CIVIL WAR DEFENSES OF WASHINGTON CHRONOLOGY
April 9, 1861Department of Washington created by GO 9, AGO, to consist of State of Maryland and the District of Columbia
April 10, 1861Bvt. Col. Charles F. Smith arrives at hdqrs of dept per GO 9, AGO
April 15, 1861Lincoln calls for volunteers to protect the capitalcalls for 75,000 militia
April 17, 1861Virginia no longer part of the UnionState ratified the ordinance of secession
April 1861Created Potomac flotilla
April 19, 1861troops began to arrive from the north
April 19, 1861states of Delaware and Pennsylvania added to dept.GO 3, Hdqrs of the Army
April 19, 1861after April 19, several small river steamers and tugs were employed in patrolling the Potomac RiverPotomac Flotilla[E.E. Billings, "Mil Activities in Washington in 1861,"RCHS, 1962-63, p. 131]
April 22, 1861In obedience to General Orders, No. 3, from the Headquarters of the Army, Washington, dated 19th instant, (*)Major-General Patterson assumes command of the Military Department of Washington, which "is extended so as to include, in addition to the District of Columbia and Maryland, the States of Delaware and Pennsylvania."
April 26, 1861Breakthrough of 7th NY, 8th Mass. And 1st RI to Washington
April 27, 1861Col. J.F.K. Mansfield put in command of Department of Washington to consist of District of Columbia, Fort Washington and the country adjacent, and the State of Maryland as far as Bladensburg, inclusiveGO 12, AGO
April 28, 1861 Maj. J. G. Barnard, of the Corps of Engineers, having been assigned to this department for duty by order of the lieutenant-general commanding the Army, he is hereby attached to these headquarters as chief engineer of this department. First Lieut. F. E. Prime, of the Corps of Engineers, will report to Major Barnard for duty. By order of Colonel MansfieldGO No. 11, Dept. Of Wash.
May 1861Early in May, Commander J.H. Ward assigned to command of the Potomac Flotilla[E.E. Billings, "Mil Activities in Washington in 1861,"RCHS, 1962-63, p. 131]
May 23, 1861Virginia ordinance of secession approved by public referendumat 2 am on morning of 24th, Union troops move across Potomac into Virginia, occupy the heights and begin erecting fortifications on morning of 24th began a seven week concentrated effort to erect these fortificationsForts Runyon, Ellsworth and Corcoran first builtFort Runyon's perimeter exceeded that of any subsequent workForts Albany, Haggerty, Bennett
May 27, 1861GO No. 26, AGOAll that part of Virginia east of the Allegheny Mountains and north of James River, except Fort Monroe and sixty miles around the same, will for the present constitute a new military geographical department, under the command of Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U.S.A., whose headquarters will be movable according to circumstances.
May & June, 1861Engineers had surveyed the topography of the northern approaches to Washington
June 1861???McDowell command troops in area including defenses
July 8, 1861house resolved that sect war should furnish plans and estimates for the completion of a chain of defenses to guard Washington from attack from the south and also report on the expediency of constructing fortifications north of the Potomac
July 21, 1861defeat at Bull Run and ensuing panic spurred additional constructionJohnston wrote "fortifications upon which skillful engineers had been engaged" deterred him from attacking city
July 25, 1861adds counties of Prince Georges, Montgomery, and Frederick, MD to Dept. And all Attached to the Division of the PotomacGO 47, AGO
July 27, 1861McClellan assumed command of the forces around Washington on July 27McClellan becomes c & c of Army and champions a fortification system found 50,000 inf.less than 1000 cavalry650 arty organized into nine imperfect batteries of 30 pieces, GO 1, A of P
August 1861Mac put J.G. Barnard in charge of constructionbegan creation of a really complete system of defenses
August 17, 1861Departments of Northeastern Virginia, Washington, and of the Shenandoah merged into the Department of the Potomac [GO 15, Hdqrs of the Army] [The Departments of Washington and Northeastern Virginia will be united into one, to which will be annexed the Valley of the Shenandoah, the whole of Maryland and of Delaware, to be denominated the Department of the Potomac, under Major-General McClellanhead-quarters Washingtonwho will proceed to organize the troops under him into divisions and independent brigades]
August 20, 1861GO No. 1, A of P, The following-named officers are attached to the staff of the Army of the Potomac: Maj. J. G. Barnard, chief engineer, Brig. Gen. W. F. Barry, volunteer service, chief of artillery, Maj. J. N. Macomb, chief topographical engineerby order of Mac
August 25, 1861Provision al Brigades organized under Fits John Porter in the Department of the Potomac [Welter, I, 170]
August 30, 1861Maj. Abner Doubleday will immediately take charge of all the heavy artillery defenses from the Long Bridge to Fort Corcoran, and in case of an attack will take the best position to command the whole, GO 16, A of P
Late Summer and Fall of 1861Low water in Potomac River panicked city so Mac hurriedly threw up works securing of roads first concern
September 30, 1861GO No. 18, A of P, the 32 forts in the defenses officially received names
October 18, 1861Starting on this dateMcClellan directed Barnard and Barry "to determine the minimum strength of garrisonsartillery and infantryrequired for the various works in and about Washington to satisfy the conditions of a good defense."within a week they reported a need for a total force of 33,795 (both garrison and reserve)based estimates on Lines of Torres Vedras
Oct 22, 18611st report from Barnard & Barry about numbers necessary to man defenses
Oct. 24, 1861Further report on forces necessary to man defenses
Nov 1, 1861Scott retires
December 10, 1861Bernard made a report on the defenses to Congress which they had requested on July 8, 1861
Dec 11, 1861 SW, Cameron, to Hon. SPEAKER, OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, I have the honor to transmi herewith a copy of a letter of Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac, setting forth th necessity for an early appropriation of $150,000 for completing the defenses of Washington. In view of the urgenc of the case, as expressed by the commanding general of the Army in his indorsement submitting the letter to thi Department, I commend it to the early and favorable action of Congress.
