Fort Foote

During the Civil War the US government built 68 forts around the Nation's Capital.

These earth and log structures were designed to be temporary field fortifications and only resist the attack of ground forces such as infantry, cavalry and artillery.


In 1862 the battle between the Monitor and Merrimac, at Hampton Roads, created panic in Washington. As the war progressed, many European countries seemed eager to join the fight on the side of the Confederacy. Fort Washington, on the Potomac River 16 miles below Washington was considered too far away to be adequately supported. Therefore the protection of the city from naval attack became a major concern and army engineers began building earthworks to resist naval bombardment.

In the words of General Barnard they were "in many respects, model works. Fort Foote was constructed for the purpose of defending, in connection with Battery Rogers, the water approach to the city. It was situated six miles below Washington, on a commanding bluff of the Maryland shore, elevated 100 feet above the river. The fort was essentially completed in the fall of 1863, and was designed as a water battery of eight 200-pounder Parrott rifles and two 15-inch guns." Fort Foote was named in honor of Rear Admiral Andrew H. Foote who distinguished himself in the actions against the Confederate forts on the Mississippi Rivers and died of wounds on June 26, 1863.

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Keywords: Fort Foote, Civil War, Artillery Battery, Washington, USA


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