• !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?

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.