM
2Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — 15-inch Rodman Smoothbore
Among the largest cannon used in the Civil War Monumental in size, these two immense guns remain as sentinels ready to repel an attack on the Nation's capital. With their extended range and commanding location above the river, they were the key . . . Map (db m7636) HM
3Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — 15-inch Rodman SmoothboreCivil War Defenses of Washington
Monumental in size, these two immense guns stood as sentinels ready to repel an attack on the nation's capital. With their extended range and commanding location above the river, they were the key defensive feature of the fort. Because of their . . . Map (db m187214) HM
4Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — 40 Members of the Col. John Addison Family
Here is the final resting place of 40 members of the Col. John Addison family, some of Maryland's earliest colonial settlers. Their story began when Col. John Addison, the Emigrant (1634 – 1706) arrived on Maryland shores from England (1667). . . . Map (db m144137) HM
5Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Another Shot
Fort Foote became a military testing site after the Civil War. Army engineers developed the square King's Depression Carriage Mount in front of you. Using the mount, soldiers could load the gun from the safety of the parapet and raise it to firing . . . Map (db m187210) HM
6Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Battery Decatur and Disappearing Guns
American coastal defenses were modernized from the 1890s to 1910 with the development of the Endicott System. Emphasis in military tactics shifted the masonry fortifications to more effective weapons based on rifled steel guns, improved . . . Map (db m7955) HM
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7Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Capital GuardianFort Washington
Building the Second Fort On September 8, 1814, only 12 days after the destruction of Fort Warburton, Pierre L'Enfant was commissioned by the Government to reestablish a fortification here. Work began that October but increasing friction between . . . Map (db m7963) HM
8Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Capital GuardianThe First Fort
Troubles with Britain caused Congress in 1807 to authorize an improved system of forts along the Atlantic Coast to guard harbors, rivers, and seaports. The first fort, Fort Warburton, was completed in 1809. Located near the river in front of the . . . Map (db m7980) HM
9Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Capital GuardianThe Endicott System
Coastal fortifications moved into the 20th century with the development of the Endicott System. At Fort Washington, eight reinforced concrete batteries were constructed near the old fort to mount modern artillery. Many support buildings were . . . Map (db m46176) HM
10Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Capital View
Fort Foote held a commanding view from Rozier's Bluff with Washington, DC on the horizon and the Potomac River below. An armed sentry at the fort kept a watchful eye on the heavy traffic of ships passing by. Crews shouted as they loaded supplies . . . Map (db m187218) HM
11Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Caponiere
During the 1840s improvements were made to this wall, defensively the weakest part of the fort. The parapet was raised and an outer work, called a caponiere, was added. The protected passageway on your left will lead you to the outerwork that . . . Map (db m8075) HM
12Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Counterscarp Battery
Along the outer wall of the ditch you see the counterscarp battery, named for its location on the "counterscarp," or outer wall, of the dry ditch. This structure sheltered troops who could direct musketry toward the river or into the ditch itself. . . . Map (db m8068) HM
13Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Engineering Evolution
The crumbling concrete before you is all that remains of the magazine. It's one of the few left of its kind from the Civil War. Inside the magazine's storage rooms, barrels held 40-pound (18-kg) linen bags of black powder. Soldiers carefully carried . . . Map (db m194179) HM
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14Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Firepower on the PotomacFort Washington Park
(Left Panel): Three pair of these large 10-inch caliber disappearing guns were the key feature of the 1890s river defense system. Each weapon could direct its 650-pound projectile at enemy ships within a seven-mile range. Battery Humphries is . . . Map (db m8083) HM
15Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Fort FooteProtecting the Nation’s Capital
High on a bluff, a hundred feet above the Potomac River, twelve heavy guns commanded the approach to the city. Smaller cannon were placed to protect Fort Foote from landward attack. Numerous buildings were constructed to house and support the large . . . Map (db m187119) HM
16Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Fort FooteCivil War Defenses of Washington — 1861-1865 —
Follow this path to the earthworks of Forte Foote. Fort Foot was named after Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, a Union naval hero mortally wounded at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, on February 14, 1862.Map (db m194178) HM
17Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington Park is the site of the first permanent fort constructed between 1814-1824 to guard the Potomac River approach to our Nation's Capital. Today the park offers many recreational opportunities and programs. Explore the historic sites . . . Map (db m4554) HM
18Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Ironclad Killer
In 1844, a young officer, Thomas Jackson Rodman, transformed the design of iron guns. He created a cannon barrel that cooled from the inside, so the gun could shoot farther without exploding. This state-of-the-art Rodman Gun could hurl a 450-pound . . . Map (db m187165) HM
19Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — King's Depression Carriage
Capt. Rufus King, Jr. devised a counterweight system and front-pintle mount that would allow the 49,000 pdr. Rodman Gun to depress during loading. Except for the brief periods of exposure to enemy fire during the aiming and firing of the gun, the . . . Map (db m187211) HM
20Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Load. Ready. Fire!
