Fort Williams (Virginia)

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.

Fort Williams
Part of the Civil War defenses of Washington, D.C.
Alexandria, Virginia
Fort Williams located in the backyard of 212 Quaker Lane in Alexandria, Virginia
Coordinates38°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
TypeEarthwork fort
Site information
Controlled byUnion Army
Site history
Built byU.S. Army Corps of Engineers
In use1861–1865
MaterialsEarth, timber
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War


Fort Williams was named for Thomas Williams who was 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. 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 which is the largest settlement in Union-occupied Northern Virginia.

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

The Fort is now located in the backyard of a property in the Seminary Ridge neighborhood.[2] Portions are also included in a 7.80 acres (31,600 m2) Alexandria, Virginia city park, at 501 Fort Williams Parkway.[3]

Among those stationed at the fort during the war was George Tryon Harding, father of Warren G. Harding, who spent time there in 1864.[4]


  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. ^ oldtowncrier (1 March 2017). "Traitor's Hill". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  3. ^ Parks E-H | Recreation | City of Alexandria, VA
  4. ^ Young, Jeff C. (1997). The Fathers of American Presidents: from Augustine Washington to William Blythe and Roger Clinton. Jefferson NC McFarland & Co. p. 143. ISBN 0786401826.

External linksEdit