Battery Kemble

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Battery Kemble (1861-1865) - A U.S. Civil War earthworks battery established in 1861 by Union forces in Northwest Washington DC. One of the 68 forts and 93 detached batteries established during the U.S. Civil War in a defensive ring around Washington, DC. Established under the direction of Brigadier General John G. Barnard. Named for Gouveneaur Kemble, one of the founders of the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. Abandoned at the war's end in 1865.

Battery Kemble Overgrown Earthworks
Battery Kemble Park Entrance Sign
Battery Kemble Looking Downhill from the Geodetic Marker

Battery Kemble History

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

Armed with two 100-pounder Parrott rifles positioned to cover the Chain Bridge and the Virginia side of the Potomac River at the Bridge.

A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Battery Kemble, Capt. F. E. Shaw commanding.–Garrison, one company First Maine Heavy Artillery–3 officers, 1 ordnance-sergeant, 54 men. Armament, two 100-pounder Parrotts. Magazines, one; dry and in good order. Ammunition, full supply and serviceable. Implements, complete and serviceable. Drill in artillery, fair. Drill in infantry, fair. Garrison is sufficient."

Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war.

Current Status

A Part of Battery Kemble Park, Northwest Washington DC. The overgrown remains of the earthworks are at the top of the hill directly above the lower parking lot.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 1680418

Location: Battery Kemble Park, Northwest Washington DC.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.930673 Long: -77.095715

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 351'

See Also:



Visited: 25 May 2013

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