Civil War Defenses of Washington Bus Tour-March 22

Page archived as of November 23, 2015

Saturday, March 22 from 8:30 AM-5 PM 

Fort StevensRegister now for a special guided bus tour sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ward highlighting the 150th anniversary of a key year in the history of the Civil War Defenses of Washington.  Led by military historian Dr. B. Franklin Cooling, the tour is scheduled for Saturday, March 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.    Pre-registration is required.  Cost is $85 for members of the Friends of Fort Ward, and $100 for non-members.   Please call the Museum at 703-746-4848 to register.

The Defenses of Washington was an extensive Union defense system which protected the Federal capital during the Civil War.  The focus of this tour will be the events in 1864 leading up to Confederate General Jubal Early’s attack on Fort Stevens in July 1864.  The battle, fought on July 11-12, 1864, marks the only time in which Washington, D.C. came under direct attack by the Confederacy, and the only time in American history that a President came under enemy fire while in office.

The tour begins at Fort Ward with an orientation in the site’s authentically reconstructed Northwest bastion.   Participants proceed to Fort Foote, which provided crucial defense of the river access to Washington on the Maryland side of the Potomac.  The tour will then travel to various sites in the northern line of forts.  The itinerary includes Forts Reno, DeRussy and Totten, and highlights Fort Stevens and Battleground National Cemetery.

Dr. Cooling, a professor of national security studies at the National Defense University, is a well-known military historian and specialist on the Defenses of Washington.  He is the co-author, with Walton Owen, of Mr. Lincoln’s Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington.  His other publications include The Day Lincoln Was Almost Shot:  The Fort Stevens Story, and a forthcoming book on Jubal Early. 

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the forts that comprised the Civil War Defenses of Washington.   The Museum offers exhibits, program and events throughout the year.  Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site is located at 4301 West Braddock Road in the west end of the City of Alexandria.   For more information, please contact the Museum at 703-746-4848, or visit the museum website.