Logo Our Family Tree

Washington DC Area Forts, Washington, DC


Fort C. F. Smith

Fort C. F. Smith

Fort C.F. Smith was constructed in 1863 on farmland appropriated from William Jewell. The fort was named in honor of Gen. Charles F. Smith, who was instrumental in the Union victory at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, in 1862. Fort Smith extended the line of fortifications, designed to protect the capital, to the Potomac River and commanded a tributary ravine not covered by nearby Fort Strong. Along with Fort Strong, Fort Morton, and Fort Woodbury, Fort Smith functioned as part of the outer defensive perimeter that protected the Aqueduct Bridge of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The fort was a lunette with two bastions on the north side to thwart any attack up the ravines from the river. Fort Smith contained twenty-two gun emplacements, eight of which are visible today. The access road crossed Spout Run near Mason's Mill and proceeded up the hill to Fort Strong. Military Road linked Fort Smith and Fort Ethan Allen to the north.

The support buildings in which the garrison ate and slept stood behind you. They included barracks, mess halls, cook houses, officers' quarters, a barn, and the headquarters building. Period photographs show Arlington's landscape denuded of trees to provide clear lines of fire from Fort C.F. Smith and the adjacent forts.

Website: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=175256

Related albums • See other albums

Arlington Co VA Markers
Washington DC Area Forts

Related locations

VA, Arlington Co, Fort C. F. Smith

Related people

Charles Ferguson Smith

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

Updated: 9-23-2021