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Fort Stevens, located at 13th and Quackenbos St. NW, was one of many forts built to fortify DC during the Civil War. In 1864, it was the site of a battle where President Lincoln briefly came under fire.
Fort Stevens, located at 13th and Quackenbos St. NW, was one of many forts built to fortify DC during the Civil War. In 1864, it was the site of a battle where President Lincoln briefly came under fire.
 

Civil War Forts, Circles & Squares

Discover historic sites that help explain Washington, DC's role in the Civil War.

  • PRINT

For Washingtonians, they’re simply the neighborhood landmarks that dot the city. But take a closer look and you’ll see many of these everyday gathering spots are actually named after some of the Civil War’s greatest heroes and battles.

  1. Farragut Square: A downtown hub named for Admiral Daniel Farragut, who coined the phrase "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead." during the battle for New Orleans.
  2. Sherman Square: Located at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, the square is named for General William Tecumseh Sherman, who led the Union troops to capture Atlanta.
  3. Logan Circle: Named for John A. Logan, a former delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives who later took command of the Army of the Tennessee, Logan Circle sits at the meeting point of 14th and P Streets, and Rhode Island Avenue.
  4. Sheridan Circle: Honoring General Philip Sheridan, who commanded the Union troops in the Shenandoah Valley and forced Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. It’s located along Embassy Row, on Massachusetts Avenue north of Dupont Circle.
  5. Scott Circle: This downtown circle (at the confluence of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Avenues, and 16th Street) honors General Winfield Scott, who came up with the Union strategy known as the Anaconda Plan that was used to defeat the Confederates.
  6. McPherson Square: Another downtown landmark (bordered by 15th Street, I Street, K Street and Vermont Avenue NW) honoring Union major general James McPherson, who was killed at the Battle of Atlanta.
  7. Fort Reno: The largest of the forts built to secure the capital, Fort Reno is now a popular gathering place for locals in the Tenleytown neighborhood and also plays host to a summer concert series.
  8. Fort Stevens: The site of the only battle to take place in the District is located in the Brightwood neighborhood, north of the Capitol. It’s here that President Lincoln was fired upon, as noted in a commemorative plaque.
  9. Fort Totten: Now a major Metro transit hub, the remains of this northeast DC fort are home to a neighborhood park.
  10. Battery Kemble Park: Located in DC’s Palisades neighborhood northwest of Georgetown and home to a popular dog park, Battery Kemble was built to guard against invasions from Virginia across the nearby Chain Bridge.