Fort Federal Hill

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Fort Federal Hill (1861-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1861 in south Baltimore, Independent City of Baltimore, Maryland. Named Fort Federal Hill after the location. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war. Also known as Fort No. 15 - Baltimore.

Fort Federal Hill circa 1862

History of Fort Federal Hill

Following the Baltimore riot of 1861, Federal Hill in Baltimore was occupied by Union troops and a battery under the command of General Benjamin F. Butler on 12 May 1861. Butler and his men erected a small fort, with cannon pointing towards the central business district. Butler's goal was to insure the allegiance of the city and the state of Maryland to the Federal Government under threat of force.

The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry garrisoned the post on 27 Jul 1861, commanded by Colonel Abram Duryee. The unit was outfitted in colorful Zouave uniforms. Colonel Duryee’s second in command, Lt. Colonel Gouverneur Kemble Warren, (Cullum 1451), proposed a more substantial fort here. Ground was broken on 24 Aug 1861. Duyree was then promoted to general and Warren took command as a colonel on 31 Aug 1861.

Warren's Zouaves constructed a massive earthworks around the fort site. By the end of October 42 guns were mounted, including 6 8-inch Columbiads and 22 32-pounders.

Inside the ramparts, regimental carpenters built officers’ quarters and barracks to house 1,000 soldiers.

Fort Federal Hill Partial Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1861-05-12 General Butler, Benjamin F. N/A
1861-07-27 1861-08-31 Colonel Duryee, Abram N/A
1861-08-31 1862-03 Colonel Warren, Gouverneur Kemble 1451
1863~ Colonel Revere, William H. Jr N/A
1864-10-00 1864-12-31 Major Allen, Harvey A. 1073
1865-01 1865-02 Lt. Colonel Tarbell, J. N/A
1865-03 1865-06 Colonel Duryea, Richard C. 1598
1865-07 1865-08 Colonel Kennedy, Robert P. N/A
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

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

Current Status

Several display cannon and two markers in Federal Hill Park.

Location: Federal Hill Park, Baltimore, Maryland.

Maps & Images

Lat: 39.2798 Long: -76.60845

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

See Also:


  • 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 380.
  • Post returns available Nov 1863 - Aug 1865 at (by Subscription) Mostly in 1865.


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