Visiting the sites today

The following selection is not exhaustive, but includes the main historical sites containing Civil War field fortifications of the eastern and western campaigns owned by the National Park Service, government agencies, the local community, plus those in private hands. At the time of writing, all of these sites are open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Richmond National Battlefield Park contains the earthwork remains of Fort I larrison/Burnham, plus those at forts Brady, Hoke, Johnson, Gregg, Gilmer, and Battery Alexander. Also encompassed are surviving earthworks at Fort Drewry/Darling, on Drewry's Bluff, and Parker's Battery on the Howlett Line, south of the James River. Extensive entrenchments survive at the Cold Harbor battlefield.

Location: Richmond, Virginia Owner: National Park Service Website: www.nps:gov/rich

Fort Stevens Historical Park consists of a two-acre site containing the remains of Fort Stevens, part of the Richmond defenses south of the James River. It has a trail along the earthworks. Location: Chesterfield County, Virginia. Owner: Chesterfield County

Fort Pocahontas (also known as Wilson's Wharf) was a redoubt that enabled Union forces to menace that part of Virginia and supply themselves there if needed. It is a privately owned site and open by appointment only, and during the annual Civil War weekend in May (always the weekend before Memorial Day).

Location: Near Charles City, Virginia Website:

Manassas Forts. The Federal Cannon Branch Fort is preserved along the railroad on the western side of Manassas (on a knoll above Cannon Branch near the airport). The Confederate Mayfield Fort has been reconstructed along the railroad on the eastern side of town. This is the last remaining of 11 Confederate forts that protected this important railroad junction.

Petersburg National Battlefield. Both armies built a total of about 42 forts and 136 batteries during the siege of Petersburg. The main park includes the following Federal forts: Fort Friend (originally Confederate Battery 8); Fort Stedman; Fort Haskell, the site of Fort Morton (2). It includes the following Confederate fortifications: Battery 5 (site of the Union Dictator mortar battery); Battery 9; Grade's Salient; Colquitt's Salient; and "The Crater" which is the remains of a small Confederate fort that was part of Elliott's Salient. Owner: National Park Service Website:

Colonial National Historic Park contains remains of earthworks created during the Revolutionary War siege of 1781, much of which was re-used by the Confederates in 1862. Also within the boundaries of the park are the remains of the Williamsburg battlefield, including Fort Magruder, the

Kingsmill Wharf Batteries (aka Burwell's Landing), plus 13 other redoubts. Location: Colonial Parkway on the Virginia Peninsula Owner: National Park Service Website:

Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park contains extensive Confederate and Union earthwork trench lines and rifle pits at various locations, including Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. All the earthworks on Marye's Heights in Fredericksburg survived the war, but were plowTed under during the 1880s. Owner: National Park Service Website:

Rock Creek Park contains the remains of some of the Washington defenses. Fort DeRussy is in a good state of preservation (follow a foot trail from the intersection of Military Road and Oregon Avenue, NW). The parapet and the deep ditch remain in clear and distinct outline. Evidence of well-defined rifle trenches is to be found outside the fort. Also surviving are the partially restored remains of Fort Stevens (off Georgia Avenue); the badly eroded remains of the field gun battery and rifle pits of Fort Slocum (in Fort Slocum Park); remains of parapets, embrasures, and the powder magazine of Fort Totten (located on Fort Totten Drive, just south of Riggs Road); and the parapet and gun positions of Battery Kemble (in Battery Kemble Park). Location: Washington, DC and Arlington, VA

Owner: National Park Service


Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site holds the best-preserved of the system of Union forts and batteries built to protect Washington, DC. The site remains approximately 90-95 percent intact, with the Northwest Bastion restored to illustrate the appearance of the entire fortification c.1864. Location: Alexandria, Virginia Owner: Friends of Fort Ward Website:

Fort Lincoln was built by Confederate prisoners-of-war when Washington was threatened by Early's raid and a prison break was feared. It is the only surviving fortification of three that guarded Camp Hoffman, the stockade POW camp established in 1863. This fort is a small, four-sided, earthen fort with four reconstructed buildings, and the remains of a powder magazine. Location: Point Lookout State Park, near Scotland, Maryland Owner: State Forest and Park Service

Fort Whipple was a bastioned earthwork that has evolved today into Fort Myer. The old part of the fort rests under the Fort Myer stables. Of interest here is the Old Guard Museum.


Fort Marcy is a relatively undisturbed site with trenches still in a very good state of preservation.

Location: Fort Marcy Park, Virginia

Owner: National Park Service


Fort Negley was a complex earthen, dry stone, and wooden fort with a turreted stockade at center, a ravelin either side, and quadruple redans at either end. Designed for six guns, its outer works consisted of two bomb-proof bastions.

Location: On St. Cloud Hill south of downtown Nashville at the confluence of Interstates 65 and 40, and adjacent to the Cumberland Science Museum and Greer Stadium. Owner: The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, & Civil War

Round Table, Inc. Website:

Fortess Rosecrans served as a Union supply base in Tennessee, and consisted of a complex earthen system of four redoubts, ten lunettes, two curtains, one redan, and two batteries. Lunettes Palmer and Thomas, Curtain Wall No. 2 and Redoubt Brannan are preserved today.

Location: Old Fort Park, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Owner: National Park Service

Website: wTww^

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