Jan 9, 1862, Totten to SWhave honor to transmit, herewith, a report from Major J.G. Barnard, Brig General and Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac, in response to the Resolution of the House of Representatives of 8th July 1861, calling for information respecting the defences of the city" info is important and confidentialstay with committee Totten concurs with Barnard
January 13, 1862Barnard wrote "I look upon the garrisoning of these worksthat is, with artillerymenas under all circumstances indispensible, and an absolutely necessary preliminary to any offensive operation of the Army."[or, I, 5671-72, 677-85, 699
January 31, 1862Lincoln stipulated that Washington must be left secure against attack
Feb 13, 1862Appropriation of 150,000. approved February 13, 1862. 2. AN ACT making an appropriation for completing the defenses of Washington, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for completing the defenses of Washington: Provided, That all arrearages of <ar122_889> debts already incurred for the objects of this act shall be first paid out of this sum: And provided further, That no part of the sum hereby appropriated shall be expended in any work hereafter to be commenced.[U.S., Treasury Department. . . . Statement of Appropriations and Expenditures for Public Buildings, Rivers and Harbors, Forts, Arsenals, Armories and Other Public Works from March 4, 1789, to June 30, 1882, Senate Executive Document No. 196. 47th Congress, lst Session, 1882, page 540]
Feb 26, 1862RG393, Part II, Vol 7/48, 1 AC, General Os & SOs, E 3722, Feb 1862-p. 337, Hdqrs, Mil. Def. North of the Potomac. Feb. 26, 62, GO No. 1, In pursuance of SO 54, from the Hdqrs, A of P, A. Doubleday assumes command of "all the Military Defences in this vicinity, North of the Potomac."
March 8, 1862Lincoln's General War Order No. 3army would make no change in base of operations "without leaving in and about Washington such a force as, in the opinion of the General-in-Chief and the commanders of army corps, shall leave said city entirely secure."
March 13, 1862GO 101, A of P, In compliance with the President's War Order, No. 2, of March 8, 1862, the active portion of the Army of the Potomac is formed into army corps,
March 13, 1862McClellan and corps commanders decided that between 25,000 and 40,000 men were required to man the defenses
March 16, 1862Macs instructions to Wadsworth about defenses after he moves the troops
March 17, 1862Brig. Gen. J. S. Wadsworth, having been assigned to duty by the direction of the President as Military Governor of the District of Columbia, will, besides the military command of the city of Washington, assume the charge of the defenses north and south of the Potomac in the vicinity of Washington. The limits of his command will embrace the District of Columbia, the city of Alexandria, the grounds in front of and in the vicinity of the defensive works south of the Potomac from the Occoquan to Difficult Creek, and the post of Fort Washington. He will have charge of the provisional brigades comprised of new troops arriving in Washington and will exercise supervision over troops temporarily in the city. SO No. 83, A of P
March 17, 1862SPECIAL ORDERS No. 83., AOPBrig. Gen. James S. Wadsworth, having been assigned to duty by the direction of the President as military governor of the District of Columbia, will, besides the military command of the city of Washington, assume the charge of the defenses north and south of the Potomac in the vicinity of WashingtonThe limits of his command will embrace the District of Columbia, the city of Alexandria, the ground in front of and in the vicinity of the defensive works south of the Potomac from the Occoquan to Difficult Creek, and the post of Fort Washington. He will have charge of the provisional brigades, composed of new troops arriving in Washington, and will exercise supervision over troops in the city.
