Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fort Ward, Defender of Washington, D.C.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that James Ward had a fort defending Washington, D.C., named after him.

From Wikipedia.

Fort Ward is a former U.S. Army fortification located in Alexandria, Virginia.  It was the fifth-largest fort built to defend the nation's capital.  It is also one of the most-preserved D.C. forts with between 90-95% of its earthen walls intact to this day.

When Virginia seceded May 23, 1861, Union troops immediately crossed the Potomac River to occupy the strategic Alexandria.

When Union General George McClellan was appointed commander five days after the disaster at First Bull Run, he was appalled at the lack of defense for Washington and ordered an immediate expansion of defenses.  Fort Ward was one of these new forts and originally designed for 24 cannons, then raised to 36.

Union troops and liberated slaves built it.  Today the old fortification is part of the Alexandria Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site.

--Old B-Runner

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