Need heavy guns on the Potomac: Seacoast defenses for Washington

Even after all direct threats to Washington, D.C. abated with the end of the Gettysburg Campaign, at least one man in the capital city saw the need to improve defenses. On September 1, 1863, Brigadier-General John G. Barnard wrote to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: The works of Rozier’s Bluff, and near Jones’ PointContinue reading “Need heavy guns on the Potomac: Seacoast defenses for Washington”

Better a half-mile farther forward: Defenses of Washington in September ’61 – Part 2

My premise, discussing the Washington defenses in September 1862, is not that the Confederates passed on some grand opportunity – or even there was better than a slim chance of success – but rather that those defenses were not the impressive, near-impregnable works known later in the war. That said, let me pick up wereContinue reading “Better a half-mile farther forward: Defenses of Washington in September ’61 – Part 2”

“I could not tell my men to take that fort….”: The Washington Defenses in September ’61 – Part 1

In the opening chapter of Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862, historian Joseph Harsh offered a quote from General Robert E. Lee as he observed one of the Federal forts during a post-war visit.  The former Confederate leader, looking at Fort Ward, remarked, “I couldContinue reading ““I could not tell my men to take that fort….”: The Washington Defenses in September ’61 – Part 1″