Fort Williams (4)

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Fort Williams (4) (1861-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War Fort first established in 1861 in the present day City of Alexandria, Virginia. Named Fort Williams after Brigadier General Thomas R. Williams (Cullum 902), U.S. Volunteers, who was killed at Baton Rouge 5 Aug 1862. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

History of Fort Williams

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

Fort Williams 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.

Established in 1861 on Cooper's Hill between Fort Worth (2) and Fort Ellsworth (2) on the site of Confederate General Samuel Cooper's (Cullum 156) home known as "Cameron". His home was destroyed to build the fort.

The fort was a large earthworks with a perimeter of 250 yards and emplacements for 13 guns.

A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort Williams, Major Ells commanding.–Garrison, two companies Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery–1 major. 18 commissioned officers, 1 ordnance-sergeant, 562 men. Armament, two 24-pounder field howitzers (smooth), four 10-pounder Parrotts, six 4-inch ordnance, one 8- inch sea-coast howitzer, two 24-pounder Coehorn mortars. Magazines, two; dry and in excellent order. Ammunition, full supply and in good order. Implements, complete and in good order. Drill in artillery, fair. Drill in infantry, fair. Discipline, fair. Garrison is of sufficient strength."

The fort was abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war. Samuel Cooper returned to his property after the war and lived impoverished in an overseer's cabin that survived the war. He died in 1876.

Current Status

Fort Williams Park in the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

Location: Fort Williams Park in the City of Alexandria, Virginia. Map point may not be accurate.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.8118 Long: -77.09

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

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