Defenses Around Washington DC


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Only once were the elaborate fortifications about Washington seriously threatened. That was when the Confederate General Jubal A. Early, with a force of 10,000 men, marched against the Federal capital in July, 1864, with the intention of capturing it. Reinforcements were rushed to these works and Early retreated. The constant compliance with the clamor at the North that Washington be strongly defended was a serious strategical mistake. The Army of the Potomac was at first superior in number to Lee's army of Northern Virginia. It could have been made overwhelmingly so at the beginning of the war if the troops around Washington had been added to it. Grant demonstrated the wisdom of this policy in 1864 by leaving only a few heavy artillery regiments, the "hundred days' men," and detachments from the Veteran Reserve to defend Washington. He then outnumbered Lee in the field.

Washington Artillery
Defending Washington


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[Click on Thumbnails Below for Detailed view and information of that Photograph]

Richmond Approach

Approach to Richmond along the James River

James River

Strategic Use of the James River in the Civil War


Count Zeppelin


Kings in Camp

Foreign Observers

Foreign Observers

Farrar's Island

Farrar's Island

Armstrong Run

Armstrong Run

Richmond Ruins

Richmond Ruins

Washington Defenses

Defense of Washington DC

Sherman at the Chattahoochee

Sherman's Feint at the Chattahoochee

Use of Railroads in the Civil War

City Point

City Point, Virginia








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