• !5-inch Rodman Cannon

    Civil War Defenses of Washington

    District of Columbia

Fort Totten

Brigadier General Joseph G. Totten, Chief of Engineers

Fort Totten was name in honor of Brig. Gen. Joseph G. Totten, Chief of Engineers.

Photo courtesy of Picturehistory.com

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 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.

Fort Totten
Men and gun of 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery at ornamental gate of Fort Totten.
Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Parrot Gun at fort Totten
Officers of Companies A and B, 3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, and crew of 100-pounder. Parrot gun on iron barbette carriage at Fort Totten.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
Sergeants at Fort Totten
Sergeants of 3rd Masachusetts Heavy Artillery, with gun and caisson at Fort Totten.
Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Did You Know?

Fort Washington

When the Civil War began, Fort Washington was the only existing fortification for the capital's defense. Fort Washington, nearly 12 miles down the Potomac, was built to guard against enemy ships during the War of 1812.