Fort Williams (Virginia)

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This article is about the Civil War-era fort that defended Washington, D.C.. For the fort in Alabama, see Fort Williams.
Fort Williams
Part of the Civil War defenses of Washington, D.C.
Alexandria, Virginia
Coordinates 38°48′42″N 77°05′24″W / 38.81180°N 77.09000°W / 38.81180; -77.09000Coordinates: 38°48′42″N 77°05′24″W / 38.81180°N 77.09000°W / 38.81180; -77.09000
Type Earthwork fort
Site information
Controlled by Union Army
Condition Dismantled
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 Williams was a timber and earthwork fortification constructed in Alexandria, Virginia as part of the defenses of Washington, D.C. during the American Civil War.


It was named for Thomas Williams, killed at Baton Rouge, on August 5, 1862.

Built in the weeks following the Union defeat at Bull Run, Fort Williams was situated on north of Hunting Creek, and Cameron Run, (which feeds into it), near Vaucluse (plantation). From its position on Quaker Lane, one of the points west of Alexandria, the fort overlooked the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, the Little River Turnpike, and the western approaches to the city of Alexandria, the largest settlement in Union-occupied Northern Virginia.

It was built by the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Regiment. It had a perimeter of 250 yards, and space for 13 guns. [1]

The Fort is now a 7.80 acres (31,600 m2) Alexandria, Virginia city park, at 501 Fort Williams Parkway.[2]


  1. ^ 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. 64–70. ISBN 978-0-8108-6307-1. 
  2. ^ Parks E-H | Recreation | City of Alexandria, VA

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