Civil War Defenses of Washington 1861-1865. No visible evidence remains of Fort Bayard, which stood at the top of this hill. Named for Brig. Gen. George Bayard, mortally wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. — — Map (db m124) HM
Earthworks of Fort Greble are visible beyond this exhibit. Fort Greble was named in honor of Lt. John T. Greble, slain at the Battle of Big Bethel, June 10, 1861, the first U.S. Military Academy graduate killed in the Civil War. — — Map (db m40866) HM
Earthworks of Fort Chaplin are visible through the wooded areas at the top of the hill. Fort Chaplin was named in honor of Col. Daniel Chaplin, who was mortally wounded on August 17, 1864, at Deep Bottom, Virginia. — — Map (db m10628) HM
Hearing those words, President Abraham Lincoln ducked down from the Fort Stevens parapet during the Civil War battle that stopped the Confederates from taking Washington. On July 9, 1864, some 15,000 Rebels led by General Jubal A. Early . . . — — Map (db m72829) HM
Elizabeth Proctor Thomas (1821-1917), a free Black woman whose image appears on each Brightwood Heritage Trail sign, once owned 11 acres in this area. Known, respectfully in her old age as "Aunt Betty," Thomas and her husband James farmed and kept . . . — — Map (db m72830) HM
Civil War Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 The partial reconstruction of Fort Stevens that you see today was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937. No visible evidence of the original fort remains. Battle of Fort Stevens July 11-12, . . . — — Map (db m3028) HM
“We haven’t taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell! ” General Jubal Anderson Early Built between 1861-1863 this structure was originally called Fort Massachusetts and guarded the northern defenses of the . . . — — Map (db m49456) HM
Earthworks of Fort Carroll are visible 100 yards to the right at the top of the hill. Fort Carroll was named in honor of Maj. Gen. Samuel Sprigg Carroll, a West Point graduate from the District of Columbia. — — Map (db m10614) HM
One of several earthworks commenced late in 1861 to guard the nation’s capital from the ridge east of the Anacostia River. The fort was named in honour of Colonel Benjamin F. Davis of the 8th New York Cavalry, killed at Beverly Ford, Virginia, June . . . — — Map (db m40690) HM
Panel 1: Civil War Defenses of Washington Fort DuPont This small work was one of the defenses begun in the fall of 1861 on the ridge east of the Anacostia River. It was named after Admiral Samuel DuPont, a commander of the South Atlantic . . . — — Map (db m46425) HM
Earthworks of Fort Totten are visible within the wooded area 50 yards at the top of this hill. Cannon mounted at Fort Totten helped repulse a Confederate attack on Fort Stevens, July 11-12, 1864. — — Map (db m2993) HM
One of the Civil War defenses of Washington construction of Fort Totten was begun in August 1861, named after Gen. Joseph G. Totten the fort contained 20 guns and mortars including eight 32-pounders. — — Map (db m2999) HM
Built in the autumn of 1861 and enlarged in 1862, the battery was named for Gouveneur Kemble of Cold Spring, NY, a former superintendent of the West Point Foundry. The battery, which consisted of two 100-pound Parrott guns, was designed to sweep the . . . — — Map (db m4078) HM
Formerly known as the Bladensburg Piscataway Road, Minnesota Avenue has long served as an eastern gateway into Washington. Since the original wooden Benning Road Bridge across the Anacostia River was erected nearby in 1800, countless people have . . . — — Map (db m136184) HM
Civil War Defenses of Washington
Earthworks of Fort Mahan are visible; follow path at the top of the hill.
Fort Mahan from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drawing.
- Fort . . . — — Map (db m46083) HM
No visible evidence remains of Fort Slocum, which stood here and across Kansas Avenue to your left. Cannon mounted at Fort Totten helped repulse a Confederate attack on Fort Stevens, July 11-12, 1864. — — Map (db m110283) HM
As the gallant soldiers that are interred at the cemetery marched onto the battlefield on July 11-12, 1864 during the Battle of Fort Stevens, their regimental flags accompanied then into the fight.
Battleground National Cemetery honors these . . . — — Map (db m64225) HM
Earthworks of Fort De Russy are visible; follow path to your right for 200 years.
[drawing of fort] Fort De Russy from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drawing.
