Fort Totten (2)
Fort Totten (2) (1861-1865) - A Union U.S. Civil War fort established in 1861 in Northeast Washington DC. Construction began in August 1861 and was completed in 1863. The fort was named after Brigadier General Joseph G. Totten, Chief of Engineers. Deactivated in 1865 at the end of the war.
Fort Totten History
The fort itself was a 270 yard, seven sided polygon surrounded by a dry moat that was twelve feet wide and seven feet deep. The walls of the fort were constructed of earth fifteen feet thick and eight feet high. The fort's armament included some 20 cannon and mortars and a long range 100-pounder Parrot Rifle. The fort saw action in support of Fort Stevens (2) when that fort was attacked by Confederate General Jubal Anderson Early on 11 and 12 July, 1864.
A 17 May 1864 report from the Union Inspector of Artillery noted the following: "Fort Totten, Maj. Charles Hunsdon commanding.–Garrison, two companies First Vermont Artillery–1 major, 7 commissioned officers, 1 ordnance-sergeant, 206 men. Armament-four 6- pounder field guns, eight 32-pounder Parrotts, two 8-inch siege howitzers, one Coehorn mortar, one 10-inch mortar, three 30-pounder Parrotts, one 100- pounder Parrott. Magazines, two; one in serviceable condition and one being repaired. Ammunition full supply and serviceable. Implements, complete and serviceable. Drill in artillery, fair. Drill in infantry, fair. Discipline, fair. Garrison not of sufficient strength."
Deactivated in 1865 at the end of the war.
The site is maintained by the National Park Service and is in a very poor state of preservation. Remnants of the earthworks and fortification features can be distinguished but are covered with trees and underbrush. The single onsite interpretive sign is in bad shape. The two roadside signs are in better shape.
Location: Fort Totten Unit of the Fort Circle National Park, Northeast Washington DC. Maps & Images
Lat: 38.947895 Long: -77.005191
- Cooling, Benjamin F. III and Owen, Valton H. II, Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810863073, ISBN 9780810863071, 334 pages.
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 140-141
- North American Forts - Fort Totten
- NPS - Civil War Defenses of Washington
- Wikipedia - Fort Totten
Visited: 22 May 2013