Fort Foote: Protecting the Nation's Capital
History: During the Civil War, our government built 68 forts around the Nation's Capital. These earth and log structures were designed to be temporary field fortifications and only resist the attack of ground forces such as infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
In 1862, the battle between the Monitor and Merrimac, at Hampton Roads, created panic in Washington. Fort Washington, on the Potomac River 16 miles below Washington, D.C., was too far away to be adequately supported. Therefore the protection of the city from naval attack became a major concern and army engineers began building earthworks to resist naval bombardment.
In the words of General Barnard they were "in many respects, model works." Fort Foote was constructed for the purpose of defending, in connection with Battery Rogers, the water approach to the city. It was situated six miles below Washington, on a commanding bluff of the Maryland shore, elevated 100 feet above the river. Fort Foote was mostly completed in 1863 and was named in honor of Rear Admiral Andrew H. Foote
More to Explore: The National Harbor is just minutes from Fort Foote, where you can ride the Capital Wheel for a grand view overlooking the Potomac River and shop and dine there and at Tanger Outlets. Then try your luck at the casino at Gaylord National Resort. For a special occasion, spend the night at the Gaylord. Or burn off some energy at the outdoor sports fields, playground and picnic areas at Fort Foote Recreation Center.
1. Fort Foote Rodman Gun Emplacements - photo by John Stanton.
2. Fort Foote Rodman Gun - photo by John Stanton.