Civil War enthusiasts & volunteers needed this Saturday at Fort Bunker Hill Park clean up in NE
According to the National Park Service, “In 1860, the Union capital, Washington, D.C., was a sleepy city of approximately 62,000 residents. The city sat almost completely unprotected, with Fort Washington, the lone fortification, being 12 miles south. Virginia, a Confederate state, lay on one side of the city, and Maryland, a slave-owning state, was on the other, leaving Washington dangerously vulnerable. Realizing the potential danger the city faced, the Union army constructed additional fortifications for the city. By 1865, the Defenses of Washington included 68 forts, supported by 93 detached batteries for field guns, 20 miles of rifle pits, and covered ways, wooden blockhouses at three key points, 32 miles of military roads, several stockaded bridgeheads, and four picket stations. Along the circumference of the 37-mile circle of fortifications were emplacements for a total of 1501 field and siege guns of which 807 guns and 98 mortars were in place. The defenseless city of 1860 had become one of the most heavily fortified cities of the world.”
One of the these forts, Fort Bunker Hill Park at 14th & Otis Street NE is in need of preservationist volunteers and city historians this Saturday, April 10th to participate in Park Day, sponsored since 1996 by the Civil War Preservation Trust.
Fort Bunker Hill was built in the fall of 1861 by the 11th Massachusetts Infantry and was named after the Revolutionary fortification at Bunker Hill, Massachusetts. It occupied an important position between Fort Totten and Fort Lincoln. Thirteen guns and mortars were mounted in the fort. Unfortunately, little evidence of Fort Bunker Hill is still visible. It is bounded by 14th, Otis, 13th, and Perry Streets, NE.
Fort Bunker Hill climbs to 226 feet (68.88 meters) above sea level. Fort Bunker Hill is located at latitude – longitude coordinates (also called lat – long coordinates or GPS coordinates) of N 38.935389 and W -76.988031.
According to the Friends of Fort Bunker Hill Park, founded in 2009 by a concerned group of neighbors who wanted to contribute to the renovation and upkeep of Fort Bunker Hill Park, ”During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps worked on the park, planting trees, construction walkways and building a picnic ground and amphitheater. The amphitheater originally had space to entertain over 400 people. The picnic ground was located in the southwest corner and had 12 picnic tables with benches for those who wished to enjoy the outdoor eating facilities. By July of 1938, the National Park Service began a series of “Thursday after-sunset recreational programs” using the amphitheater as its primary location. ”
All able bodied and able minded men, women, and children are need and all are welcome this Saturday, April 10th from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm at the corner of 14th & Otis St. NE to work alongside the U.S. National Park Service, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., and members of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association, Michigan Park Citizens Association, and Greater Brookland Garden Club.
What to Bring: Gloves, Clippers, Water
What to Wear: Long Sleeves, Long Pants, Closed-toe Shoes
Weather: This is a sunshine-only event. In the event of rain, we will re-schedule.
H/T to Brookland Avenue for great post here
Fort Circle Park National Recreation Trail here
Six Big Ideas about the city’s Fort Circle Parks here.