• !5-inch Rodman Cannon

    Civil War Defenses of Washington

    District of Columbia

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Washington, D.C. is situated in a topographic bowl. The bottom of the bowl, where the White House and Capitol are located, is in the floodplain of the junction of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Extending out from the floodplain is a series of rising river terraces. These high ridges nearly surround the city (the “bowl”) and are where the earthen Civil War fortifications were strategically built. This fort “circle” could defend the city from any enemy approach. more...

Did You Know?

Samuel Cooper

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.