March 29, 1862inspection of forts on south side disclosed some problems
Late March 1862Mac reported 73,456 men and 109 pieces of light artillery before his departure on April 1included 35,467 men in the Shenandoah
Spring 186223 forts on VA side of Potomac and 14 forts and 3 batteries from the Potomac around by the north and east of the city to Anacostia, and 11 forts south of the AnacostiaRunyon was largest with perimeter of 1500 yardsarmament of forts principally 24 and 32 pounders with a few lighter field guns
April 1 or 2, 1862BG James Wadsworth reported he had a total force of 19,022 "new and imperfectly disciplined men fit for duty" in the Military District of Washington
April 3, 1862Lincoln ordered that Sect War would order one or the other corps of McDowell and Sumner to remain in Washington, DC for protectionMcDowell's corps kept back Congress appropriated $150,000 to complete the defenses with the stipulation that the money could not be spent on new ones
April 17, 1862Mac began embarking troops at Alexandra for the PeninsulaSpring 1862McClellan sought to move an army south toward Richmond
April 19, 1862Stanton ordered a mock alarm for the defenses on that day to test readiness
May 9, 1862RG77, E-554, p. 40, May 9, 1862, Whipple to Lt. Col. Littlefield, 9th Regt. NY Vols., Cmdg. Ft. Lyon "Mr. E. Frost been reassigned to duty as Engineer of Fortifications upon this side of the Potomac, you will please afford him and his party the necessary facilities for enabling him to repair the Magazines and such parts of the parapet as have been damaged; also, to complete the defensive works in accordance with the original designs of the Engineer Department. Should he require a small detachment from your commandpage 41to assist in these repairs, you are requested to furnish daily details."
June 18, 1862forces in and about Washington grouped into a corps under BG Samuel D. Sturgis and Wadsworth reverted to merely a military governor of the District of Columbia
June 22, 1862RG393, Pt. II, Military Dept of Wash, E-642, Letters Sent, 1862-64, Vols. 98-100 DW, Vol 98, p. 148,
June 22, 1862, Gove to Maj. Samuel Breck?, AAGManassas "I have been relieved of my Military Command. It has been turned over to Genl Sturgis who is to command all the troops in and about Washington except the Provost Guard."
June 26, 1862Pope placed in command of Army of Virginia and its main task was to protect Washington, DC
June 28, 1862RG 77, Entry 6, Letters, Reports, and Statements Sent to the Secretary of War and Congress, 1836-68, Vol. 10, Apr. 22, 1859-Jan. 12, 1863, p. 431, Totten to SW, June 28, 1862"In answer to the verbal inquiry you addressed to me yesterday, I have to say that Bvt Capt Merrill of the corps of Engineers may be relieved from his present duties here and assigned to Genl Pope's command. He should be directed to place in the hands of his civil assistants with full instructions as to their prosecution and preservation, the works and public property in and near this City that are now under his care."
June 30, 1862AGO, SO No. 148, Extract, Para. 9 "Brevet Captain Wm. E. Merrill U.S. Engineers is relieved from his present charge of the fortifications around Washington, and will report to Major General Pope for duty in his command. Captain Merrill will place in the hands of his civil assistants the works and public property now under his charge and full instructions as to their prosecution and preservation." Sent to BG Wadsworth
July 4, 1862RG77, Entry 18, LR, M 4160, July 5, 1862, Rec. On July 8, 3 enclosures, Brvt. Capt. Wm. E. Merrill to Mr.
FrostJuly 4In accordance with SO 148, AGO, June 30, I hereby turn over to your charge all the Fortifications on the South Side of the Potomac, and all the Engineer and Quartermaster property pertaining thereto. You will cause the usual receipt and invoice to made out as soon as practicable. Unless ordered by Competent Authority the Operations and roll of Employees will continue as at present. You will report as soon as practicable to Genl Sturgis, Commanding the Defenses of Washington, and wherever the Assistance of an Army Officer is necessary for the proper prosecution of your labors you will call upon Genl Whipple for such aid as may be necessary. To Mr. Gummell, July 4In accordance with SO 148, AGO, June 30, I hereby turn over to your charge all the Fortifications on the North Side of the Potomac, and all the Engineer and Quartermaster property pertaining thereto. You will cause the usual receipt and invoice to made out as soon as practicable. Unless ordered by Competent Authority the Operations and roll of Employees will continue as at present. You will report as soon as practicable to Genl Sturgis, Commanding the Defenses of Washington, and wherever the Assistance of an Army Officer is necessary for the proper prosecution of your labors you will call upon Lieut. Col. Haskin, A.D.C. to help you.
