Fort C.F. Smith (2)

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Fort C.F. Smith (2) (1863-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War fort established in 1863 in Arlington County, Virginia. Named for Major General Charles Ferguson Smith, (Cullum 410), who was taken sick at Shiloh, after receiving a severe injury and died on 25 Apr 1862. The fort was abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Fort C.F. Smith Plan
Fort C.F. Smith Headquarters 2nd New York Heavy Artillery Officers
Fort C.F. Smith, 2d New York Artillery

Fort C.F. Smith History

The First Potomac River Aqueduct Bridge
Fort C.F. Smith Cannon

One of the ring of Union fortifications surrounding Washington DC during the U.S. Civil War, see Washington DC Fort Ring.

Fort C.F. Smith was also one of 33 forts on the Virginia side of the Potomac River that made up an outer defense line for Washington DC known as the Arlington Line.

Constructed by Union Troops in early 1863. Fort C.F. Smith (2), Fort Strong (1), Fort Morton, and Fort Woodbury functioned as an outer perimeter of defenses called the Arlington Line that protected the Alexandria Canal and the Potomac River Aqueduct Bridge of the C&O Canal. The Potomac River Aqueduct Bridge connected the C & O Canal on the Washington side of the Potomac River with the Alexandria Canal on the Virginia side of the river. The bridge actually allowed the canal boats to cross the river and travel down the Virginia side to the Port of Alexandria.

Technically the fort was a lunette with a southern and western face, two flanks and two bastions on the north side. The fort was entered from the east by a connecting road to Fort Strong (1). The support buildings where the troops ate and slept were located east of the post. Those structures included barracks, mess halls, cook houses, officers quarters and a headquarters building.

A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort C. F. Smith, Maj. W. A. McKay commanding.–Garrison, four companies Second New York Heavy Artillery–1 major, 15 commissioned officers, 1 ordnance-sergeant, 548 men. Armament, three 12-pounder field howitzers, two 6-pounder field guns-four 24-pounder siege guns, one 8-inch sea-coast howitzer, six 4_- inch ordnance, and four 8-inch siege mortars. Magazines, two; dry and in serviceable condition. Ammunition, full supply and well packed. Implements, complete and serviceable. Drill in artillery, very ordinary; wants improving much. Drill in infantry, insufficient; wants more energy and attention given to it. Discipline, great want of improvement. Garrison is sufficient."

The fort was abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Current Status

The earthwork ruins at this park are among the best preserved ruins of the 22 forts that were located in Arlington during the U.S. Civil War. The ruins include the bomb proof, the fort well, the North magazine, and 11 of the 22 gun emplacements.

Location: Arlington County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.900833 Long: -77.090556

See Also:



Visited: 31 Jul 2010

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