Loading the 15-inch (38-cm) Rodman Gun required a team of over a dozen men working in sync on separate tasks. From start to finish, each shot took five minutes. A crew in the front rammed the powder charge down the barrel, followed by the 450-pound . . . Map (db m187167) HM
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21Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Main Gateway
Two sets of gates protected the main entrance, or sally port. During the improvements made in the 1840s the drawbridge was added to make the approach to the gates more difficult. The drawbridge, operated by a unique system of iron counterweights . . . Map (db m7982) HM
22Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Minefields
Minefields were an important part of the Endicott System of defense at the turn of the century. You are standing on the site that controlled the minefield operation. Groups of underwater mines anchored in the river downstream from the fort could be . . . Map (db m8065) HM
23Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — New Forts for a New WarFort Foote Park
As the Civil War loomed, Union forces battened down the hatches of Washington, DC. In 1861, the Union capital city was an easy target if Confederate ships sailed up the Potomac River. In just two years, a protective ring of over 60 forts sprouted . . . Map (db m187121) HM
24Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — New Guns for an Old Fort
Remnants of former gun emplacements are the reminders of the three generations of armaments that occupied this V-shaped Water Battery. Each generation reflects the latest technologies and precision in the manufacture of armaments. 1830 - The first . . . Map (db m8080) HM
25Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Northwest Bastion
Protecting the fort against land attack Armed with smaller field and siege guns, the landward bastions could deliver a sustained cannonade of 12- and 30-pounder shells. The long central traverse provided protection and contained magazines and . . . Map (db m187213) HM
26Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Prince George’s CountySt. John's Church — Erected 1723 —
(King George's Parish Established 1692) Credible evidence and honest tradition record that Washington attended services here on numerous occasions.Map (db m3662) HM
27Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Reporting for DutyFort Foote Park
Just ahead of you, notice how the sloped hills create an entryway. Soldiers cleared the land and piled up soil to make the earthworks. The walls were about 20 feet (6 m) thick! This secure, guarded entry, also known as a sally port, bustled with . . . Map (db m187118) HM
28Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Self-DestructionStar-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Explosions at Fort Washington August 27, 1814, surprised British and Americans alike. A British squadron slowly making its way up the Potomac expected resistance from the well-positioned fort. Alexandrians, fearing they were next after Washington’s . . . Map (db m96373) WM
29Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Shot and Shell
Fort Washington's solid masonry walls offered good protection against shot from smoothbore cannon of the early 19th century. When rifled artillery was introduced in the late 1850s and used during the Civil War, effectiveness of masonry structures . . . Map (db m8063) HM
30Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Site of Silesia School1902-1925
In 1902 children from nearby farms traveled by horse and buggy to the Silesia School, a one room school house. The school's contribution of education for this area continued until 1925. In 1959 the school and part of this land was sold to the . . . Map (db m7639) HM
31Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — The Cisterns
A reliable supply of drinking water for the garrison was a priority at Fort Washington. Three wells dug early in the fort's construction proved inadequate. By 1823, four cisterns were installed to store rainwater. Located underground at each end of . . . Map (db m8071) HM
32Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — The Defenses of Washington
At the start of the Civil War, Washington was protected by only one fort, Fort Washington guarding the Potomac River approach. The capital city was uncomfortably close to Confederate forces operating in Northern Virginia. by 1864, a system of . . . Map (db m7635) HM
33Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — The Mortar Battery
Named Battery Meigs, these two pits contained eight large 12-inch mortars. Each huge mortar was capable of hurling a 700-pound projectile in a high arc. The simultaneous firing of all eight would insure a clustered group of shells falling on the . . . Map (db m8086) HM
34Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — The Northwest Demi-Bastion
The demi-bastion is a section of the fort that projects beyond the main wall and provides concentrated defensive fire. The bastion design includes two levels of artillery. Guns were to be mounted on the parapet above and in the casemates you see . . . Map (db m7998) HM
35Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — The Water Battery
Strategically placed, this permanent section of the fort was the lowest level of the three tiers of guns. The Water Battery was designed to deliver "water-skipping" cannonade directed at the hulls of enemy ships. The simple V-shaped design has . . . Map (db m8078) HM
36Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Water Battery
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 . . . Map (db m8061) HM
37Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Welcome To Fort FooteFort Foote Park
In 1863, the President Abraham Lincoln toured Fort Foote to survey this cutting-edge military technology. Would you feel safe behind 1,416 feet (432 m) of earthen walls? How about with two 25-ton (23-tonne) Rodman Guns by your side? On Fort Foote's . . . Map (db m187101) HM
38Maryland (Prince George's County), Fort Washington — Welcome to Fort Washington’s Waterside Trail
Living where the land meets the water gives us everything we need: shelter in the woods, food to eat, and clean water to drink. Our climate promises a good life for the 15 million people and the more than 3,000 types of plants and animals that live . . . Map (db m96376)
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Oct. 4, 2022