Fort Ethan Allen (2)

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Fort Ethan Allen (2) (1861-1865) - A U.S. Civil War post established in 1861 by Union forces in Arlington County, Virginia. Named for patriot Major General Ethan Allen who captured Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. Part of the Washington DC Defense System. Abandoned at the end of the war in 1865.

Fort Ethan Allen Park Service Marker
Fort Ethan Allen Roadside Marker
Fort Ethan Allen Earthworks


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

Fort Ethan Allen 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.

Fort Ethan Allen was a large earthworks fortification built in September 1861 by volunteer troops from Vermont. The fort commanded the approaches to the Chain Bridge that crossed the Potomac River into Washington DC. The fort had a perimeter of 736 yards and garrisoned over 1000 troops. Armament included three 6-pounder guns, four 24-pounder guns, three 32-pounder guns, two 8-inch howitzers, three 10-pounder Parrott rifles, eleven 30-pounder Parrott rifles, six 12-pounder Napoleon guns, four 10-inch mortars and two 24-pounder Coehorn mortars.

A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort Ethan Allen, Col. A. A. Gibson commanding.–Garrison, nine companies Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery–1 colonel, 29 commissioned officers, 1,346 men, and 1 ordnance-sergeant. Armament, nine 6-pounder field guns, three 10-pounder Parrotts, three 32pounder bronze howitzers, four 24-pounder siege guns, two 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, eleven 30-pounder Parrotts, six 24-pounder Coehorn mortars, four 10-inch siege mortars. Magazines, four; dry and serviceable. Ammunition, full supply and in good order. Implements, complete and serviceable. Drill in artillery, ordinary; needs improving. Drill in infantry, very indifferent; needs much improving. Discipline, indifferent. Garrison larger than necessary. Cavalry garrison, one company (E) Thirteenth New York Cavalry–2 commissioned officers, 78 enlisted men, 53 equipped, 52 horses."

Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Current Status

Part of Fort Ethan Allen Park, Arlington County, Virginia. Overgrown earthworks are visible but no period cannons or mounts are in place.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 1492064

Location: Fort Ethan Allen Park, 4311 Old Glebe Road, Arlington County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.9244444 Long: -77.1236111

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 279'

See Also:



Visited: 26 May 2013

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