Fort Black (also known as Fort Squirrel Hill and Fort Chess)[3] was a fort built in the Greenfield neighborhood (then part of Squirrel Hill) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1863, during the Civil War.[1][2][4]

Fort Black
Greenfield, Pittsburgh
Sketch of the Defenses of Pittsburg (sic) made by order of Captain Craighill, Corps of Engrs., USA, July 20th, 1863... - NARA - 305785 (cropped, showing Fort Black).jpg
Fort Black is marked "Fort" in this map.
Coordinates40°25′08″N 79°56′27″W / 40.4188°N 79.9407°W / 40.4188; -79.9407Coordinates: 40°25′08″N 79°56′27″W / 40.4188°N 79.9407°W / 40.4188; -79.9407
Site history
FateNo remains[2]

It was located on Bigelow Street (formerly Squirrel Hill Road)[1] between Parade and Shields streets,[3] and had cannons facing the Point, and trenches to protect soldiers.[1]

The fort was one of the most massive of the 27 built at the time to defend Pittsburgh from the Confederates, and like the other forts, was built of mounds of dirt.[2][5]

A powder magazine was also built nearby, on Beechwood Boulevard.[3][2]

It remained standing until its demolition in 1928.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "In the Footsteps of Renegades : A Virtual Tour of Greenfield" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  2. ^ a b c d "Squirrel Hillʼs Part in the Civil War" (PDF). Squirrel Hill Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 24, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Pennsylvania Forts: page 8". 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  4. ^ "Earliest Settlements in the Fifteenth Ward of the City of Pittsburgh" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  5. ^ "One Quiet Pittsburgh Neighborhood Is Home To A Civil War Fort". WESA. May 31, 2018.