A typical civil war fortification entrance

Fort Whipple Virginia

In A typical civil war fortification entrance reading books like "The Civil War" by Buce Catton, one would never know about the Defenses of Washington.  Missing from that work are the names of General John Gross Barnard,  General Amiel Weeks Whipple and many more who contributed to defending the US Capital. It was after the first battle of Bull Run or First Manassas, depending on which side of the Mason Dixon line you're on,  that General McClellan surveyed the defenses of Washington and decided that additional fortifications were needed.  Even though the Arlington Line - a series of fortifications and batteries located on western side of Washington, DC - were in place, the defeat that the Union troops took got the Union leadership into action. The result was in some cases a fort was placed as a secondary line of defense - one was Fort Whipple, named for the General who had commanded the defenses of Washington from the Custis-Lee Mansion.   His desire to get into the fighting took him to Fredericksburg and later Chancellorsville where he was shot by a sharpshooter while sitting on his horse in May of 1863. Assessments made from the extensive plans for this fort that overlooked the valley where Washington DC lay, was this was the ideal fort and set the model for ones that would follow.  In the book, "Images of America - Fort Myer" the plans for this fortification and other related information is presented as the first 100 years of  history of this fort, later named Fort Myer, in honor of the US Army's first Signal Officer - General Albert J. Myer, is told.

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