Fort Marcy (3)

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Fort Marcy (3) (1861-186?) - A Union U.S. Civil War fort in Fairfax County, Virginia. Named for General Randolph B. Marcy, (Cullum 690), Chief of Staff for General George B. McClellan, (Cullum 1273). Abandoned in 186?. Also known as Fort Baldy Smith after General William F. Smith, (Cullum 1234), who's troops built the fort.

Fort Marcy NPS Marker
Fort Marcy Trail Map from Marker
Fort Marcy Display Cannon

Fort Marcy (3) History

File:Fort Marcy - historical.jpg
Fort Marcy during the U.S. Civil War

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

Fort Marcy 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.

A Union earthworks fort established 24 Sep 1861 and armed with with 15 Parrott guns, 2 howitzers and three mortars. The fort had a perimeter 338 feet and three outlying gun batteries. The fort was established on the Virginia side of the Potomac River to guard the approaches to the Chain Bridge.

A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort Marcy, Maj. Z. L. Anderson commanding.–Garrison, three companies Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery–1 major, 8 commissioned officers, I ordnance-sergeant, 430 men. Armament, two 12-pounder mountain howitzers, three 20-pounder Parrotts, three 10-pounder Parrotts, three 24-pounder siege guns, six 30-pounder Parrotts, two 24-pounder Coehorn mortars, one 10-inch siege mortar. Magazines, one; dry and in good order. Ammunition, full supply and serviceable. Implements, complete and serviceable. Drill in artillery, ordinary; needs improving. Drill in infantry, indifferent; needs much improving. Discipline, indifferent. Garrison stronger than necessary."

Abandoned at the end of the war and returned to the original owners, the Vanderwerken family who retained ownership until World War II.

Current Status

Fort Marcy Park, Fairfax County, Virginia. Administered by the National Park Service. Earthworks, rifle pits in relatively good condition with at least two display cannons. The park parking lot is accessible only from the northbound lane of George Washington Memorial Parkway and not the Southbound lane or Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road).

This park is where the body of Vince Foster was found on 20 Jul 1993, apparently a suicide victim. The body was found on the berm directly in front of the cannon shown below.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 1495558

Location: Fort Marcy Park, Fairfax County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.9355556 Long: -77.1263889

See Also:



Visited: 26 May 2013

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