August 1862Defenses North of the Potomac Military District of the Defenses of Washington, Army of the Potomac organized [Welcher, I, 168]
August 3, 1862Halleck orders Mac to move A of P to bring army back to Alexandria to aid in defense of DC
August-SeptemberLee moves north after 2nd Bull Run and panic once again hits Washington
August 20, 1862In virtue of Special Orders, No. 196, from the Headquarters of the Army, dated at Washington,
August 19, 1862, Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard assumes the command of the fortifications of Washington and troops assigned to the defenses. GO No.1 , Defenses of WashingtonThe fortifications and troops on the south side of the Potomac will remain under the immediate command of Brig. Gen. A. W. Whipple; those on the north side under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Haskin, aide de-camp, through whom all orders will be transmitted and to whom commanding officers will make their usual reports.
August 28, 1862Barnard to Henry Halleckserious attack could not be metgarrisons withdrawn and sent into the field about a week earlier
August 30, 1862RG77, Entry 18, LR, SW 3912, Aug 30, 1862, Stanton to C of E, Authorizes the Engr Dept to apply from the appropriations for Contingencies of Fortifications whatever funds are necessary in the opinion of the Officer Commanding the Defenses of Washington for increasing or strengthening the Defensive works, to the extent of $50,000.
August 30, 1862In consequence of the report made to me by Lieutenant-Colonel Webb, who has just completed an inspection of the works from Ethan Allen to Pennsylvania, I recommend as follows, viz: That at least ten well instructed artillerymen and an officer from the Second Pennsylvania Artillery be sent to Battery Vermont, and at least ten artillerymen belonging, respectively, to the same companies, with the officers now sent from the Second Pennsylvania to Battery Cameron and Fort Gaines, be <ar107_769> sent to these two works. That Captain Ellis be held responsible for the destruction of Chain Bridge should the necessity arise, and that he be provided with hay and tar for that purpose. From Mac
September 1862RG393, PI 172, Pt. 1, E5385, Vol. 155A, Gos Department of Wash., 1862No. 3, Sept. 1862 [HDQRS, Defences of Washington, I. "The Military Governor of Alexandria will immediately organize a camp of convalescents, stragglers, and recruits, under the following regulations: VII. All recruits arriving, for regiments which are not near Washington, will be sent to the Convalescent Camp."
September 2, 1862GO 122, AGO, MG McClellan will have command of the fortifications of Washington and of all the troops for the defense of the capital
September 2, 1862GO No. 6, Defenses of Washington, The command of the fortifications of Washington and of the troops assigned to the defenses having been assumed by Major-General McClellan, the commanding officers of the troops within this command will receive their orders from and report to him through the usual channels.
September 2, 1862Pope ordered his men to pull back into the Washington area entrenchments
September 2, 1862I inclose you a copy of the order I have just issued, relinquishing command, &c. A detailed statement will be sent of troops and positions, but for your present convenience I would state that at the present moment the state of things is this: General D. P. Woodbury is in command of forts and troops from Fort Blenker to Fort Lyon. In Fort Lyon is the Third Battalion New York Artillery and the Twenty-fourth Michigan (raw). In Forts Ellsworth, Ward, and Blenker is part of Colonel Tyler's regiment. The other troops assigned to Woodbury are: Engineer Brigade, Colonel Allabach's four regiments, General E. B. Tyler's brigade, Sixteenth Connecticut Regiment (in or near Fort Worth). Brig. Gen. A. W. Whipple commands forts and troops from Four Mile Run northward, including the Chain Bridge. A statement already in the hands of General McClellan gives a list of garrisons and troops. The Fifteenth Connecticut is to be added (by your orders), and is now over there. Colonel Doubleday has immediate command at the Chain Bridge, under General Whipple. The forts and troops north of the Potomac are in charge of Colonel Haskin, aide-de-camp. A list of the garrisons and troops is in the hands of the major-general commanding. J. G. BARNARD.
September 3, 1862N.P. Banks letter to S. WilliamsUpon further consultation with the General-in-Chief, he has authorized me to assign General Barnard to duty as chief engineer of all the defenses from the 3d instant, leaving the question of command on the north side as it was previously under Woodbury and Haskin. I have today issued orders to that effect. In regard to General Barnard, the arrangement now conforms to the wishes of the commanding general.
