Fort Ward Alexandria Reviews
Fort Ward and the Civil War Defenses of Washington Aug 29, 2010
Fort Ward in Alexandria, Virginia, was one of a series of Union earthwork fortifications constructed around the perimiter of Washington, DC, during the Civil War. Fort Ward was to guard against any attempted Confederate advance along the Leesburg Turnpike (now Route 7) or the Little River Turnpike (now Route 236). It was hastily built in 1861 following the first Battle of Bull Run and reenforced in 1863 and 1865.
The fort was an earthwork construction with two large gun bastions on the Northwest and Southwest corners. Today, about 90 per cent of the original works remain, though trees have grown on top of many of the earthen walls. The fort was restored in the 1960s as part of Alexandria's Civil War centennial commemoration. A museum building, patterned after an 1860s US Army post structure, a reconstructed Officer's Hut, Gate, and the reconstructed Northwest Bastion can be viewed. (The Southwest Bastion site is a picnic area today.)
Visitors to Fort Ward can see the museum with exhibits about the Washington defenses and Civil War life in Alexandria. The grounds are open and can be explored. The restored Northwest Bastion has cannons in place and is a good place to learn about the fort's design and operation.
Interpretive and reenactor programs are scheduled from time to time. (See calendar on web site.) There is no admission charge.
Part of the Daytripping around Virginia travel blog
Part of the list Civil War Historic Sites
Part of the list Andy's Northern Virginia Attractions and Travel Tips
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