Fort C.F. Smith (Defending the Capital) - Arlington, Virginia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member flyingmoose
N 38° 54.081 W 077° 05.301
18S E 318906 N 4307902
Located within Fort C.F. Smith Park
Waymark Code: WM181TP
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 05/11/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 1

Fort C.F. Smith was constructed early in 1863 as part of the expansion and strengthening of the capital's defenses that continued throughout the war. With Forts Strong, Morton, and Woodbury, Fort C.F. Smith formed the outer perimeter of fortifications that protected the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal's Aqueduct Bridge (then located near the present-day Francis Scott Key Bridge).
The fort was built as a lunette with a southern and western face and two flanks, as well as a cremaillere (intended) line on the north side to defend against an attack from the river up the ravines. A road that crossed Spout Run and proceeded up the hill to Fort Strong entered Fort C.F. Smith from the east. The trees from miles around were cut down to provide clear lines of fire for all the forts, and much of the lumber was used to construct the fortifications and support buildings.

Fort C.F. Smith had barracks, mess halls, kitchens, officers' quarters, a barn, and a headquarters that stood to your right. When the fort was decommissioned in 1865, the buildings were demolished. No above-ground evidence of their existence remains today.

Charles Ferguson Smith was born in Philadelphia on April 24, 1807, and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1825. Later, when he was commandant there, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman were cadets, Smith fought in the Mexican War (1846-1848) and, when the Civil War began, was promoted to brigadier general. On February 15, 1862, during Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's siege of Ft. Donelson, Tennessee, Smith's division breached the defenses and prompted the Confederate surrender. When Grant was asked for terms, Smith suggested "unconditional and immediate surrender," a phrase that made "Unconditional Surrender Grant" famous throughout the North. Smith, promoted to major general on March 21, 1862, temporarily commanded the army when Grant was accused of drunkenness. Smith died on April 25, 1862, of an infection after a seemingly minor non-combat injury.
Type of site: Transportation Route or Facility

2411 24th St N, Arlington, VA 22207
Arlington, Virginia United States of America

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Phone Number: Not listed

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