September 3, 1862Barnard says he relinquished command of the Defences of Washington on the 3rd [RG77, E18, B9332]
September 7, 1862During the absence of the major-general commanding from Washington the immediate command of the defenses of the capital is assigned to Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks, who while exercising said command will be relieved from the command of his corps, SO 4, Hdqrs of the Army
September 7, 1862S) 4, AOP, I. BG D.P. Woodbury is assigned to the command of all forts beyond the Eastern Branch, north of the Potomac
September 8, 1862GO 1, Defenses of Wash., In compliance with Paragraph VII of Special Orders, No. 4, of the 7th instant, from the headquarters of Major-General McClellan, the undersigned hereby assumes the immediate command of the defenses of the capital during the absence of the general commanding from Washington
September 9, 1862Maj. Gen. S. P. HEINTZELMAN, Fort Lyon, By direction of the President, you will at once assume command of all the troops for the defense of Washington south of the Potomac, under the general order of the major-general commanding the Defenses of Washington. The General-in-Chief desires that you will establish your lines of battle in addition to the defenses of the works, and will see that lines of communication are kept open in their rear, so that any point of attack may be readily re-enforced. Great care should be taken to establish the outposts, and to have the picket service efficiently performed. Please acknowledge. By command of Major-General Banks:
September 11, 1862RG 77, E-553, Letters Sent, Vol. 1, p. 60-61, Barnard to Ripley, Sept 11, 1862, Haskin in command of all the forts on the [p. 61] North of the Potomac and north of Eastern Branch; Genl Woodbury of forts East of Potomac & Southeast of Eastern Branch & Genl Porter or Col Tyler of those on the Southwest of the Potomac
Sept. 12, 1862Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard is assigned to the command of the troops for the immediate defense of Washington north of the Potomac. Brig. Gen. D. P. Woodbury, commanding defenses east of the Eastern Branch, and Lieut. Col. J. A. Haskin, commanding defenses west of the Eastern Branch, will at once report to General Barnard for orders, Defenses of Wash., SO No. 3, by Banks
September 13, 1862N.P. Banks letter to S. WilliamsUpon further consultation with the General-in-Chief, he has authorized me to assign General Barnard to duty as chief engineer of all the defenses from the 3d instant, leaving the question of command on the north side as it was previously under Woodbury and Haskin. I have today issued orders to that effect. In regard to General Barnard, the arrangement now conforms to the wishes of the commanding general.
Sept. 13, 1862SO No. 4, HDQRS, Defences of Wash.Barnard assigned as Chief Engineer [RG77, E18, B9332]
Sept. 15, 1862SO 242, AGO, III. Brig. Gen. W. F. Barry, U.S. Volunteers, inspector of artillery, his assistant and staff, are assigned to duty in the city of Washington, D.C., to date from 1st instant.
September 16, 1862SO 244, AGO, IV. Barry, in addition to other duties, will report to MG Banks, as chief of Artillery of the Defenses of Washington
October 1862Casey's Division, under the command of Silas Casey, organized in October 1862 [Welcher, I, 167]
October 1862Abercrombie's Division, under the command of John J. Abercrombie, organized in October 1862 [Welcher, I, 166]
Oct. 21, 1862Barnard Recommends the appt of a Commission, MG Banks, BG Totten, BG Cullum, BG Barry, to examine the Defences of Washington. Appointment by SW and order issued to AG, Oct 22, 1862
October 22, 1862ordered the creation of a commission to study the fortifications and submit a report
October 22, 1862RG77, E18, Letters Rec., SW3921, Stanton to C of E, Oct. 22, 1862"The Chief Engineer, Defences of Washington is authorized to expend $50,000 on those defences from the appropriation for Contingencies of fortifications including filed works, over and above the amount previously authorized."
October 23, 1862RG77, Entry 18, LR, SW 3921, Oct. 23, 1862, received on the 23rd, Stanton to C of E, authorizes Chief Engr. Of Defenses of Washington to expend $50,000. On the defenses from the appropriations for Contingencies of Fortifications including field works, the amount previously authorized
October 25, 1862Sect War creates a commission to study and report on defensesTotten, Barry, Barnard, Meigs, Cullum [SO 312, AGO, Oct 25, 1862
October 27, 1862General Banks leaves this evening for the North and during his absence, General Heintzelman will exercise his command [message from Halleck to McClellan, Oct. 27, 1862, Ors, I,19, Pt. 2]
November 1862Artillery Defenses of Alexandria organized under Robert O. Tyler in the Military District of the Defenses of Washington, Army of the Potomac [Welcher, I, 169]
December 1862the defenses were "far from satisfactory"then 53 forts and 22 batteries, entire perimeter was 37 miles, 643 guns and 75 mortars in defenses
December 6, 1862GO 11, Def of Wash., I. pursuant to instructions from the commanding general, the District of the Defenses of Washington south of the Potomac will be discontinued
December 6, 1862RG393, PI 172, Pt. 1, E5385, Vol. 155A, GOs Department of Wash., 1862 No. 11, Dec. 6, 1862I. Pursuant to instructions from the Commanding General, the District and Defences of Washington, south of the Potomac, will be discontinued.'
