Fort Strong (1)

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Fort Strong (1) (1861-1865) - A Union fortification established in 1861 during the U.S. Civil War as Fort DeKalb. Renamed after Major General George Crockett Strong (Cullum 1764), who was mortally wounded while leading a charge against Fort Wagner on Morris Island, Charleston Harbor, in July 1863. Decommissioned in 1865 at the end of the war.


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

Fort Strong 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 Strong was a lunette at the north end of the Arlington Line constructed in August 1861.

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.

Fort Strong had a perimeter of 318 yards and emplacements for 15 guns. Armament included seven 24-pdr guns, one 24-pdr field howitzer, four 30-pdr Parrott rifles, one 6-pdr gun, and two 10-inch mortars.

A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort Strong, Major Maguire commanding.–Garrison, three companies Second New York Heavy Artillery– 1 major, 10 commissioned officers, 1 ordnance-sergeant, 410 men. Armament, one 24-pounder field howitzer, five 24-pounder siege guns, one 6-pounder field gun, two 24-pounder howitzers, four 30-pounder Parrotts, and two 10-inch siege mortars. Magazines, two; not entirely dry, one recently repaired. Ammunition, full supply; serviceable condition. Implements, full sets; serviceable. Drill in artillery, indifferent; requires improving. Drill in infantry, very deficient; much labor is required to bring it to an efficient condition. Discipline, deficient; fault of the officer in command; he needs more energy and efficiency. Garrison is of sufficient strength."

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

Current Status

No remains, marker only.

Location: Marker at Lee Highway at North Adams Street, Arlington County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.89694 Long: -77.08806

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 236'

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