Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the system of Union forts and batteries built to protect Washington, DC during the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Page updated on Oct 26, 2018 at 10:25 AM

Fort Ward Museum

Firing Drill, Civil War Camp DayFort Ward Museum interprets the site's history and offers exhibits on Civil War topics, education and interpretive programs, tours, lecture and video series, bus tours, and living history activities throughout the year. The Museum and Historic Site also interpret Alexandria, Virginia as an occupied city, the city's role as a vital Union Army crossroads, life within the Defenses of Washington, and the everyday life of Civil War soldiers and civilians.

The historic fort provides visitors with an excellent understanding of Civil War-era military engineering. About 90% of the fort's earthwork walls are preserved and the Northwest Bastion has been restored and reconstructed to its original condition.  

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Virtual Tour

Visit the Fort Ward MuseumCeremonial Gate and Northwest Bastion on Google 360 virtual tours.


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Location, hours, directions, and everything you need to know to visit Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site. No Admission Charge.
Parking and Trolley Map | Print an eCoupon


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 A new exhibit on John Rogers’ Civil War Statuary has opened at Fort Ward Museum, and will continue through the end of the year. John Rogers was noted for his popular plaster-cast statuary groups that adorned many middle-class Victorian parlors in 19th-century America. 


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Come to Fort Ward and see a variety of medical tools, instruments, equipment and images from the Museum’s Civil War collection. Images and information related to some of Alexandria’s Union Army hospitals are also on view. The exhibit is accompanied by a brochure on medical care for the Civil War soldier. 


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The goal of this project is to expand interpretation in Fort Ward Park to include the full range of its history, especially including the African American experience and the post-Civil War Fort community. Fort Ward's Civil War history will remain a core theme, but new elements will explore the legacy of that pivotal era. A draft interpretive plan and design package were shared with the Fort Ward Interpretive Committee and the community on September 13. The public is invited to attend meetings of the Committee, announced on the Calendar of Events.


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Visit Fort Ward Park to see historic signage highlighting the post-Civil War African American community known as The Fort. The Fort is the focus of an effort by the Office of Historic Alexandria to study and preserve the post-Civil War historic resources of Fort Ward Park. 


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The Fort Ward Museum enlists the talents and knowledge of reenactors to offer numerous living history programs interpreting Civil War soldier and civilian life. Programs contribute to the public’s understanding of the period and enhance the Museum’s educational mission. Here are the resources you need to participate in an event.


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The occupation of Alexandria by Union troops forever changed the social, cultural and economic fabric of the old seaport town. For four years (1861-1865) Alexandria was an occupied city; enduring the longest military occupation by Union troops of any town during the conflict. Learn more with a wide range of historic resources.  


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A public walkway, which meets the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, begins at the fort’s reconstructed entrance gate and leads visitors to the restored Northwest Bastion. 


Museum, Park and Office Hours

Museum Hours 
Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m. 
Monday: Closed  

Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Please call for other holiday closings.

Please call for changes regarding weather related conditions. 

Park Hours 
Daily: 9 a.m. to sunset.

Office Hours 
Tuesday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Email the Museum

Email Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site  

Event Tickets 

To purchase tickets to events at Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site, and to shop online, visit The Alexandria Shop.

Park Reservations

The Museum and Historic Fort are located within a 45-acre park, operated by the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. Picnic areas are available and may be reserved for groups by calling the Recreation department at 703.746.5405.



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