December 6, 1862GO 11, Def of Wash., III. BG JJ Abercrombie may transfer his headquarters to the Arlington house
December 24, 1862Commission to study and report on the defenses reports
Dec. 30, 1862, Barnard to Stanton, transmits report of Commission,
Early 1863 pursued recommendations of Commission
1863Barnard, on July 7, 1863, wrote: To carry out these suggestions (approved by the War Department), I asked for and obtained an appropriation of $200,000. [ORA, I, 27, Pt. 3, Serial 45, page 596
Jan 5, 1863RG 77, E-553, Letters Sent, Vol. 1, p. 156Barnard to Frost, Jan 5, 63"Your services will be no longer required. Please turn over your work and accounts to Mr. Childs who will be directed to assume charge of them."
Jan 10, 63RG 77, E-553, Letters Sent, Vol. 1, p. 157Barnard to Childs, Jan 10, 63You will please take charge of the Engineer forces and works on the South side of the Potomac so far as they were under the charge of Mr. Frost
Feb 2, 1863Department of Washington [22nd Corps] created to consist of district north of the Potomac River from Piscataway Creek to Annapolis Junction and to the mouth of the Monocacy; and south by Goose Creek and Bull Run Mountains to the mouth of the Occoquan, GO 26, AGOORA, I, 25, I, page 1Feb. 2, 1863The Dept of Wash recreated, the troops constituting the 22nd A.C., P. 2, Heintzelman assumes command of Dept of Wash
Feb 2, 1863John P. Slough, commander of District of Alexandria till Nov. 21, 1864 [Welcher, I, 162]
Feb. 2, 1863Artillery Defenses of Alexandria, Department of Washington created from Artillery Defenses of Alexandria in the Military District of the Defenses of Washington, Army of the PotomacRobert O. Tyler remained in command [Welcher, I, 169]
Feb. 2, 1863Defenses North of the Potomac, Twenty Second Army Corps, organized in newly created Department of Washington, commanded by Joseph A. Haskin [Welcher, I, 168]
Feb 2, 1863John H. Martindale, commander of District of Washington till May 2, 1864 [Welcher, I, 162]
Feb 2, 1863Casey's Division became Casey's Division, 22nd Army Corps [Welcher, I, 167]
Feb 2, 1863Abercrombie's Division became -Abercrombie's Division, 22nd Army Corps [Welcher, I, 166]
Feb. 2, 1863Provisional Brigades became Provisional Brigades, 22nd Army Corps under command of Silas Casey until discontinued on March 24, 1865 [Welcher, I, 170]
Feb. 5, 1863Pennsylvania Reserve Corps ordered to Washington and soon became Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, 22nd Army Corps [Welcher, I, 171]
Feb. 7, 1863MG A.P. Heintzelman assumed command of the re-created Federal Department of Washington
Feb. 20, 1863Date of Act making appropriation for completing fortifications and erecting new ones for the Defenses of Washington, DC, $200.000. [U.S., Treasury Department. . . . Statement of Appropriations and Expenditures for Public Buildings, Rivers and Harbors, Forts, Arsenals, Armories and Other Public Works from March 4, 1789, to June 30, 1882, Senate Executive Document No. 196. 47th Congress, lst Session, 1882, page 540] Barnard, on July 7, 1863, wrote: To carry out these suggestions (approved by the War Department), I asked for and obtained an appropriation of $200,000. [ORA, I, 27, Pt. 3, Serial 45, page 596; Years appropriation of $200,000 reduced due to other exigencies
March 9, 1863Ordered, first, that Brigadier-General Canby cause an immediate inspection to be made, by a competent officer, of all the fortifications and defenses around Washington, and that he make a detailed report of their condition for defensive purposes, and in respect to supplies, [p. 661] ammunition, and forces; also as to the condition of the roads leading from Washington to the defenses, and of all roads necessary for the military operations of the fortifications. Second, that he cause similar inspections to be made every week, and present to the Secretary of War in person a report on Wednesday until further orders, the first report herein directed to be made on Monday next, the 14th instant. Issued by Stanton
April 17, 1863Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac created from Artillery Defenses of Alexandria, commanded by Robert O. Tyler [Welcher, I, 169] [Dyer, 380 says April 15, 1863]
April 26, 1863Thomas R. Tannatt assumed temporary command of the -Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac [Welcher, I, 170]
May 25, 1863GO 1, Defences South of the Potomac, In compliance with orders received from headquarters Department of Washington, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac. G. A. DE RUSSY, Brigadier-General. [Welcher, I, 170]
Demand necessary for defenses of Potomac in 1863work on Battery Rodgers and Fort Foote
Gettysburg campaign once again panicked citysome troops withdrawn
July 15, 1863Rufus King assigned command of all infantry then in Washington awaiting transportation to Frederick, MD. And was ordered to organize then into a division [Welcher, I, 172]
July 18, 1863King assumed command of King's Division, 22nd Army Corps [Welcher, I, 172]
October 14, 1863MG C.C. Augur takes command of Department of Washington
