Fort Totten

fort-totten-mapConsidering that Fort Totten is the name of a Metro station and a neighborhood, I found it interesting that the park of that name – which is named for the Civil War fort to have occupied that site – is poorly marked and rather obscure. Unless you know where you are going and have looked at a map in advance, you wouldn’t find it. Fort TottenThere are no signs pointing the way, and even the park itself has no signage alerting the passerby to the significance of the site.

What does exist, for those that decide to venture into the site, is a marker on a rock briefly describing Fort Totten and what it was. More significantly, the ruins of the fort are there. Being an earthen fort as were the other Civil War forts protecting Washington, time has taken its toll, but even so, with a little imagination you can still clearly see the outlines of the fort.

Fort Totten plaqueConstruction of Fort Totten began in August 1861 and was finished by 1863. It occupied a high point in advance of the Soldiers’ Home, President’s Lincoln summer home. It mounted 20 guns and mortars, including eight 32-pounders. The fort’s 100-pounder Parrott rifle provided long-range support to Fort Stevens during Confederate General Jubal A. Early’s attack on that fort on July 11 and 12, 1864.

Photographs of Fort Totten when it was active are after the jump.fort-totten-gatefort-totten-interiorfort-totten-100 pdr. Parrott gunsergeants-of-3d-massachusetts-heavy-artillery-with-gun-and-caisson-at-fort-totten

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One Response to “Fort Totten”

  1. […] Then and Now: Ft. Totten Then: Fort Totten during the Civil War. Construction of Fort Totten began in August 1861 and was finished by 1863. It occupied a high point in advance of the Soldiers’ Home, President’s Lincoln summer residence. Additional historic photos can be found here>> […]

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