Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington

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Scarecrow Press, Oct 6, 2009 - History - 334 pages
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During the American Civil War, Washington, D.C. was the most heavily fortified city in North America. As President Abraham Lincoln's Capital, the city became the symbol of Union determination, as well as a target for Robert E. Lee's Confederates. As a Union army and navy logistical base, it contained a complex of hospitals, storehouses, equipment repair facilities, and animal corrals. These were in addition to other public buildings, small urban areas, and vast open space that constituted the capital on the Potomac. To protect Washington with all it contained and symbolized, the Army constructed a shield of fortifications: 68 enclosed earthen forts, 93 supplemental batteries, miles of military roads, and support structures for commissary, quartermaster, engineer, and civilian labor force, some of which still exist today. Thousands of troops were held back from active operations to garrison this complex. And the Commanders of the Army of the Potomac from Irvin McDowell to George Meade, and informally U.S. Grant himself, always had to keep in mind their responsibility of protecting this city, at the same time that they were moving against the Confederate forces arrayed against them. Revised in style, format, and content, the new edition of Mr. Lincoln's Forts is the premier historical reference and tour guide to the Civil War defenses of Washington, D.C.

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User Review  - cyderry - LibraryThing

This book documents the 68 forts and 93 unarmed batteries that surrounded the city of Washington during the Civil War. The details include maps, drawings, anecdotes concerning the construction, and ... Read full review


Chapter 1 The Most Heavily Fortified City in North America
Chapter 2 Engineer Details of Construction
Chapter 3 Touring the Forts South of the Potomac
Chapter 4 Touring the Forts North of the Potomac
Chapter 5 Touring the Forts East of the Anacostia River
Chapter 6 Touring the River Forts
Father of the Defenses
Appendix B Selected Ordnance Statistics for the Defenses of Washington
Appendix C Engineer Glossary
Appendix D Communications in the Defenses of Washington
Appendix E Regulations for Care of Fieldworks and Government of Garrisons
Appendix F Engineer Drawings of Selected Forts with Existing Earthworks

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About the author (2009)

Benjamin Franklin Cooling III is a well-known Civil War historian who has authored many publications in that field, as well as in military and naval history. Walton H. Owen II is the assistant director and curator at the Fort Ward Museum, one of the most significant of the sites discussed in this book. He has served as the historic site administrator at Fort C.F. Smith Park & Historic Site, Arlington, VA and as the National Archives' Museum Specialist on the staff of the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff.

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