Fort Sumner (Maryland)

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For the fort in New Mexico, see Fort Sumner.
Fort Sumner
Part of the Civil War defenses of Washington, D.C.
Montgomery County, Maryland
Potomac River from Fort Sumner MD 1860s.jpg
View of the Potomac River from Fort Sumner]]
Fort Sumner is located in District of Columbia
Fort Sumner
Fort Sumner
Coordinates 38°57′19″N 77°07′26″W / 38.9554°N 77.1240°W / 38.9554; -77.1240
Type Earthwork fort
Site information
Controlled by Union Army
Condition Residential Area
Site history
Built 1861
Built by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
In use 1861–1865
Materials Earth, timber
Demolished 1865
Battles/wars American Civil War

Fort Sumner was built by the Union Army in Montgomery County, Maryland, just northwest of Washington, D.C.


It was an 1863 expansion of Fort Alexander, Fort Ripley and Fort Franklin, which were built to protect the Washington Aqueduct, the new water supply for the city, and the adjacent Potomac River shoreline.[1][2] Fort Sumner was named for Major General Edwin Vose Sumner, who died in 1863 from wounds received at the Battle of Antietam.[1]

The fort had a commanding view above the Potomac River and included 30 artillery pieces. In addition to the aforementioned components, the site included Battery Bailey and Battery Benson, overlooking Little Falls Branch.[3] Fort Sumner was razed in 1953.[4]

There are a few visible remains of Battery Bailey, in Westmoreland Hills Park, which can be seen from the adjacent Capital Crescent Trail.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cooling, III, Benjamin Franklin; Owen, II, Walton H. (2009). Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. pp. 144–149. ISBN 9780810863071. 
  2. ^ Historical Marker Database (2007). "Fort Sumner." Accessed 2013-02-18.
  3. ^ a b Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda, MD. "Points of Interest on the Trail" Accessed 2013-02-18.
  4. ^ Reinink, Amy (2012-11-02). "Fort Sumner is a Bethesda neighborhood full of traditions". Washington Post.