Civil War  |  Historic Site

Civil War Defenses of Washington

Washington DC

Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Road Northwest
Washington, DC 20015
United States

At the outset of the Civil War, a system of flanking forts and batteries was constructed around Washington. One such spot was Fort Massachusetts, built along the Seventh Street Pike, a thoroughfare leading to and from Washington. The fort was enlarged on two occasions. In 1863 its name was changed to Fort Stevens, in memory of Brigadier Gen. Isaac Ingalls Stevens, who lost his life at Chantilly, Virginia. On July 11, 1864, Fort Stevens was the site of the only battle within the District of Columbia. Fort Stevens is one of the defenses that today form the Fort Circle Parks in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Rock Creek Park administers Battery Kemble, Fort Bayard, Fort Reno, Fort DeRussy, Fort Stevens, Fort Slocum, Fort Totten and Fort Bunker Hill. For more information and the brochure "Civil War Defenses of Washington, " contact the Rock Creek Nature Center at (202) 895-6070. (See also entries in this guide for Fort Foote in Fort Washington, Maryland, and Fort Ward in Alexandria, Virginia.)