October 17, 1863Michael Corcoran assumed command of King's Division which became known as Corcoran's Division until Dec. 30, 1863 [Welcher, I, 172]
Oct 27, 1863Barnard suggest the organization of an ordnance board to study artillery emplaced in defensesto Hdqrs of Army
November 9, 1863ordnance board constituted to examine the status of the fortress artillery in the defensesCullum, Barry, Barnard, G.A. DeRussy, B.S. Alexander [or, I, 29, pt. 2, 394-95, 443], SO 497, AGO
December 30, 1863Robert O. Tyler was ordered to report to CC Augur [Welcher, I, 172]
Jan. 1, 1864Tyler's Division, 22nd Army Corps was created from Corcoran's Division [Welcher, I, 172]
January 15, 1864I respectfully request to be relieved from duty at this place and assigned to duty in the field. Barnard
Feb. 2, 1864GO 42, AGO, issues The following regulations for the care of field-works and the government of their garrisons, prepared by Brigadier-General Barry, inspector of artillery, U.S. Army, are published for the government of all concerned
Spring 1864Grant moves south and significantly reduces the defenses of Washington, particularly of infantry, some of which were replaced by men from the Invalid Corps
March 1864Stanton ordered a full-scale inspection of the defenses by BG E.R.S. Canby
March 9, 1864Lt. Gen. Grant assumed c & c of Army
March 25, 1864The chief of artillery reports that 1,800 men can be immediately spared from the defenses of Washington, and it remains to be determined whether they shall be organized into field batteries or sent to the field as heavy artillery. Either will be done as you direct. Halleck to Grant
May 1864Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac was changed to De Russy's Division but it had unofficially been called De Russy's Division since Nov. 1863 [Welcher, I, 170]
May 2, 1864Moses N. Wisewell replaces John H. Martindale in command of the District of Washington [Welcher, I, 163]
May 18, 1864The designation of Joseph A. Haskin's Defenses North of the Potomac was changed to Haskin's Division, 22nd Army Corps [Welcher, I, 168]
May 18, 1864I have the honor to transmit herewith a report [dated May 17] of the inspection of the defenses of Washington, made by order of the Secretary of War. AP Howe, Inspector of Arty to Halleck Wilderness and Spottsylvania losses required some of artillery in Defenses of Washington to be sent south alsonearly 18,000 mensome replacement by 100 days men
June 1, 1864RG77, E18, A2004, Alexander to Totten, July 5, 1864"I have the honor to report that on the 1st of June Gen. Barnard was relieved from duty as Chief Engineer of the Defences of Washington, and ordered to report to Head Quarters Army of the Potomac, and that since that time I have been in charge of these Defences."
June 21, 1864Dept of Washington consists of that part of Maryland south of a line from the mouth of the Monacacy to Annapolis Junction and west of the Patuxent River, the District of Columbia, and the district of country in Virginia by Goose Creek and Bull Run Mountains to the mouth of the OccoquanGO 214, AGO
July 1864Jubal Early's troops in vicinity cause panic and his approach to city caused even more
July 2, 1864The following acts and resolutions of Congress are published for' the information of all concerned: I. PUBLICNo. 180. AN ACT making appropriations for the construction, preservation, and repairs of certain fortifications and other works of defense, for the year ending the thirtieth of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-five. $300,000.For providing obstructions to be moored in the Potomac River, to render the shore batteries more efficient for the protection of Washington against maritime attack, three hundred thousand dollars. For completing and rendering more permanent the defenses of Washington, three hundred thousand dollars. Approved July 2, 1864. $300.000. GO 231, AGO, July 18, 1864 [U.S., Treasury Department. . . . Statement of Appropriations and Expenditures for Public Buildings, Rivers and Harbors, Forts, Arsenals, Armories and Other Public Works from March 4, 1789, to
June 30, 1882, Senate Executive Document No. 196. 47th Congress, lst Session, 1882, page 540]
July 6, 1864 In compliance with your instructions of yesterday I proceeded last evening to make an examination of Chain Bridge and Aqueduct Bridge, and this morning I sent Mr. Childs, our civil assistant in charge of the works south of the Potomac, to make an examination of the Long Bridge, and I now have the honor to submit the following report on the defenses and guards of the three bridges across the Potomac, viz, Barnard, Chief Engr. Of Defenses to Halleck
July 9, 1864Martin D. Hardin took command of Haskin's Division, 22nd Army Corps and the command then became known as Hardin's Division [Welcher, I, 168] [Dyer, 379 says July 8, 1864 and still refers to command as Defences North of the Potomac]]
Weekend of July 10-11, 1864barely 9,000 men manned defenses with about 14,000 men in Early's command
