Fort De Russy (1) (1861-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War fort established in 1861 in Northwest Washington DC. Probably named after Brigadier General René Edward De Russy, fortification engineer, 1812 graduate and later Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. Abandoned at the end of the war in 1865.
One of the ring of Union fortifications surrounding Washington DC during the U.S. Civil War, see Washington DC Fort Ring.
Fort De Russy and Battery Map Extract
This was an earthen fort on a hill overlooking the Rock Creek Valley in the northwest section of Washington DC. Fort De Russy provided cross fire on the left approaches to Fort Stevens (2) and participated in the battle for that fort during the U.S. Civil War on 11-22 Jul 1862. In that engagement, Fort De Russy's 22 guns and mortars fired a total of 109 rounds against the advancing Confederate forces under General Jubal Early. The attack was turned back after the poorly manned Union positions were reinforced on the second day. Fort De Russy's armament included the largest gun, a 100 pounder Parrott Gun, in the engagement.
Fort De Russy consisted of earthen parapets with cutout gun positions surrounded by a dry moat. Earth covered magazines were located within the perimeter. A line of infantry rifle pits connected Fort De Russy with Fort Stevens (2) on the right and Fort Kearney on the left.
A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort De Russy, Lieut. Col. John Hastings commanding.–Garrison, two companies Seventh New York Heavy Artillery–1 lieutenant-colonel, 10 commissioned officers, 1 ordnance- sergeant, 289 men. Armament, three 32- pounder barbette, one Coehorn mortar, one 10-inch mortar, five 30-pounder Parrotts, one 100-pounder Parrott. Magazines, one; dry and serviceable. Ammunition, full supply and serviceable. Implements, complete and serviceable. Drill in artillery, ordinary; needs improving. Drill in infantry, indifferent; needs improving much. Discipline, too loose for efficiency. Garrison is of sufficient strength."
Abandoned at the end of the war in 1865.
Part of Rock Creek Park in Northwest Washington DC. Emplacements still visible.
USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 531563
Location: Rock Creek Park, Northwest Washington DC.
Maps & Images
Lat: 38.9633089 Long: -77.0509923
- Cooling, Benjamin F. III and Owen, Valton H. II, Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810863073, ISBN 9780810863071, 334 pages.
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 134
Visited: 26 May 2013