Fort Ethan Allen (Arlington, Virginia)

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For Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont, see Fort Ethan Allen.
Fort Ethan Allen
Fort Ethan Allen earthworks.JPG
A section of the earthworks that remain.
Fort Ethan Allen (Arlington, Virginia) is located in District of Columbia
Fort Ethan Allen (Arlington, Virginia)
Location Address Restricted, Arlington, Virginia
Coordinates 38°55′25″N 77°7′26″W / 38.92361°N 77.12389°W / 38.92361; -77.12389Coordinates: 38°55′25″N 77°7′26″W / 38.92361°N 77.12389°W / 38.92361; -77.12389
Area 9.8 acres (4.0 ha)
Built 1861
Architect Barnard, Gen. John Gross
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 04000052[1]
VLR # 000-5819
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 11, 2004
Designated VLR December 3, 2003[2]

Fort Ethan Allen was an earthwork fortification built on the property of Gilbert Vanderwerken in Alexandria County, Virginia, (now Arlington, Virginia) by the Union Army in 1861 as part of the defense of Washington during the American Civil War. The remains of the fort, a portion of the earthen walls, now overgrown, are now part of Fort Ethan Allen Park.[3]


It was an earthern fort, with a perimeter of 736 yards and places for 36 guns[4]

There was no military action at Fort Ethan Allen throughout the American Civil War; the only attack on Washington-area forts was at Fort Stevens, north of the city, in 1864. Perhaps the most memorable wartime occurrence at Fort Ethan Allen was a visit by President Abraham Lincoln, one of the few visits to a Washington fort he ever made.[3]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.[1] It is designated as an Historic District by Arlington County, and is included as a site in the Virginia Civil War Trails program.


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Laura V. Trieschmann and Kim A. O'Connell (August 2003). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Fort Ethan Allen" (PDF).  and Accompanying two photos
  4. ^ Cooling III, Benjamin Franklin; Owen II, Walton H. (6 October 2009). Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Scarecrow Press. pp. 128–136. ISBN 978-0-8108-6307-1. 

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