Today nineteen fort sites are administered by the National Park Service located on approximately 130 acres. Each fortification was a link in this chain of forts surrounding the capital city during the Civil War. Click the hightlighted fort name to learn more about its story and the role it played in defending the District of Columbia.
Click here for an historic map of the Civil War Defenses of Washington with fortifications owned by the National Park Service highlighted.
Did You Know?
The Civil War Defenses were generally named after well known Union officers (many deceased during the war). This was not always the case. Fort Williams was first named Fort Traitor because the owner, Samuel Cooper(left), pledged an oath to the Union only to become a Confederate later on in the war.