Fort Foote (1)

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Fort Foote (1) (1863-1878) - A Union U.S. Civil War era Coastal Fort named for Commodore Andrew H. Foote on 1 Oct 1863. The garrison was removed 10 Nov 1878 and the fort was abandoned.

Fort Foote Sketch
Fort Foote 15" Rodman Gun
Fort Foote Rodman Gun in Place

Fort Foote (1) History

Established to protect the Potomac River entrance to Washington D.C. and Alexandria.

Construction began in the winter of 1862-1863, but progressed slowly until four companies of soldiers from the 9th New York Heavy Artillery arrived in Aug 1863 to supplement the workforce and garrison the fort.

The Potomac facing side of the Fort was over 500 feet long with earth walls approximately 20 feet thick. A central traverse ran the length of the fort and contained bombproof magazines and storage areas for the Parrott rifles and 15-inch Rodman guns. These interior rooms were constructed of cedar posts and roofed with chestnut logs all covered with earth.

The first 15-inch Rodman gun arrived in late 1863, and the others arrived over the next two years. The Fort was armed and completed 6 Jun 1865. Fort Foote had two 15-inch Rodman Guns, four 200-pounder Parrott Rifles and six 30-pounder Parrott Rifles at the end of the U.S. Civil War.

In 1872 plans to strengthen the fort were submitted and the government actually purchased the property in 1873. Only a small amount of work was carried out under the new authorization and work stopped when funds were withdrawn in 1875. The garrison left 10 Nov 1878 and the fort was abandoned.

Current Status

National Park. Two 15" Rodman guns in place, one originally from Fort Foote and the other from Battery Rodgers across the Potomac River.

Location: Rosiers Bluff on the east bank of the Potomac River in Maryland, six miles south of Washington D.C.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.7676362 Long: -77.0286977


Visited: 4 Apr 2009

Fort Foote (1) Picture Gallery

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