Cannon mounted at Fort De Russy helped repulse a Confederate attack on Fort . . . — — Map (db m20822) HM
One of the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Constructed on the site in 1861 Fort DeRussy commanded the deep valley of Rock Creek. Its armament consisted of 11 guns and mortars including a 100-pounder Parrott Rifle. — — Map (db m20823) HM
Built in 1861 to protect the Rock Creek Valley during the Civil War, Fort DeRussy's cannon fired a total of 109 projectiles into the northern countryside as 12,000-15,000 Confederate soldiers attacked the city under the command of Confederate . . . — — Map (db m116084) HM
During the late evening of July 12, 1864, 40 Union soldiers that perished while defending Washington DC from a two day Confederate attack (known as the Battle of Fort Stevens) were laid to rest here in what was once an apple orchard. President . . . — — Map (db m63644) HM
After the rebels were turned back as the Battle of Fort Stevens ended in 1864, scores of Union Soldiers lay cold and silent. Forty-one of them are buried here in this tiny plot dedicated to their sacrifice.
President Abraham Lincoln, who . . . — — Map (db m72825) HM
At an elevation of 410 feet, Fort Reno is located at the highest point in DC. The fort, originally named Fort Pennsylvania, was well situated to provide defense of the Nation's Capital during the Civil War as one of the Circle of Forts (pictured . . . — — Map (db m20628) HM
No visible evidence remains of Fort Reno, which stood at the top of this hill, the highest elevation in Washington, D.C.
[drawing of Fort Reno] Fort Reno from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drawing. Cannon mounted at Fort Reno helped repulse a . . . — — Map (db m20629) HM
To your right is "Point Reno," the highest point in Washington -- 409 feet above sea level, to be exact.
This unsurpassed vantage brought the Civil War (1861-1865) to Tenleytown. After the Union defeat at Bull Run in July 1861, northern . . . — — Map (db m130923) HM
At 409 feet above sea level, this site is the highest point in Washington, D.C. It is no coincidence that in 1861, the Union army designed one the largest and most heavily armed Civil War fortifications at this location.
Originally named . . . — — Map (db m133962) HM
Before the Civil War (1861-65), the land behind you was part of the 72-acre farm of Giles Dyer. As a Southerner, Dyer depended on enslaved people to work his fields.
Because of its elevation, Dyers land was taken by the Union Army in 1861 . . . — — Map (db m130924) HM WM
Fort Reno is located at the highest elevation in D.C. A city water reservoir was constructed in the 1890s to serve the city's growing population. The red brick water tower (pictured here) was built in 1903 to provide water pressure to the immediate . . . — — Map (db m112184) HM
The site of this fort was selected in August, 1861. First called Fort Pennsylvania, the fort was located at an elevation of 430 feet, commanding three important roads which entered the city from the northwest in the vicinity of what is now Wisconsin . . . — — Map (db m20630) HM
At 409 feet above sea level, this site is the highest point in Washington, D.C. It is no coincidence that in 1861, the Union army designed one the largest and most heavily armed Civil War fortifications at this location.
Originally named . . . — — Map (db m136006) HM
Earthworks of Battery Ricketts are visible inside the wooded area in front of you. Battery Ricketts, built to defend an area in front of Fort Stanton, was named for Maj. Gen. James B. Ricketts. — — Map (db m10622) HM
During the Civil War, fortifications were constructed around the perimeter of Washington to defend the city from attack by the Confederate Army. Paramount to survival under siege was protection of the city's water supply. Forts Sumner and Mansfield . . . — — Map (db m17647) HM
Born June 4, 1834, in Martinsburg, New York, this 1856 West Point graduate returned to his alma mater as an instructor following a tour of duty in the west and midwest. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Bailey organized the First . . . — — Map (db m17695) HM
Forts Alexander, Ripley and Franklin, built to protect the Washington water system in 1861, were connected by earthworks in 1863 and renamed Ft. Sumner to honor Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, A hero of Antietam. The fort’s 28 cannon providea a . . . — — Map (db m3448) HM
These earthworks are a portion of the original fortifications which made up Fort Lincoln. This fort was built during the summer of 1861 to serve as an outer defense of the city of Washington. It was named in honor of President Lincoln by General . . . — — Map (db m46714) HM
Fort Lincoln Cemetery was chartered in 1912 by an act of the Maryland General Assembly and presently contains 178 acres.
