Fort Foote Park

Location: Fort Washington, Maryland

Webpage: National Park

General Description: Construction of Fort Foote was began during the winter of 1862 and continued until August of 1863 during the Civil War as one of the ring of forts defending the Union capital city.  Fort Foote was the largest and most permanent of these forts built of wood and earth, 20 feet thick along the river front.  Located along the Potomac River, Fort Foote was closer to Washington D.C. then Fort Washington and less vulnerable to the rifled cannon then this older masonry fort.  Armament included two 15-inch Rodman cannon and eight 200-pound Parrot rifles.  Due the demand for cannon in the field, the armament came in bits and pieces with the final installation occuring in 1865 just before the fall of Richmond.  Following the war, Fort Foote was retained by the Army, unlike most of the forts that were abandoned, as a federal prison from 1868-69, a testing ground for a new recoil gun carriage in 1869, and as a training area for a local engineering school during the first World War and training ground for officer candidates at Fort Washington during the second World War.



1) Since this was an wood and earth fort, there is not much left of the Civil War fort. You can still see the dry moat that surrounded the landward side of the fort.


2) There are some curious concrete ruins at the site, which we assume were modifications made after the war.


2) The 15-inch Rodman guns were never removed from the site since they were simply too heavy to bother with.  They look strange sitting atop the ground pointing out towards the Potomac River with little of the fort left around them.


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