During the Civil War, fortifications were constructed around the perimeter of Washington to defend the city from attack by the Confederate Army. Paramount to survival under siege was protection of the city's water supply. Fort Sumner and Fort Mansfield and a string of connecting batteries, including Battery Bailey, were constructed to guard the receiving reservoir of the Washington aqueduct and the Potomac River shoreline. Battery Bailey, named for Colonel Guilford D. Bailey of the Union Army, is the sole remnant of this network in Montgomery County. After the war, the property returned to Samuel Shoemaker, Jr. who sold it to Joseph Collins in 1874. The National Capital Park and Planning Commission purchased the property from the Collins family in 1951.