Here, at Fort Lincoln Cemetery, masterworks of marble, granite and bronze stand in solemn dignity and provides a tranquil . . . — — Map (db m3614) HM
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
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 m41414) HM
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
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 m7625) HM
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 m7632) HM
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
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Battery Rodgers
Here stood Battery Rodgers, built in 1863 to prevent enemy ships from passing up the Potomac River. The battery had a perimeter of 30 yards and mounted five 200 pounder Parrott . . . — — Map (db m41413) HM
Two bombproofs, each measuring 200 feet long by 12.5 feet wide, were located in the center of Fort Ward. During normal operations the bombproofs were used as meeting rooms, storage facilities, and sometimes as a prison. In the event of an attack, . . . — — Map (db m7716) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m7680) HM
Fort Ellsworth, one of 68 earthen forts built to protect Washington during the Civil War, was constructed in 1861. When completed, the fort had a perimeter of 618 yards and was an irregular Vauban-type star design of French origin. The fort was . . . — — Map (db m45046) HM
On May 24, 1861, when Virginia's secession from the Union became effective, Federal forces immediately occupied Northern Virginia to protect the City of Washington, D.C. After the Confederate victory at the Battle of First Bull Run (First Manassas) . . . — — Map (db m7676) HM
This stairway leads up the west wall of Fort Ward between the Northwest Bastion (to the left) and the Southwest Bastion (to the right). Fort Ward had 14 cannon emplacements along this area of the wall that created overlapping fields of fire. . . . — — Map (db m7709) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort Ward Here stands Fort Ward, constructed in 1861 to protect the approaches to Alexandria by Little River Turnpike and Leesburg Turnpike. In 1864, the fort was enlarged to a perimeter of 818 . . . — — Map (db m41117) HM
Defenses of Washington
1861 - 1865
100 yards to the west stood Fort Williams, built in 1863 to guard the approaches to Alexandria by Little River Turnpike and Telegraph Road. It had a perimeter of 250 yards and emplacements . . . — — Map (db m80467) HM
Defenses of Washington
1861 - 1865
Here stood Fort Worth, built in 1861. It had a commanding view of the Cameron Valley and guarded the approach to Alexandria by Little River Turnpike. The fort had a perimeter of 463 yards . . . — — Map (db m80466) HM
The plan of Fort Ward consisted of five bastions with positions for 36 guns. The Northwest Bastion illustrates how the entire stronghold appeared in 1864. This bastion is armed with six reproduction weapons based on Fort Ward's original table of . . . — — Map (db m7713) HM
Ammunition for the fort's guns was kept in underground storage facilities called magazines and filling rooms. Shells were armed and sometimes stored in the filling room, while the magazine was used to hold black powder and crated rounds. Implements . . . — — Map (db m7711) HM
This exterior view of the restored Northwest Bastion illustrates the effectiveness of an earthwork fort. The fort walls were 18-22 feet high, 12-14 feet thick, and slanted at 45 degrees. To gain access to the fort an attacker would have to cross . . . — — Map (db m7714) HM
This rifle trench extended from the North Bastion toward Battery Garesche located beyond Leesburg Turnpike (Route 7). Another rifle trench extended from the tip of the South Bastion near the Fort Gate. The rifle trenches prevented enemy troops from . . . — — Map (db m7715) HM
The Southwest Bastion was the most heavily fortified area of the fort with emplacements for seven guns, as well as a magazine and a filling room. The largest gun in Fort Ward, a 100-pounder Parrott Rifle, was located in the Southwest Bastion. This . . . — — Map (db m7684) HM
This point has long been a vital gateway for commerce and travelers. In the early 1800s, the first Long Bridge connected Alexandria traders and Virginia farmers with Washington and Georgetown. Now, cars, trains, and the Metro carry people and goods . . . — — Map (db m134979) HM
". . . a detail of men with axes was marched . . . to the place afterwards known as 'Fort Runyon' and proceeded to level the ground of a fine peach orchard of three hundred trees."