July 11, 1864Jubal Early and his forces arrive in the outskirts (Silver Spring, MD) of Washington, D.C. about noon and spent the rest of the day reconnoitering
July 12, 1864reinforcements from 6th and 19th Corps had arrived and were placed in defensesEarly began his retreat that evening
July 12, 1864In the afternoon of the 11th, Early had decided to attack on the 12th but during the night and in the morning he learned that the reinforcements from the 6th and 19th Corps had arrived and were placed in defenses; Early made a reconnaissance in force towards Fort Stevens and some heavy skirmishing ensued but he began his retreat that evening
July 21, 1864General Barnard is ordered to report to you Halleck to Grant
July 27, 1864Halleck took command of the departments around Washington concerned with the defense of the area
July 30, 1864RG 77, E-553, Letters Sent, Vol. 2 p. 31-32, to Delafield, Aug 2/64complying with your letter of 30th ulto. Requesting that I relieve J. Eveleth from disbursing funds for D of W, and assigning that duty to myselfattempting to do sopraises Eveleth
August 7, 1864MG Phil Sheridan assigned command of new Middle Military Div which included the Middle, Washington, Susquehanna and West Virginia departments Threat to capital appreciably decreased following Early's raid Surveys of the defenses conducted before Early's raid pointed out deficiencies and after the raid, work began to make improvementssodding, bombproof construction, cutting and cleaning of undergrowth, entrenched camps or picket posts in advance of the line S of P
Oct. 14, 1863Augur succeeds Heintzelman in command of Department
October 24, 1864Ordered, That during the absence of Major-General Augur in the field, Brevet Major-General Meigs be, and he is hereby, assigned to the command of the defenses of Washington, of the troops of the Veteran Reserve Corps, and all other forces within the city and fortifications; and that he be specially charged with the proper protection of the military stores, depots, arsenals, and other public property within the defenses. He is specially enjoined to see that due measures of vigilance and precaution are used against surprise and attack at all bridges, roads, avenues, and approaches to the city; will make proper inspections of all guards and sentinels and defensive arrangements, and, in general, will take such measures as may be necessary for the efficient protection of the national capital and of the public and private property therein. He will report from time to time to the Chief of Staff, or Secretary of War, for instructions when needed. War Department orderedmemorandum to the AG
November 21, 1864Henry H. Wells replaces Slough in command of the District of Alexandria [Welcher, I, 162]
December 10, 1864RG77, E553, vol. 2, p. 107, to Lt James W. Cuyler, Dec 10, 64in compliance with orders from the Engr Dept, you are assigned as local engineer, in charge of construction of the outer defence, or picket line of the defences on the right bank of the Potomac; work is now in charge of Childs, in charge of defences south of Pot., will relieve him of those duties, do an inspection first, with Childs, report in writing every Saturday
December 10, 1864District of Washington discontinued [Dyer, 376]
January 1865John P. Slough replaces Henry H. Wells in command of the District of Alexandria [Welcher, I, 162]
Feb. 28, 1865$300,000. Date of Act making appropriation for defenses of Washington for 1866. [U.S., Treasury Department. . . . Statement of Appropriations and Expenditures for Public Buildings, Rivers and Harbors, Forts, Arsenals, Armories and Other Public Works from March 4, 1789, to June 30, 1882, Senate Executive Document No. 196. 47th Congress, lst Session, 1882, page 540]
April 9, 1865Appomattox put end to work on defensesat that time68 forts, enclosed forts and batteries and 93 unarmed batteries for field guns1421 gun emplacements807 artillery pieces and 98 mortars were actually mounted in emplacements20 miles of rifle trenches and 30, or 32, miles of military roads three blockhouses also built
April 26, 1865Orlando B. Willcox replaces Moses N. Wisewell in command of the District of Washington [Welcher, I, 163] Dyer, 376says April 25, 1865]
April 26, 1865John G. Parke replaces John P. Slough in command of the District of Alexandria [Welcher, I, 162]
April 29, 1865C of E directed Alexander to suspend operations on field fortifications and collect and preserve Engineer equipment
May 6, 1865Delafield letter to SW recommended abandonment of most of the forts
June 7, 1865John P. Slough replaces John G. Parke in command of the District of Alexandria [Welcher, I, 162]
June 7, 1865MG John G. Parke assumed temporary command of Department of Washington by right of seniority
June 19, 1865GO 315plan for disposition of defenses
June 23, 1865GO 89 directed that 25 works should be maintainedother forts be abandoned and land restored to owners
June 26, 1865Augur resumed command of Department of Washington
June 27, 1865division of the US into mil. Divisions and depts.
July 14, 1866Alexander closed books on defenses
Last Updated: 29-Oct-2004