History of the Seventh . . . — — Map (db m134984) HM
Here stood Battery Garesché, constructed late in 1861 to control the higher ground dominating Fort Reynolds, 200 yards to the southeast. It had a perimeter of 166 yards and emplacements for 8 guns. — — Map (db m5164) HM
Immediately to the northwest stood Fort Albany, a bastioned earthwork built in May 1861 to command the approach to the Long Bridge by way of the Columbia Turnpike. It had a perimeter of 429 yards and emplacements for 12 guns. Even after Forts . . . — — Map (db m5258) HM
Here stood Fort Barnard, a redoubt constructed late in 1861 to command the approaches to Alexandria by way of Four Mile Run and Glebe Road. It was named for General J. G. Barnard, Chief Engineer of the Defenses of Washington. It had a perimeter of . . . — — Map (db m5158) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort Bennett Here stood Fort Bennett, a small outwork of Fort Corcoran, constructed in May 1861. With a perimeter of 146 yards and emplacements for 5 guns, it was designed to bring under fire the . . . — — Map (db m5104) HM
Immediately to the west stood Fort Berry, a redoubt constructed in 1863 at the north flank of the defenses of Alexandria, but also flanking the Columbia Turnpike and the Arlington Line constructed in 1861. It had a perimeter of 215 yards and . . . — — Map (db m5154) HM
Fort C.F. Smith was constructed in early 1863 as part of the expansion and strengthening of the capital’s defenses that continued throughout the Civil War. With Forts Strong, Morton and Woodbury, Fort C.F. Smith formed the outer perimeter of the . . . — — Map (db m5099) HM
Fort C.F. Smith was constructed in 1863 on farmland appropriated from William Jewell. The fort was named in honor of Gen. Charles Ferguson Smith, who was instrumental in the Union victory at Fort Donelson, Tennessee in 1862. The fortification was . . . — — Map (db m5101) HM
The ramps in front of you, now covered with grass, led to wooden platforms on which the various cannons were placed. When built in 1863, Fort C.F. Smith had platforms for twenty-two artillery pieces and four siege mortars. However, only sixteen . . . — — Map (db m5102) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort C.F. Smith Just to the north are the remains of Fort C.F. Smith. A lunette built early in 1863 to command the high ground north of Spout Run and protect the flank of the Arlington Line. It . . . — — Map (db m5103) HM
During the Civil War, the Union built a series of forts to defend Washington, D.C. By 1865 there were 33 earthen fortifications in the Arlington Line. Fort Cass (1861) was part of this defensive strategy. Built on top of the rise east of this . . . — — Map (db m5141) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort Corcoran During the Civil War, the Union built a series of forts to defend Washington, D.C. By 1865 there were 33 earthen fortifications in the Arlington Line. Fort Corcoran (1861) was part . . . — — Map (db m5106) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort Ethan Allen This embankment was the south face of Fort Ethan Allen, a bastioned earthwork built in September 1861 to command all the approaches to Chain Bridge south of Pimmit Run. The fort . . . — — Map (db m2317) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m2318) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort Haggerty Here beside the Georgetown-Alexandria road stood Fort Haggerty, a small outwork of Fort Corcoran, constructed in May 1861. With a perimeter of 128 yards and emplacements for 4 guns, . . . — — Map (db m5111) HM
Here stood Fort Reynolds, a redoubt constructed in September, 1861, to command the approach to Alexandria by way of the valley of Four Mile Run. It had a perimeter of 360 yards and emplacements for 12 guns. — — Map (db m5155) HM
Here is what is left of Fort Richardson, a detached redoubt constructed in September, 1861, to cover the left flank of the newly built Arlington defense line, It was named for General Israel B. Richardson, whose division was then deployed to defend . . . — — Map (db m39726) HM
A half-mile to the southwest stood Fort Runyon, a large bastioned earthwork constructed in May 1861 to protect the Long Bridge over the Potomac. Its perimeter, 1484 yards, was about the same as that of the Pentagon. After the construction of the . . . — — Map (db m5255) HM
Following the end of the Civil War, Fort Runyon was dismantled, the garrison sent home, and the land returned to its owner, James Roach. Squatters — among them freed blacks — occupied the vacant fort, scavenging its timbers for . . . — — Map (db m134989) HM
Fort Runyon once stood on this site. Built by Union troops at the start of the Civil War, the fort guarded access to the Virginia end of the Long Bridge, which led directly across the Potomac River to the heart of Washington, D.C. The fort . . . — — Map (db m134981) HM
Historical Site Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 Fort Scott Here stood a detached lunette constructed in May, 1861, to guard the south flank of the defenses of Washington and named for General Winfield Scott, then General-in-Chief of the Army. . . . — — Map (db m5257) HM
Nearby to the north stood Fort Strong, a lunette marking the north end of the Arlington Line constructed in August 1861. It had a perimeter of 318 yards and emplacements for 15 guns. — — Map (db m5112) HM
Here stood Fort Tillinghast, a lunette in the Arlington Line constructed in August 1861. It had a perimeter of 298 yards and emplacements for 13 guns. A model of this fort, typical of all lunettes in the Arlington Line, can be seen at the Hume . . . — — Map (db m5147) HM
On the high ground to the northeast stood Fort Whipple, a bastioned earthwork built early in 1863 to support the Arlington Line built in 1861. It had a perimeter of 640 yards and emplacements for 47 guns. After the War, Fort Whipple was maintained . . . — — Map (db m5140) HM
During the Civil War, the Union built a series of forts to defend Washington, D.C. By 1865 there were 33 earthen fortifications in the Arlington Line. Fort Woodbury (1861) was part of this defensive strategy. Built east of this marker, this lunette . . . — — Map (db m5138) HM
7th Regiment New York Militia Infantry ★ May 1861 ★ Construction
2d New Jersey Infantry (three months) ★ May 1861
3d New Jersey Infantry (three months) ★ May 1861
21st New York Infantry ★ May - August 1861 . . . — — Map (db m134988) HM
Here the Arlington Line constructed in August, 1861, crossed the Georgetown-Falls Church road. 100 yards to the northwest stood Fort Morton, a lunette with a perimeter of 250 yards and emplacements for 17 guns; 200 yards to the southeast stood Fort . . . — — Map (db m5161) HM
Fort Runyon was the largest in area of 164 Civil War forts and batteries built in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The Defenses of Washington, as they were known, formed a 37-mile ring around the capital as protection from . . . — — Map (db m134983) HM
Virginians voted overwhelmingly for secession form the Union on May 23, 1861. Overnight, Union Army troops stationed in Washington, D.C., moved to occupy what is now Arlington County. The main body of the troops crossed the Potomac River via the . . . — — Map (db m134982) HM
Fort Ethan Allen Chain Bridge Gulf Branch Sanctuary for Wildlife and not so wildlife herineafter referred to as. . .
. . .Historical Site of Civil War Fort Ethan Allen which commanded all the approaches south of Pimmit Run . . . — — Map (db m129245) HM
The men who built Fort Runyon and were garrisoned there typified the soldiers of the Union Army. Their ranks were drawn from militia and all-volunteer regiments organized by the states and mustered into national service. They arrived in camp in . . . — — Map (db m134986) HM
After Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, 1861 the District of Columbia was on the dangerous border between the divided states. Because of the city’s importance, the Union Army immediately occupied Northern Virginia, which allowed troops to . . . — — Map (db m47967) HM
In this vicinity stood Fort Lyon, the major fortification on the left flank of the Federal defenses guarding the city of Washington during the Civil War. Named in honor of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, the fort covered an area of nine acres with its . . . — — Map (db m8029) HM
Fort Willard Park contains significant earthworks and archaeological remains of a fort built in 1862 by the Union Army. It was one of 63 forts that were built surrounding the District of Columbia during the Civil War as part of the Defenses of . . . — — Map (db m47971) HM
After the Union defeat on 21 July 1861 at the First Battle of Manassas, Lincoln appointed Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan as commander of the demoralized army. A superb organizer, McClellan rebuilt the army and on 20 November 1861 staged a formal . . . — — Map (db m180) HM
Fort Washington, directly across the river, is the oldest existing fortification erected for the defense of the national capital. It was begun in 1814 to replace the first fort which was destroyed during the War of 1812 with Great Britain.
. . . — — Map (db m115808) HM
An extensive line of rifle trenches connected the advance works of Fort Ethan Allen and Fort Marcy and extended to the west bank of the Potomac River. Auxiliary batteries for the field guns, strategically placed, provided additional strength to . . . — — Map (db m3079) HM
Civil War Defenses of Washington 1861-1865 The earthworks and other visible remnants of Fort Marcy and related batteries still remain. Fort Marcy was built in 1862 to protect the Chain Bridge approach to Washington, D.C. — — Map (db m42258) HM
The Virginia approaches to the Chain Bridge were guarded by Fort Marcy on the old Leesburg Turnpike and Fort Ethan Allen on the Military Road. The sites were occupied by Union troops on September 24, 1861, and the earthworks completed in short . . . — — Map (db m70682) HM
Nearby once stood Fort Buffalo. This
earthwork fortification was built by the 21st New York Infantry of the Union army in 1861 and named for the troops’ hometown. During the Civil War, a concentration of forts existed in the Seven Corners section . . . — — Map (db m7399) HM
Two-story building with verandahs stood on 56 acres bought in 1856 by Wm. Taylor (part of 1731 271-acre T. Harrison grant). Tavern faced Alexandria-Leesburg Pike west of Junction with Georgetown Road (Wilson Blvd.). Near here on June 24, 1861, . . . — — Map (db m2837) HM
At the beginning of the war, Union commanders were uncertain of Confederate intentions and military capabilities. On June 22, 1861, civilian balloonist Thaddeus S.C. Lowe inflated his racing balloon Enterprise at the Washington Gas Company to . . . — — Map (db m41495) HM